Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

We implement the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (revised 2012) which recognises that children are born ready, able and eager to learn. The overarching principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage are:-


  • 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/carers

  • Learning and development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.


Play underpins all our curriculum planning with a balance between child initiated and adult led activities. It is through play whether spontaneous or supported by an adult that children develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.


Children are offered a broad and balanced Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which introduces them to a range of opportunities, both indoors and outdoors, in all the key Areas of Learning and Development and takes account of the characteristics of effective learning which are:-


Playing and Exploring – engagement

Finding out and exploring

Playing with what they know

Being willing to 'have a go'


Active Learning – motivation

Being involved and concentrating

Keeping trying

Enjoy achieving what they set out to do


Creating and thinking critically – thinking

Having their own ideas

Making links

Choosing ways to do things


All Areas of Learning are important and inter-connected and in particular three Prime Areas have been identified which provide a firm foundation from which the child is given the best opportunity to succeed in all the other areas of learning and in particular the Specific Areas of Learning & Development (See table below).


Area of Learning & Development


Prime Area


Personal Social & Emotional Development

Making relationships

Self confidence and self assurance

Managing feelings and behaviour


Physical Development

Moving and handling

Health and self care


Communication and Language

Listening and attention




Specific Areas








Shape, space and measurement


Understanding the World

People and communities

The World



Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials

Being imaginative


Each Area of Learning and Development is broken down into aspects and subsequent 'development matters' or outcomes and the Early Learning Goals, which show the knowledge, skills and understanding the children should acquire. Most children should have reached the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Foundation Stage - usually the end of the reception year in Primary School.  


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The pre-school environment encourages personal and social skill through forming relationships with others. Here they learn to share, co-operate, respect and take responsibility for themselves, other children and property. There are various opportunities for developing these skills such as:-

  • the home corner/role play area where they may play along side other children or be actively involved in negotiating what will happen next in their role play

  • Snack time where small group of children will sit down together

  • Circle time when they learn to listen to one another or an adult reading a story, sing songs either together or solo, play musical instruments and discuss anything the individual wishes to share.


These activities also develop a child’s confidence and independence.,


Physical Development

The children are able to develop their physical capabilities through being active and interactive, developing their co-ordination, control and movement. Such development is supported through a whole range of activities from ball games , riding trikes to dancing & moving to music and playing with construction toys, mark making, playdough and using equipment such as knives and spoons at snack time.


Communication Language

Here children are encouraged to communicate with one another and develop skills in talking, listening, and expressing themselves as well as opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations. Activities to promote these skills are story time, songs, rhymes and access to a range of books both fiction and non-fiction, together with topics and themes in the classroom


Literacy – involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write, so we ensure the children have access to a range of books both fiction and non fiction and are read to 1:1 and in groups. As well as having access to different writing materials such as blackboards & chalks, whiteboards, crayons, felt tip pens and paints. Children are encouraged to make marks and to begin to form letters in their own time


Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces and measures. These basic ideas of mathematics can be explored through water play, sand, pegboards, beads, dice games, number songs, puzzles and shop role play.


Understanding of 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. The children have the opportunity to learn about their world through role play - eg hairdressers, vets, restaurant, shop, small world play, celebrating a range of festivals and religious events through stories, sampling food and looking at clothes and craft activities and having access to a computer and the use of a digital camera.


Positive images of different ethnic origins, gender and abilities are used and resources are chosen to give children a balanced view of the world and an appreciation of the rich diversity of our multi-racial community. Materials are selected to help children to develop their self-respect and to respect other people by avoiding stereotypes of any group of people.


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 feeling through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology. The children are able to explore and be creative through a wide range of resources and activities such as painting, construction toys, collage, clay, dough and drawing. Their imaginations are also developed through role-play involving first hand experiences and dressing up.



Further information is available for parents in the following document :

What to expect in the EYFS: a guide for parents   



Other information about the EYFS can also be found in the following documents:

Birth to Five Matters: Non stautory guidance for the early years foundation stage.

Development Matters