Foundation Stage


“Children make good, and sometimes outstanding, progress in the Nursery and Reception classes because staff are skilled at meeting their needs.”

” Pupils make good progress because teaching is good. Some teaching, particularly in the Early Years Foundation Stage, is outstanding.” 



There are seven areas of learning and development that are all equally important and inter-connected.
Three areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

communication and language

physical development

personal, social and emotional development

There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.



understanding the world

expressive arts and design

At Gainsborough our high quality provision involves activities and experiences for children including:

High quality planning,  delivery and resources

“Imaginative use of time and purposeful dialogue is a feature observed in many lessons. In a Reception class the time spent hand-washing or lining-up for lunch was seized upon by the teacher as an extra learning opportunity as children were prompted to estimate and count.
In another example, seen during a ‘Stay and Play’ session when parents join theirchildren in class, paper-planes united young and old in meaningful discussion about the best design and ways to measure how far different planes could fly. This simple activity stretched and extended pupils’ language, physical and mathematical skills. It was good fun, too”


Our highly skilled teachers and teaching assistants consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all of the areas of learning and development.

If throughout the early years, any child’s progress in any of the prime area show cause for concern, we pro-actively discuss this with parents and agree how both school and home can best support the child. Together, we consider whether a child may have a special educational need that require specialist support. We draw on the expertise of outside agencies and help families to access relevant support from other agencies as appropriate.

Each area of learning and development is planned through purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. The Foundation team will actively respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning.

The Foundation Team are highly experienced in planning and guiding children’s activities, based on the different ways that children learn.

Home-School Partnership.

This partnership is central to everything we do and we actively encourage an open and supportive partnership between home and school from Nursery through to Year Six. The importance of small details or changes that may affect your child cannot be underestimated and we encourage you to inform any member of our Foundation team at the start or end of the school day. Miss Hough or Mrs Nurse are also available at the beginning and end of each day if you wish to speak to any of them.

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A safe and supportive environment; safe from hurt by others, in what they say or do; safe to learn within an enquiring environment; encouraging creativity, and a questioning mind.


Smart ways of thinking and learning, behaving and the way in which we present ourselves, as a member of Gainsborough School.


Treat others as you wish to be treated, help each other to be happy within school, greet others with a smile, help to create a happy and enthusiastic place to learn.

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