EYFS Curriculum

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EYFS Curriculum

We work from the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old. All schools and Ofsted registered early years providers must follow the EYFS.

The four guiding principles

There are four guiding principles in the EYFS, we believe it is important that these principles are used when implementing the seven learning and development areas in the EYFS.

The principles are: -

  1. That every child is unique
  2. That every child can learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  3. That children learn and develop best in enabling environments
  4. That children develop and learn in different ways

There are seven areas of learning and development. The areas are: -

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Developmen
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Mathematics
  • Literacy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts & Design


The main components of each of the seven areas are: -

Personal, Social and Emotional experiences are about:

  • Self-confidence & awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour
  • Making relationships

Physical Development experiences are about:

  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care

Communication and Language experiences are about:

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

Literacy experiences are about:

  • Reading
  • Writing

Mathematics experiences are about

  • Numbers
  • Shapes, space and measures

Understanding the World experiences are about:

  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology

Expressive Arts & Design experiences are about:

  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative

At Edenfield Nursery School we intend that our ambitious and inclusive curriculum educates all the children in knowledge, skills and understanding, to be effective, inquisitive, curious, independent learners and influence their wider thinking across all areas of the curriculum. Fundamental British Values (see below) are at the heart of our curriculum and everything we do, we focus on promoting the more general concepts within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and understand that the children’s development within these areas is key to promoting the values in the long term. We endeavour to give the children the Cultural Capital (see below) they need for future success i.e. giving each child the best start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success. We are passionate about creating opportunities for children to communicate more easily through developing language and communication skills and specifically teaching vocabulary. We wish our children to believe in themselves and their abilities and capabilities, to belong to the school learning community and the wider community and to become successful in their academic career and beyond. 

It is our intention that children experience the seven areas of learning through a balance of whole class/group teaching and play based learning. This is through the children’s interests, topics, themes, continuous provision activities, and phonics. Learning is carefully planned by the staff to support communication and language development; personal, social and emotional development; and physical development as well as literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design.

At Edenfield Nursery School we encourage children to demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours to learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

Our curriculum is designed to recognise their prior learning by providing first-hand learning experiences and allowing the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers to enable them to challenge themselves. We ensure the content of the curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners and is taught in a logical progression so that children build on prior learning. We plan through a topic-based approach on an annual basis, but these plans are adapted and amended to address the ever growing and changing needs and interests of all our children.

We understand to maintain high standards of quality first teaching we have to invest in our staff by providing high quality Continued Professional Development (CPD) to match the current needs of the staff and also to match the needs of our children. Teachers and Teaching Assistants at Edenfield Nursery School create an environment to match the needs and skill levels of our children and use their own teacher assessments and gap analysis to inform their planning and the quality provision.

We recognise that language and communication are vital in all areas of a child’s development. We welcome children from culturally diverse backgrounds and many of our children are at an early stage of learning English as an additional language (EAL). Communication and language development are therefore a consistent focus. We support children’s development by providing a rich language environment, where conversations, singing and sharing stories become a regular part of the children’s day.

In addition to Letters and Sounds (below) we have ‘core books’ which we read frequently with the children. These books are the type of books that can be re-visited again and again, on different levels to support language development. The idea is that children will develop language and increase vocabulary in addition to gaining a love of books and will become very familiar with these known texts so that they can remember and re-tell them. Our core books are:

  • We're going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen
  • Peace at Last Jill Murphy
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear Bill Martin Fr.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
  • The Tiger who came to tea Judith Kerr
  • Whatever Next! Jill Murphy

We also have ‘core rhymes’ which support language development. Each week, a rhyme of the week is chosen, and the children chant or sing the rhyme at group times. By the time the children leave nursery they are familiar with each core rhyme. Our core rhymes are:

  • Twinkle, twinkle little star
  • Hickory dickory dock
  • Jack and Jill
  • Hey diddle diddle
  • Humpty dumpty
  • Incy wincy spider
  • Baa Baa black sheep
  • Mary Mary quite contrary
  • I’m a little tea pot
  • Tommy thumb
  • 12345 once I caught a fish alive

Our Nursery School considers the all-round development of children. Our children are immersed in lots of practical, first-hand learning experiences through which they are encouraged to explore, experiment and develop their language. The children use both the indoor and outdoor classroom during teacher directed and child-initiated times. We have a particular love for outdoor learning and each day we go outdoors to learn about our outdoor environment.

We believe learning through play is vital, we use the environment to ensure the children’s needs are met through continuous provision, enhanced provision and following their interests. Staff teach an objective through whole class, small group teaching and going into provision to observe children’s play and move learning forward at that point. They record ‘snapshot’ evidence of children’s learning to build an overall picture and set next steps for learning. Formative assessment takes place within every session and helps staff to identify any children that needs more support to achieve the objective and those that need challenging. This may be instantaneous if appropriate. Although EYFS has a separate curriculum we are keen to make sure our children are prepared for the next chapter in their school life.

At Edenfield Nursery School we believe ‘happy children learn’ and the enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Our children feel safe to try new things.

The broad and balanced curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual children including EAL, SEND and disadvantaged, and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first teaching supported by targeted interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to be impacting in a very positive way on pupil outcomes. We endeavour for pupils to be Reception ready and prepared for the next phase at primary school. We consistently receive positive feedback from feeder schools and parents about how our children are 'school ready' when they make the transition to primary school. The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations by the end of Nursery. The impact of our curriculum will also, in fact, be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.

Fundamental British Values are at the heart of everything we do at Edenfield Nursery School. There are four British Values that we promote: Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Democracy, Mutual tolerance and respect. These four values all fit within the categories of Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PESD) and Understanding of the World (UTW).

  • Help children understand boundaries and acceptable behaviour
  • Help children think about keeping safe away from danger
  • Ensure that children understand their own and other’s behaviour and the consequences and learn to distinguish right from wrong
  • Collaborate with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviours e.g. the rules about tidying up and that children understand rules apply to everyone

Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED)

  • Managing feelings and behaviour


Making decisions together

  • Build children’s self-esteem, self-awareness and self confidence
  • Build children’s ability and willingness to say what they want/need and to speak up for themselves knowing they will be listened to
  • Support the decisions that children make and provide opportunities that allow taking turns, sharing and collaboration
  • Respect each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings e.g. when they need/don’t need help

Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED)

  • Self- Confidence and Self-Awareness
  • Help children understand that they have the right to feel safe and not frightened
  • Help children to understand feelings and teach the language of feelings
  • Teach children to say ‘no’ if they don’t like/want to do something
  • Encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand that we are free to have different opinions
  • Develop a positive sense of themselves. Provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem, and increase their confidence in their own abilities

Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED)

  • Self- Confidence and Self-Awareness

Understanding of the World

  • People and Communities

Mutual tolerance and respect

Treat others as you want to be treated

  • Help children deal with conflicts by talking, explaining their motives and negotiating e.g. help with sharing toys
  • Teach children to treat others as they would want to be treated themselves
  • Share stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources, activities and trips that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping
  • Teach the children about cultural events and festivals

Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED)

  • Managing feelings and behaviour

Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED)

  • Making relationships

Understanding of the World

  • People and Communities

In Nursery School we use the Letters and Sounds Phase 1 materials to promote, encourage and enhance children's early phonics skills. There are a series of games and activities included in the document which can be used 1-1 or in small groups. It is very important that children are able to discriminate between different sounds before being able to sound them out verbally. There are seven aspects to Phase 1 which we plan to cover during your child's time with us.

Throughout Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds children will:

  • develop their language structures;
  • increase their vocabulary;
  • begin to distinguish between sounds in words;
  • speak clearly and audibly;
  • become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration;
  • listen attentively;
  • explore and experiment with sounds and words;

Activities to support learning in Phase 1 include:

  • storytelling;
  • singing songs;
  • listening to rhymes and repeating patterns and refrains;
  • playing alliterative games;
  • using creative language in role play, drama and dance;
  • identifying sounds in names, words in the environment etc.

At Edenfield Nursery School, we believe that Cultural Capital is about giving each child the best start in life and the support needed to enable them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success. We recognise that children arrive at our nursery having had different experiences to others, and we aim to address any inequalities so that children are not limited by their social or economic circumstances. We see each child as an individual and tap into their interests in order to build upon their knowledge and skills, and introduce them to aspects of our wonderful world that are new to them or have yet to experience.

It is our intention to provide a curriculum which develops language, specifically teaches vocabulary, enhances and broadens experiences and opportunities for all children, particularly for our most vulnerable young learners. Our curriculum is pitched so that it offers a range of experiences, both indoors and outdoors, which engage, enthuse and enlighten. Our intention is to provide a culture of curiosity through magical moments and to support the children to develop the dispositions and attitudes that enable them to learn effectively. We believe that if all children have the opportunity to become good at learning, this will prepare them for future success.

Adults at Edenfield Nursery School have a wealth of experience which means high quality delivery of our intentions is possible and successful. This includes: forging strong relationships; working with other professionals; working with parents and the wider community; being highly inclusive; meeting children's needs; learning styles and interests; understanding the individual and diverse ways that children develop and learn; and their knowledge and understanding in order to actively support and extend children’s learning in and across all seven areas of learning. We communicate with parents face to face regularly, our online learning journal Tapestry, helps us to seek parent's opinions about their child and facilitate shared experiences.

We prepare our children (and families) for what comes next. We consistently receive positive feedback from feeder schools and parents about how our children are 'school ready' when they make the transition to primary school.

We will continually reflect on what we offer our young children to ensure that we remain focused in our ambition to give children the essential knowledge that they need to prepare them for future success.

To enquire about a place or arrange a tour - Call: 01282 931 354