Our Vision

At the Gipsy Hill Federation, we strongly advocate play and concrete learning throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and beyond. Children learn through first-hand experiences, books, explorative resources and rich conversation. Children’s physical and mental well-being is at the heart of our curriculum and planning. We aim for our children to be: 

  • Active Learners 

  • Resourceful 

  • Reflective 

  • Resilient 

  • Reciprocal 

  • Creative

These values and intentions underpin all of our provision across the seven areas of learning (Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Physical Development; Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Art and Design). They support children to become lifelong, confident and enthusiastic learners and prepare them for their journey into Key Stage 1 and beyond.

Partnerships with parents and carers are key to this. We recognise that you are your child’s first and most enduring educator, and we know that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between staff and parents/ carers. We therefore aim for the school and parents/ carers to work closely together, welcoming and listening to all families. 

Why we teach through play?

We teach through play because we know that carefully organised play develops skills which are crucial throughout life: perseverance, concentration, problem solving, the processing of challenges or trauma, positive relationships, self-regulation, and much more. In particular, research shows us that child-initiated activities provide rich opportunities for children to develop self-regulation and metacognition (Robson, 2015) which can help children make up to seven months additional progress (The Education Endowmnet Fund). Freely chosen play activities also often provide the best opportunities for adults to help children achieve their next steps by giving them rich opportunities to extend children’s thinking (Sylva et al, 2010). 


What children learn in EYFS?

In the EYFS, children’s learning is based around a different topic each term. What we teach in the topic and how is carefully planned around what children already know, their interest and their next steps.


Our topics, and the broad intent behind them, is as follows: 



Children will settle into school, feeling safe and secure in their environment and building relationships with adults and children in their class. They will identify and share their likes and dislikes. They will explore both their indoor and outdoor learning environments, developing their confidence and skill using the different equipment. Through this, they will develop their gross and fine motor skills, which will support their mark making and writing development throughout the year.

The EYFS Policy

To find out more information about the EYFS in the Gipsy Hill Federation, including information about how children transition into school and the Reception Baseline Assessment, please follow this link to our EYFS policy.