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Early Years

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage at Sawtry Infant School

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are expected to work towards 17 Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in their reception year.  Our teachers support our children in guiding them towards accomplishing these goals by using a Planning in the Moment curriculum alongside the Development Matters guidance.


At Sawtry Infant School we believe that young children live in the here and now. If adults are to make a real difference to their learning they need to seize the moments when children first show curiosity, and support their next steps immediately.  Our ‘in the moment’ approach can be broken down into these three different steps:


  • The Child’s Spark – This is when the child first shows an interest in something. There should be an air of fascination around the object and concentration in what they are now doing.
  • The Teachable Moment – The teacher will notice this and approach the child. This is the opportunity to extend their interest, by asking open-ended questions and considering ways to apply this interest to other options within the environment.  We place importance in ‘I wonder…’ statements to prompt the children and support them with their progress, allowing them to engage in discussion with adults at their own pace. 
  • The Documentation – At a later date, we document the observation using our online assessment tool, Tapestry. We include the spark, the teachable moment and what we did next. This helps us to map out each child’s interests, and plan an environment that works for them.  When children have done something for the first time that we feel is important to share, we document this on Tapestry as a ‘wow moment’ and we encourage our parents to do the same at home. 

Using this method we are never sure where our days will take us or which learning journey we will go on with our children.  This makes each day an exciting adventure, led by the children in a way that ensures that they have a high level of engagement and interest.  Our responses to their learning are spontaneous and require us to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe.

Although our physical lesson planning is less compared to other year groups, we still teach a guided phonics lesson every day as well as whole class maths and English sessions.  Each child has two guided reading sessions a week and we also engage the children in seasonal activities to celebrate different festivals and cultures.

We believe that getting our children out and about in the local area to discuss places of importance, as well as features of our village and beyond is key to the children’s learning, so we also plan these trips out into our year too.  We believe that these experiences equip children will skills such as working together, staying safe and knowing when to take risks. 

We hope that this information has been useful.  If you would like to know more or if you have any questions, please contact Miss Fran Butcher (EYFS Lead) for more details. 

The Early Years Framework


Development Matters


Progression in the Early Years