The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

From September 2012 we have been following the new Statutory Framework from the Early Years Foundation Stage. There are seven areas of learning and development. Pupils learn through a mixture of adult led and child initiated activities.

Three areas are particularly important for igniting children’s’ natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn and form relationships. These three prime areas are:

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.

Ways to help your child:

  • Talk to your child and listen to what they say. Encourage them to listen to others.
  • Provide opportunities to explore mark making on paper.
  • Encourage your child to use pens, chalks, pencils, crayons and paints.

Physical Development

Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Ways to help your child:

  • Provide opportunities for running, climbing and chasing.
  • Help them to use a knife and fork.
  • Practice dressing and undressing independently including changing their own shoes.
  • Play with construction sets, small world toys and threading games.
  • Encourage the use of scissors- cutting and sticking activities.
  • Practice throwing, catching or rolling a ball.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

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.

Ways to help your child:

  • Encourage your child to try new activities.
  • Encourage independent dressing and undressing.
  • Encourage them to take turns and increase concentration by playing card games, board games and party games.
  • Encourage them to tidy away activities.

There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are applied. The specific areas are:


Development 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 materials to ignite their interest. Children also begin to follow a highly structured reading and spelling programme, ReadWriteInc, in their Reception Year to help them develop their independent reading and writing skills.

Ways to help your child:

  • Help your child to recognise their name.
  • Share books, talk about the pictures, read and discuss the story. Visit the library and help your child to choose their own books.
  •  Read and discuss signs and notices in the environment.
  • Attend the ReadWriteInc parents’ evening in the Autumn Term so you can understand how we sound out letters.


Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting; understanding and using numbers; calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; describing shapes and using different forms of measurement.

Ways to help your child:

  • Observe numbers, patterns and shapes in the environment and during daily routines.
  • Compare size, length and weight of objects.
  • Play games- dominoes, jigsaws, number card games and play dice games.

Understanding the World

Involves guiding children to make a sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Ways to help your child:

  • Provide opportunities found in everyday situations to give opportunities to explore, observe, predict, make decisions, discuss and question the world around them.

Expressive Arts & Design

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, design and technology, dance and role-play.

Ways to help your child:

  • Provide opportunities to use crayons, paints and dough.
  • Encourage dressing up games, using lego, dolls, play mobile etc in imaginative play.
  • Experiment with simple percussion instruments and other sources of sound.
  • Sing songs, nursery rhymes and dance.