Early Years

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Early Years

Our youngest pupils follow the EYFS curriculum throughout Early Years and up to year 2. The EYFS provides a set of common principles and standards for learning, development and care. The delivery of this curriculum is non-prescriptive although recommends a high level of free play and child-initiated opportunities for children to explore and engage in their environments and for practitioners to observe ‘how’ children learn as well as ‘what’ they have learnt. 

It allows us to have fun with the children, enjoy spontaneity and follow the individual children’s interests and specific needs. We are able to work closely with families, through regular Stay and Play sessions, home/school link books, parent meetings and through our online assessment tool Tapestry which the parents can access from home. 

Many of the children follow Speech and Language, physiotherapy and sensory programmes which all tie in nicely into the curriculum. All classes work closely with the therapists, nursing teams and other professionals to create the best approach for each individual. 

During the child’s time in the Early Years, teachers will be assessing and planning the best future curriculum pathway for each individual learner 

Teachers assess pupils within 7 areas of learning; made up of 3 prime areas which underpin the more specific areas of learning. Teachers will ensure competency in skills within the prime areas of learning before moving on to more specific areas. 

Prime Areas 

The Early Years Curriculum is made up of three prime areas where it is deemed that children need to master the skills from these areas in order to tackle the next more specific areas of learning. These areas are as follows; 

Personal, social and emotional development 

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

Communication and language 

  • Listening and attention 
  • Understanding 
  • Speaking 

Physical development 

  • Moving and handling 
  • Health and self-care 

Specific Areas 

There are four specific areas which enable the child to use their knowledge from the prime areas to practice and explore new skills built in an environment which is set up and suited to their needs. 


  • Reading 
  • Writing 


  • Numbers 
  • Shape and space 

Understanding the world 

  • People and communities 
  • The world 
  • Technology 

Expressive arts and design 

  • Exploring and using media and materials 
  • Being imaginative 

The Characteristics of Effective Learning 

The characteristics of effective learning and the prime and specific areas of learning are all interconnected. 

The characteristics describe how a child learns. 

It’s about the route the child takes in their learning and is less about the end product. 

Playing and exploring 

  • Finding out and exploring 
  • Playing with what they know 
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning 

  • Being involved and concentrating 
  • Keeping trying 
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically 

  • Having their own ideas 
  • Making links 
  • Choosing ways to do things 
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