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The Early Years Curriculum

Development Matters

Throughout their time in Early Years Foundation Stage (including their pre-school and reception years), planning, observation and assessment of your child will be carried out by the early years team using the Development Matters document.  This outlines the key skills and learning outcomes for each age and stage of development in the 7 areas of learning.  In EYFS these will be developed through continuous provision and directed teaching.

Please see the following link for the full Development Matters document .

What to Expect and When in the Early Years 2022

Writing Non-Negotiables 


     Pre School:

  • To use a pencil to make patterns
  • To move my arm in an anti-clockwise motion and to draw in an anti-clockwise motion
  • To hold my pencil using the correct pencil grip



  • To be able to say a sentence out loud
  • To use finger spaces when writing a sentence
  • To hold my pencil using the correct pencil grip
  • To form all of my lower case letters correctly 
  • To form the capital letters T, I and A


 Maths Non-Negotiables 


     Pre School:

  • To talk about numbers in the enviroment and numbers that are special to me
  • To use everyday language to describe shape and measures



  • To write numbers to 10 correctly
  • To count using 1:1 correnspondence to 20
  • To find one more or one less than a given number up to 20
  • To understand the vocabulary lots of, groups of, equal and share equally
  • To use the language half/halving in a practical activity

Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery / Reception) is for children aged three to five years old and is the first stage of their education. The key focus during this part of the national curriculum is on teaching them routine and easing them into the idea of learning in a structured environment. A lot of the activities your child will undertake will be play-based, with more formal teaching not starting until they begin Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2).

What is in the Foundation Stage?

The Foundation Stage was introduced in the 90s and a more experimental and play-based form of learning was brought in following lengthy research. This may be very different from your experience of starting school. The Foundation Stage recognises that children need to be able to use concrete experiences to provide the building blocks for their learning, so with that in mind it utilises play, modelling, painting, investigating and cooking as the mediums for learning.

What subjects will my child learn about?

There are seven learning areas for children at the Foundation Stage:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, social, and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  •  Physical development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding of the world
  • Expressive arts and design


Will my child be tested?

Children are assessed at the Foundation Stage, and the results are recorded as a Foundation Stage Profile. This profile enables teachers to see how your child has progressed and if they have reached the early learning goals set in each of the learning areas. Teachers will record your child's achievements throughout the Reception year based on their own observations.  Children in Reception will all take part in a Baseline assessment in the first term of school.  This is a practical assessment carried out by the class teacher.