Curriculum Design - Early Years Foundation Stage

Curriculum Design Statement For EYFS: intent, implementation, impact


The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:

  • To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens
  • To provide rich diverse and engaging opportunities for learning
  • To provide a coherent, structured curriculum that leads to sustained mastery and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable
  1. Appropriate experiences

We have developed three curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the particular needs of our school community:

Citizenship – which helps our pupils to be an active, responsible member of our school, the locality, our country and the world

Ambition – which help pupils to build aspirations and know available possibilities for their future lives

Resilience – which helps our pupils to overcome difficulties and use their initiative to solve problems and further their learning.

In the Early Years and KS1, the drivers of ‘ambition’ and ‘resilience’ are promoted through two ‘Achievosaurs’ (which link directly to the Characteristics of Effective Learning). Citizenship is promoted through the ‘Super Citizen’ character. Children are taught daily to identify the learning behaviours of these characters within themselves and are encouraged to participate in activities and play that embed them.

  1. Opportunities for Learning

We incorporate a range of varied learning opportunities in both our settings to develop children’s interest and engagement including experiences beyond the expectations of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

  1. A Coherently planned curriculum

Underpinned by the three drivers, our Early Years curriculum sets out to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Curriculum by:

  1. Planning topics over the long term which provide opportunity to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, covering all 17 strands of the curriculum and providing opportunity to meet the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage
  2. selecting outcomes that are developmentally appropriate and emphasise which skills and knowledge children should understand
  3. showing criteria for progression within the Development Matters document
  4. providing opportunities for repetition and the revisiting of key skills and knowledge

Sustained Mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories.  This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term.  Assessment, therefore, answers two main questions:

How well are pupils coping with the curriculum content?

How well are they retaining previously taught content?


The curriculum sets high expectations for all children, however for some pupils with high levels of special educational needs or disabilities then a more personal approach to the curriculum is designed.  This is done on an individual basis that targets children personal targets, needs and next steps for learning.


Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; two main principles underpin it:

  • Learning is most effective with repetition
  • Retrieval of previously learned threshold concepts and skills is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

In addition to the three principles, we also understand that deep learning is invisible in the short-term and sustained mastery takes time.

Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross-curricular approach.  Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, class discussions and areas of play-based provision indoors and outdoors, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practise for previously learned content. Carefully planned enhanced provision and focussed tasks, provide the children with opportunities to deepen and embed their knowledge by applying skills independently.


The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, the majority of pupils are ‘school ready’,  having mastered key skills and curriculum content with some pupils having a greater depth of understanding.  We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.