Thornhill Primary School


Our Staff:

Foundation Stage Staff (ID 1178)



Aims of the Early Years Foundation

  • To encourage the development of self-esteem, a sense of achievement and self-confidence in a safe environment.
  • To encourage learning through direct experience.
  • To encourage independence, a sense of responsibility and the confidence to make decisions and choices.
  • To help children become aware of the needs of others through interaction with peer groups and adults.
  • To develop communication and language skills.


Welcome to Foundation Stage 1 

Foundation Stage 1 Booklet 



Welcome to Foundation Stage 2  

Foundation Stage 2 Booklet 


The EYFS Framework

The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development and provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

Children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development, these are split into Prime and Specific areas.


Children start developing in the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning, these weave through our Early Years Curriculum.


As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world 
  • Expressive arts and design.

All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities. We make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. 


The Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage states four guiding principles which should shape practice in the early years. These are : 

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured;
  • children can 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; and
  • 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 children with special educational needs and disabilities; 
  • The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment underpin learning and development across all areas. Adults and the considered use of the environment support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

What to expect in EYFS 


Charactersitics of Effective Learning

Integral to the EYFS Curriculum are the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) which are involved in all aspects of a child’s learning. They highlight the importance of a child’s attitude to learning and their ability to play, explore and think critically about the world around them. They detail the ways children should learn from their environment, their experiences and their activities and are important life skills that impact on lifelong learning. These characteristics are:

  • Playing and Exploring – how the child is engaging, finding out and exploring, using what they know in their play
  • Active Learning – the motivation behind the child’s learning, being involved and concentrating, keeping on trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do
  • Creating and Thinking Critically - the thought processes behind the child’s learning and new achievements, having their own ideas, using what they already know to learn new things, choosing ways to do things and finding new ways.

30 hours funding

All 3 and 4 year olds get 15 hours of free childcare.

However, some families may be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare.

Who is eligible?

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £167 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You can't get 30 hours free childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.


When can your child start?

Your child can start in their childcare place the term after they turn 3 years old and have received a valid 30 hours code, whichever is later. Term start dates are 1st September, 1stJanuary and 1st April.

To keep your 30 hours free childcare place you need to check your details are up to date every 3 months.


Where can you use it?

It's available at participating:

  • Full day care (e.g nurseries)
  • Schools
  • Childminders
  • Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)
  • Sure Start Children's Centres
  • After school clubs

Follow the link below which will support you in applying for 30 hours of free childcare.


15 hours funding for 2 years - information only as we do not have these places at Thornhill

There are some free childcare places for 2 year olds in Rotherham, your child may be entitled to a free place if you receive one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part 4 or 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not eligible for Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190 before tax
  • Working Tax Credits and have an annual income less than £16,190 before tax
  • Universal Credits and have an annual income of less than £15,400 after tax
  • Your child has a current statement of special educational needs.
  • Your child gets Disability Living Allowance
  • Your child has left care through special guardianship or adoption or a residency order
  • Your child is currently in the care of the Local Authority
  • If you're a non-EEA citizen with no recourse to public funds, with a household income of no more than:
     £26,500 for families outside of London with one child.
     £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children.
     A maximum capital threshold of £16,000 in all areas.

Follow the link to see how to apply -

Please note that we do not have 2 year places at Thornhill Primary School but there are many providers in the area that do.