Overview of the EYFS curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a very important stage in a child’s life. 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 Throughout the Nursery and Reception year children will partake in an ambitious curriculum which is designed in a sequential way to ensure progress towards our end of year curricular goals.  Our curriculum incorporates everything we want the children to experience, learn and be able to do. It meets all the requirements of the educational programmes in the statutory framework for the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021, and has the flexibility to allow and respond quickly to children’s new interests and/or needs. Our intent for our children to enter the next stage of their education ready to tackle new challenges with confidence and a positive mind-set.

The four guiding principles help to shape our approach:

  • 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
  • The learning and development of each child will be different

We plan and support the children in developing the Characteristics of Effective learning and acknowledge these are an important part of how children play and learn both indoors and outdoors.

  • Playing and exploring– children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
  • Active learning– children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
  • Creating and thinking critically– children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The EYFS covers seven different areas of learning. We believe children learn best through play, first- hand experiences and talk. We ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. Staff plan engaging activities based on the children’s developmental needs and interests. Our indoor and outdoor environments support the children in all areas of learning to develop skills, acquiring knowledge and demonstrate their understanding. Planned first-hand experiences such as cookery, visitors, trips, celebration days and sport coach sessions also provide additional, rich learning opportunities for the children. All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected.

Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.

These are the three prime areas:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) – Sense of Self, Understanding Emotions, Making Relationships  

Communication and  Language (CL) – Listening, Attention and Understanding, Speaking

Physical Development (PD) – Moving and Handling, Health and Self-care

The four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:

Literacy (L) – Reading, Writing

Mathematics (M) – Number,  Shape, Space and Measures

Understanding the World (UW) – People and Communities, The Natural World

Expressive Art and Design (EAD) – Creating with Materials,  Being Imaginative and Expressive

Communication and Language – This area of learning involves giving children opportunities to experience a language rich environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; to ask questions and offer explanations for why things might happen and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development – This area of learning involves providing children opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; to develop their co-ordination, control and movement both on a large and small scale from climbing to using a pencil to write.  Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, Social & Emotional development – This area of learning 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 ability to try new activities and show independence, resilience and persevering with a challenge.

Literacy – This area of learning involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest. Children sing rhymes and retell stories in their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.

Mathematics – This area of learning involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating number bonds and simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Understanding the world – This area of learning 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. They also compare their similarities and differences.

Expressive Arts & Design – This area of learning 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.

The Learning Context

We believe that teaching and learning should be relevant, imaginative, motivating, enjoyable and challenging. We have a structured curriculum, which allows children to become involved in experiences, which are often based on real life situations, and their own experiences. In order to maximise children’s interests we have six exciting learning contexts, one per half term, through which the above seven areas of learning will be delivered.

Term Nursery Reception
Autumn 1 Look at me! Marvellous Me and My Home
Autumn 2 Let’s Celebrate All Around the World
Spring 1 Once upon a time Frozen Lands
Spring 2 On the farm Off we Go!
Summer 1 Me and My Outdoor World Our Garden
Summer 2 People who help us All creatures Great and Small


The school follows a broad and balanced curriculum, in line with the National Curriculum 2014, focused on meeting age related expectations and developing potential in every child. The curriculum is delivered in a cross curricular way using a 2 year rolling programme. Lessons are taught using a combination of whole class teaching, group work and individual work. By utilising a creative approach to our curriculum we aspire to foster a love of learning in all children.

Reading and phonics

The school teaches reading and phonics using the Read Write Inc teaching programmes.

The school uses the Read Write Inc reading books to teach Guided Reading and for home readers.