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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The period from birth to the end of Reception is described as The Early Years Foundation Stage. It is a distinct stage and important in its own right in preparing children for later schooling.  Learning through playing and talking is at the forefront of The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Through play your child will be encouraged to learn new skills and practise skills they have already acquired.


The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is divided into 7 areas of learning and development.


The three prime curriculum areas are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development


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

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


The daily routine for the children will be to take part in activities covering all aspects of The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, sometimes individually, in small groups or as a whole class. The curriculum will be taught both indoors and outdoors. 


Communication and Language

This area of the curriculum has three main elements:

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking


Children will be given opportunities to talk about what they are doing, talk about their experiences and events in their lives. They will learn to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions, concentrate, answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions and listen attentively in a range of situations.


Physical Development

This area of the curriculum has two main elements:

  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care


Children learn to develop their gross motor skills (big muscles) by running, jumping, riding a bike, climbing on a climbing frame, kicking a ball, etc. By developing these skills children can develop their own fine motor skills (finger muscles) using a pencil, manipulating scissors, picking up small things, taking lids off pens, etc. It is also about keeping healthy and fit and being able to care for ourselves such as using the toilet and putting on our own coats.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area of the curriculum has three main elements:

  • Making relationships
  • Self- confidence and self awareness
  • Managing Feelings & Behaviours


Children learn to develop a positive sense of themselves, and build positive relationships with others and adults. They develop respect for others through social skills, learn how to manage their feelings by understanding appropriate behaviour and working co-operatively. Children learn to have confidence in their own abilities and be able to speak in a familiar group.



Children choose a Home Reader book and also select a library book to take home which is changed weekly. The Home Reader book should be read by your child and has been selected to match your children’s reading level and provide a challenge to move their reading forward. Please support your child at home by ensuring they read the Home Reader daily. It is helpful to talk about the illustrations, events, characters, the authors’ use of language and asking your child to predict what will happen. Further guidance can be found in the home school diary. Words that children use and encounter regularly in reading, such as I, they, he, she, etc... will be sent home for you to help your child to read and spell. Some of these words may be phonetically decodable (sounded out into pure sounds/Fred talk), although many are not and your child will need to learn to recall these by sight. These are known as tricky red words.


Read Write, Inc (RWInc)

Pupils in Reception take part in daily phonics, reading and writing sessions.  During these sessions, they learn the phonemes (sounds) and apply these when reading a range of texts appropriate to their ability. The sessions are followed up by simple comprehension and writing activities to help improve and consolidate the children’s reading and writing ability.


Further information about RWInc can be found on the Dfe website:



Mathematics is taught through lots of practical activities and games and has two main areas:

  • Numbers – children are taught counting skills, recognising and recording numbers to 20 and beyond.
  • Shape, Space and Measure – This involves discussion of shapes (2D & 3D) and their properties. We also compare different measures such as weight, capacity and size.


In the area of Number children work with numbers up to 20 and beyond, counting out objects, recognising and putting numbers in order to 20. They also learn to recognise who has the most and who has the least and begin to add and take away. As they move forward in this area they also solve problems and learn to double, half and share.

In the area of Shape, Space and Measures they learn to recognise and make patterns and order two or three items by length or height, weight or capacity. They also learn to name 2D and 3D shapes and know some words to describe the features of these shapes such as curved, straight, pointed, corners, edges, faces or sides. They are able to describe big, medium and small and can sequence familiar events using words such as yesterday, today and morning. Children can use positional language e.g. in, on, under, next, to, in between, in front, behind and begin to recognise money.


Understanding the World

This area of the curriculum has three main elements:

  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology


Children learn to make sense of their world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and their environment.


Expressive Arts and Design

This area of the curriculum has two main elements:

  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative


Children will learn to explore and use a variety of materials such as cutting with scissors and sticking with glue, using paint and different textures for collages. They will be  provided with 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.