Purley Pre-School


At Purley Pre-School we adhere to the statutory framework and standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), whose overarching principles shape our practice.

Guiding Principles:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and parents and/or carers.
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.  The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including those with special educational needs.

The learning and development requirements of the EYFS are informed by the best available evidence on how children learn and reflect the broad range of skills, knowledge and attitudes children need as foundations for good future progress and ready children to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them.

There are seven areas of learning defined by the EYFS, which shape the educational programmes provided at Purley Pre-School.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

There are three prime areas of learning and these are regarded as crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive and four specific areas of learning through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.



 1.      Communication and Language Development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich    language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

 2.      Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement.  Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

 3.      Personal Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.


 1.      Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.

 2.      Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating, simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

 3.      Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places technology and the environment.

 4.      Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.

More details about the EYFS can be found on www.foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/ or www.education.gov.uk

Communication and Language, and Literacy Development – Phase One: Letters and Sounds

At Purley Pre-school we concentrate on Phase One of the Letters and Sounds Programme which falls broadly within both Communication and Language Development, and Literacy Development in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Phase One concentrates on developing speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness, oral blending and segmenting. 

Phase One development is supported through various activities including:

  • Enjoying and sharing books and stories with children
  • Modelling listening and speaking skills
  • Observing and tracking children’s progress in order to plan effectively for the next steps in their development

Phase One is made up of seven aspects which involve activities to help children:

  • Listen
  • Enlarge their vocabulary
  • Speak confidently
  • Discriminate *phonemes
  • Reproduce phonemes they hear and in order
  • Use sound talk to segment words into phonemes

*A phoneme is the smallest unit of a sound.  For instance the word cat has three phonemes, C- A- T.

To support children in developing their phonological awareness and in addition to our other day to day activities, we use Read, Write, Inc. flashcards as part of a five-minute phonics session during our morning carpet time.  We concentrate on teaching the single letter sounds and at the same time, practice forming the letters in the air to support early reading and writing skills.  Children are also given opportunities to recreate the letters they have been shown using the various mark-making resources we have at pre-school.

More information on Letters and Sounds Phase 1 can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190537/Letters_and_Sounds_-_Phase_One.pdf

More information about Read, Write Inc. including a useful video on how to sound out letters, can be found here