Early Years Foundation Stage

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, which sets the statutory standards for the development, learning and care of children from birth to five years. You can find further information on the Foundation Years website. We use Development Matters to help plan, assess and observe children in order to support their development.

There is a strong emphasis on learning through play, being both child-initiated and adult led. Our Curriculum is delivered through a careful balance of practical experiences, as well as being linked to the needs and interests of the children.

Unique Child

At Little Acorns we understand that every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Each individual child’s needs are catered for by a highly qualified staff team who aim to provide an inclusive and nurturing atmosphere. We encourage children of all ages to become independent and inquisitive learners, giving them the confidence to have a go, explore and do things for themselves.

Positive Relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships with the significant adults in their lives. Before your child starts with us you will know who their key person is and have opportunities to meet with them. The key person role is to help ensure that every child's care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child to become familiar with the setting and to build a strong relationship between the key worker, family and child. The key person should also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate.

The key person will be responsible to observe and assess to help the child to build their learning over time. Having a small experienced team is a huge strength as every child quickly gets to know all the staff, which helps them to feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Enabling Environments

Little Acorns aims to provide a homely atmosphere and provide the bridge between home and school life. The intimacy of the setting allows families to settle in quickly. We have a range of stimulating resources indoors and outside which are organised appropriately for different age groups and tailored to the interest and needs of the children in our care. Throughout the day we follow a detailed routine to provide a wealth of exciting, educational activities to facilitate children’s learning through play.

Learning and Development

We use our extensive knowledge and experience to plan activities which enable children to learn and develop. We aim to provide children with appropriate challenge to create happy, critical thinkers and independent young people.

The curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language;
  • Physical Development;
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development;
  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

If you would like more information about the seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage, please click on the link below:

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK


How do you record my child's progress?

At Little Acorns, we use Tapestry, an online learning journey, where we add observations of children, in particular noteworthy achievements. Within our Acorn Multi Academy Trust, we have now set up a set of 'Acorn Tapestry Flags'. For example, 'Communication and Language' and 'Vocabulary Choices'. For each observation for your child, you will see the most relevant 'Flags' at the end of each observation. These bespoke Flags will allow us to track progress of individual children more easily, in all areas of learning. Flags only need to be added by school staff. However, we do encourage parents and carers to become involved in adding observations to Tapestry of noticeable achievements, wow moments, their interests and experiences, to help us build a rounded picture of each child.


We understand how crucial acquiring early language is within the early years. Every day @ Little Acorns we share quality story books, listen to, learn and recite poetry linked to specific themes and sing nursery rhymes.

We also encourage you to share nursery rhymes and books with your child at home. Reading to children is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading. By reading stories aloud to children every day, you are forming a link for them between reading, comfort and love.

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We introduce RWI Nursery Phonics for children who are ready, in the final summer term before children move to Reception. In the term before starting school, children will firstly learn to name the picture to match each sound, e.g. ‘orange’ and ‘girl’, and then start to learn the Set 1 sounds, if they are ready to. Please refer to the specific section for RWI Phonics on our school website, found under: Curriculum>Subjects>Phonics   

Read Write Inc: a teacher's guide

                                       Read Write Inc.: Set 1. Speed Sound Cards (READ WRITE INC PHONICS): Munton, Gill: 9780198460350: Books 

Statutory Two Year Old Progress Checks

The learning and development requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) state that:

'When a child is aged between two and three, practitioners must review their progress, and provide parents and/or carers with a short written summary of their child's development in the prime areas. This progress check must identify the child's strengths, and any areas where the child's progress is less than expected,' (Section 2.4, 2021).

Aims of the EYFS progress check at age two:

  • review a child's development progress in the three prime areas of Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development.

  • ensure that parents have a clear picture of their child's development

  • enable practitioners and parents to understand the child's needs and plan activities to meet them

  • note areas where a child is progressing well and identify any areas where progress is less than expected

  • describe actions the setting intends to take to address any developmental concerns, (including working with other professionals where appropriate).

The check should be completed by the setting that the child spends the most time in. It is a statutory requirement for the provider to share the progress check with the parent/s and carers. There is an expectation that the parents / carers will share it with the health visitor, ideally to coincide with the Healthy Child Programme two-year-review.

We would be thrilled to share the start of your child’s learning journey and currently have spaces available. If you would like to arrange a visit please click here or see below.

Contact Us

Little Acorns @ Axminster

Axminster Community Primary Academy

Stoney Lane,

Axminster, Devon EX13 5BU

Phone: 01297 33005