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The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum


Children in Nursery and Reception follow the ‘Development matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ document.

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in Early Years Settings.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter connected.  Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. 

These three areas, the prime areas are –

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

  • Personal and Social Development.

We must also provide support in the specific areas of –

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive Arts and Design


Activities and experiences in Nursery and Reception may include:

Communication and Language

  • A rich language environment.

  • Opportunities to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.

  • Speaking and listening in a range of situations.

Physical Development

  • Opportunities to be active and interactive.

  • Developing co-ordination, control and movement.

  • Learning to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices.

Personal , Social and Emotional Development

  • Helping children develop a positive sense of themselves.

  • Forming positive relationships.

  • Developing respect for others.

  • Developing social skills.

  • Learning how to manage feelings.

  • Learning appropriate behaviours.



  • Encouraging children to link sounds and letters.

  • Beginning to read and write.

  • Access to a wide range of reading materials.



  • Developing and improving skills in counting, understanding and using numbers.

  • Calculating addition and subtraction problems.

  • Describing shapes, spaces and measures.


Understanding the world

  • Guiding children to make sense of their world and community.

  • Observing and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment.


Expressive arts and design

  • Exploring a wide range of media and materials.

  • Sharing thoughts, feelings and ideas through art, music, movement, dance , role-play, design and technology.

During your child’s time in Nursery and Reception they will have opportunities to learn about a range of topics.  These topics are not set as they are greatly influenced by the interests and abilities of the children in each class.

 ‘Normal’ early years topics may include ‘All about me’, learning about the different seasons and festivals that occur at different times of the year, ‘People that help us’ and ‘Animals and growth’.

Class teachers may also take topics that the class have become interested in from individual circumstances or experiences eg the circus or the theme of a popular film.