Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. Each child engages with other people and their environment by:

  1. Playing and exploring
  2. Active learning
  3. Creating and thinking critically

These are known as the Characteristics of Effective Learning and support your child to remain an effective and motivated learner. They are interconnected with the Areas of Learning and Development.

In the EYFS there are 7 areas of learning; 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.

Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

PSED 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 abilities.

We aim to help children to develop the skills of pro-social independent living, to spend time becoming emotionally and inter-personally competent, to learn to respect others and to be positive about learning. 

Personal, social and emotional development is crucial for every one of us, in all aspects of our lives, to enable us to succeed.

Communication & Language

This area of learning concerns communication, in a variety of situations and for different purposes.

Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development

This area of learning is inseparable from all other aspects of development, as children learn through being active and interactive.

Physical development provides the opportunities for children to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. As well as the importance of being physically healthy, children will learn how to make healthy choices in relation to food.

It helps children to develop a positive sense of well-being as they gain confidence in what they can physically achieve whilst also ensuring that they remain active and healthy.

Specific Areas


Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds to letters and to begin to read and write. Children will have access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest. They will be encouraged to make marks and become confident writers, producing more recognisable letters and words as they develop.


Mathematical understanding is developed through stories, songs, rhymes, games and imaginative play, giving children the opportunity to experiment and to become confident with numbers. 

Mathematical development is about the children becoming competent in using key skills. 

This area of learning includes counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures.

Understanding the World

Understanding 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, technology and the environment.

This takes place both indoors and outdoors to stimulate the children’s interest and natural curiosity. Within this area of learning the children are making sense of the world around them through the development of crucial knowledge, skills and understanding.

These form the foundations for future work in Science, Design and Technology, History, Geography and Information and Communication Technology in the National Curriculum.

Expressive Arts & Design

This area of development includes learning through art, music, dance, role play, imaginative play and design and technology with opportunities and encouragement for sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings.

Being creative is essential to successful learning as it allows children to make connections between areas of learning and thus extend their understanding.

We aim to provide the children with a stimulating environment where they are encouraged to be creative and original, using a variety of senses. We allow them the time to explore and develop their own ideas and place an emphasis on valuing what the children do.

Accessing Learning & Progress

Throughout the day, your child’s teacher and support staff will provide adult focused activities as well planned opportunities for your child to pursue their own learning ideas.  During these times, staff are observing, and noting what your child is able to do and understand as well as identifying areas where they may need more help.  These observations are collated into a Child’s Portfolio.  There will be opportunities for many informal discussions about your child’s progress as well as 3 formal opportunities during the year.  We encourage any parent who has concerns to speak to their child’s teacher or the Head Teacher at the earliest possible time.

At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (FS2), teachers will make a judgement about your child’s attainment, called the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.  Your child’s achievements will be reported to you in the annual end of year report.