Early Years Foundation Stage

 How children in Early Years learn

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework explains how and children in our Early Years setting will be learning to support their healthy development.

Children will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

Communication and Language

Physical Development

and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

These prime areas are those most essential for young children's healthy development and future learning.

 As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:



Understanding the world

and Expressive arts and design

These 7 areas are used to plan children's learning and activities using cross curricular topics as well as some subjects specific teaching such as phonics.  The professionals teaching and supporting the children make sure that the activities are suited to each child's unique needs.  Our Early Years curriculum is designed to be flexible so that staff can follow children's needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors. 

In addition to the Early Years framework, our Foundation Stage curriculum also follows the principles of intent that our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculums are designed around.  To read more about our whole school curriculum design please click here.


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, academic 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

 2. Opportunities for Learning

We incorporate a range of varied learning opportunities to develop children’s interest and engagement including experiences beyond the Early Years expectations.

3. A Coherently planned academic curriculum

Underpinned by the three drivers, our academic curriculum sets out:

  1. A clear list of the breath of topics to be covered
  2. The key concepts pupils should understand by the end of the Foundation Stage known as 'The Early Learning Goals'
  3. Criteria for progression within these key concepts using the 'Development Matters' guidance for age appropriate development across the curriculum.


Foundation Stage Curriculum Overview

We operate a two year rolling programme in our Nursery classes (Cycle A and Cycle B).  This is because some of our Nursery children may be with us over more than one academic year and this ensure a variation of learning experiences.  Our Reception classes follow a one year planning cycle.

Topic planning is based on a question based theme approach but is flexible to allow child initiated interests to lead the learning.   

Please click on the link below to see the long term plan for both Cycles A and B for Nursery.

 Early Years Long Term Grid

Please click here to see the plan for our Reception cycle of learning.

Reception Long Term Grid

 You will find more detail about each current topic  in the 'This Term' pages for Reception and Nursery.  Please also see the Topic work pages Reception and Nursery.


In addition to the topic approach to covering the curriculum, children also have weekly Literacy and Mathematics activities.  

Foundation Stage children also follow the whole school approach to teaching writing called 'Talk for Writing' and the 'Letters and Sounds' programme of learning for phonics.  

Please click here to read more about 'Talk for Writing'.

Please click here to see the long term plan that Foundation Stage follow for Talk Writing - This plan is currently under review and an update will be posted in the autumn.