Back to Home Page

The Pre-School Centre, University of Cumbria, Bowerham Road, Lancaster, LA1 3JD
About Us
About Us
Our News
Contact Us

What We Offer

Early Years Foundation Stage Policy


We aim to provide the highest quality care and education for all our children thereby giving them a strong foundation for their future learning. We create a safe and happy environment with motivating and enjoyable learning experiences that enable children to become confident and independent. We value the individual child and work alongside parents and others to meet their needs and help every child to reach their full potential.

As outlined in the EYFS ‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child's experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.’

The following documents should be read in conjunction with this policy: Admissions Policy, Health and Safety Policy, Equal Opportunities Policy; Behaviour Policy; Parents as Partners Policy; Key Person.

We adhere to the Statutory Framework of the EYFS and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings. 

  • 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/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates

Principles into practice

As part of our practice we: 

  • Provide a balanced curriculum, based on the EYFS, across the seven areas of learning, using play as the vehicle for learning
  • Promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. We provide early intervention for those children who require additional support
  • Work in partnership with parents and within the wider context
  • Plan challenging learning experiences, based on the individual child, informed by observation and assessment
  • Provide opportunities for children to engage in activities that are adult-initiated and child-initiated, supported by the adult
  • Have a key person approach to develop close relationships with individual children
  • Provide a secure and safe learning environment indoors and out

Foundation Stage Curriculum

We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observation of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed the early learning goals. 

All the seven areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas are the prime areas:

Communication and Language
Physical Development
Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children are also supported through the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific  areas are:

Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design

Children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful first-hand experiences in which they explore, think creatively and are active. We aim to develop and foster positive attitudes towards learning, confidence, communication and physical development.

As a team, we develop long and medium term plans using the EYFS, based on a series of topics each of which offers experiences in all seven areas.  (Please see our plans for more details.) These plans then inform our short-term weekly planning, alongside our observations, which remains flexible for unplanned circumstances or children’s responses.

Practitioners working with the youngest children in Nursery will focus strongly on the three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively, and become ready for school. The balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as the children move through the Pre-School Centre and grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.

Children have whole group and small group times which increase as they progress through the EYFS with times for a daily phonics session using ‘Letters and Sounds’, teaching aspects of Mathematics and Literacy, including shared reading and writing. Wellcomm screening is used to ensure that children’s understanding is at the appropriate level and support will be accessed if needed.

The curriculum is delivered using a play-based approach as outlined by the EYFS.

'Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities'

We plan a balance between children having time and space to engage in their own child-initiated activities and those that are planned by the adults. During children’s play, early years practitioners interact to stretch and challenge children further.

In planning and guiding children's activities, we reflect as practitioners on the different ways that children learn and incorporate these in our practice.

We create a stimulating environment to encourage children to free-flow between inside and out.

Observation and Assessment

As part of our daily practice we observe and assess children’s development and learning to inform our future plans. We record our observations in a variety of ways. Everyone is encouraged to contribute and discussions take place. Significant observations of children’s achievements are collated in their own personal learning journey, which are shared with parents.

Within the final term at the Pre-School Centre, we provide the parent’s with a report based on their child's development against each of the Early Learning Goals and the characteristics of their learning.


Children’s safety and welfare is paramount. We create a safe and secure environment and provide a curriculum which teaches children how to be safe, make choices and assess risks. We have stringent policies, procedures and documents in place to ensure children’s safety.

We promote the good health of the children in our care in numerous ways, including the provision of nutritious food, following set procedures when children become ill or have an accident.  

Please see our separate policies and procedures on Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Illness and Injury.


We value all our children as individuals at the Pre-School Centre, irrespective of their ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, background, ability or gender.We plan a curriculum that meet the needs of the individual child and support them at their own pace so that most of our children achieve and even exceed the Early Learning Goals. We strongly believe that early identification of children with additional needs is crucial in enabling us to give the child the support that they need and in doing so, work closely with parents and outside agencies. See our separate policy on Equality of Opportunity.

Parents as Partners and the Wider context

We strive to create and maintain partnership with parents and carers as we recognise that together, we can have a significant impact on a child’s learning. We welcome and actively encourage parents to participate confidently in their child’s education and care in numerous ways (see our Parents as Partners policy.) 

Working with other services and organisations is integral to our practice in order to meet the needs of our children. At times we may need to share information with other professionals to provide the best support possible.

We draw on our links with the community to enrich children’s experiences by taking them on outings/inviting members of the community into our setting.


Transitions are carefully planned for and time given to ensure continuity of learning. At any transition, we acknowledge the child’s needs and establish effective partnerships with those involved with the child and other settings, including nurseries and childminders. Children attend settling in sessions to the Pre-School Centre to develop familiarity with the setting and practitioners. An “All About Me” book is given to Parents/Carers to ensure that the nursery has some background information on the child.

Prior to the children leaving the Pre-School Centre transition meeting will be held with as many schools as possible. The children’s learning journey and development records will be passed to Parent/Carers and a copy of the development records for the school.

Local Offer

Download our Local Offer [PDF]

30 hours funding

The Pre School Centre is registered for the Early Years Education Grant and we now offer the 30 hours funding.


Download our latest Prospectus


Tel: 01524 63124 | Email: | Information Request Form