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Early Years Curriculum

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and together we aim to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

Below are the four guiding principles that shape the practice in our Nursery and Reception classes:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. 

Areas of learning and development

There are seven areas of learning and development in the early years which are all important and are all 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; and 
  • personal, social and emotional development.

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

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world; and
  • expressive arts and design.

The ways in which the children engage with other people and their environment - playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically - underpin learning and development across all areas and support children to remain effective and motivated learners.

The table below shows how the characteristics of effective learning support children's learning and development across all areas.

To find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage and the seven areas of learning please download the 'Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage' document below.