Foundation Stage Unit

Pre-school and Reception Children


Welcome to the Foundation Stage Unit (FSU) at Tipton St John Church of England Primary School, which was created in April 2015.

About the FSU

At Tipton St John FSU, children of pre-school age (Squirrels) and school reception age (Owls) learn and play together sharing our well-resourced indoor and outdoor areas. The caring and experienced team endeavour to build on children’s strengths, interests and experiences by providing a stimulating and relevant curriculum following the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). As a church school, Christian values are central to our ethos and the children learn to value themselves and others in a happy, supportive and safe environment.

We recognise that children join the FSU with a wealth of experiences and skills that have been nurtured by their families. That is why a partnership between home and school is very important to us, and it is our aim to work closely with parents and carers to ensure the best outcome for all of the children in the FSU.


The FSU team

Mrs Naomi Garrick – Early Years Teacher

Mrs Jenny Bolton – Early Years Teacher

Mrs Lucy Marshall – Level 3 Foundation Stage Practitioner

All of the above have up-to-date training in Paediatric First Aid.

Opening Times & Visits

The FSU is open every school day from 9.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Please see the website or our brochure for further information. If you are interested in a place for your child or if you would like to come and visit, then please contact our School Office:

Telephone    01404 812943


New EYFS Reforms 2021:

New EYFS Reforms:

Parent and Carer Information

The government has made some reforms to the curriculum that early years children experience from birth to five years old.  The curriculum that your child will be taught from September 2021 will be the reformed version of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These national changes have been made to better support all young children’s learning and development in particular the outcomes for children in Communication and Language.

Changes to the educational programmes

Educational programmes, referred to by some people as the ‘early years curriculum’, are the areas of learning and development which must shape the activities and experiences that your children have in their early years setting, at all ages. At Tipton St John Primary School the staff have been working hard to use the new educational programmes to design an exciting and engaging approach to our curriculum so that is right for the children who attend our settings.

The 7 areas of learning and development remain the same.

The 3 prime areas:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

The 4 specific areas:

  • literacy
  • maths
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

The changes

Changes have been made to the wording in the educational programmes. Specifically, this means:

  • they are longer, there is more depth, and they contain examples of things that we can all (staff and parents) do with children to enable them to build a depth and breadth of knowledge skills and understandings;
  • there is an increased focus on early language and extending vocabulary, with more examples on how to embed and develop vocabulary skills across all 7 areas.

The aim of this is to improve outcomes for children as they progress through the EYFS and on into the next stages of education.

Changes to the wider EYFS

There are some elements of the EYFS that have not significantly changed and some that have. Below are some of the key points from the new EYFS reforms that include relevant changes which parents, carers and children may notice or experience.

  • Staff will be spending less time on large amounts of written observations and assessments for evidence collection. This means they can spend more time supporting and engaging with the children and their learning and development needs. You may notice that the quantity of observations on Tapestry reduce. Our focus, going forwards, is going to be on recording significant progression.
  • Children will no longer be assessed against statements from an age band category. Instead, staff will use their experience and knowledge to monitor if a child’s learning and development is on track for their age. Again, on Tapestry you will no longer see these age bands – such as 40-60+ used as part of the assessments on observations.
  • There are still Early Learning Goals – the assessment used at the end of the Reception year, however these have changed. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with these by looking at the statutory guidance document found on this page. Previously the assessment of the Early Learning Goals has included an ‘exceeding’ statement – used to indicate children who have surpassed the content of the Early Learning Goals. This has been removed in the reforms. Children will instead be challenged to have a greater depth of understandings about the concepts and skills they have built up over their time in pre-school and Reception.
  • Safeguarding and welfare of children is still a priority, with the added mention of teaching children about the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.

What we do in the FSU.

Curriculum Documents for Reception Owls

Reception Owls: Progression in the 3 Prime Areas

Reception Owls Progression in the 4 Specific Areas

Curriculum Documents for Pre-School Squirrels

Pre-School Squirrels: Progression in the 3 Prime Areas

Usual Information

Tipton FSU brochure

Tipton St John FSU Application Form


Policy on Admission to Tipton St John FSU

Lighting Up Young Brains

Early Years Funding

Childcare Choices