Early Years Foundation Curriculum (EYFS)


Adults who help children to play are adults who help children to learn.”

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of Reception. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning in an environment where they feel secure and safe.

At Kilmorie, we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and have their own learning styles. In the EYFS, there are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational provision in Early Years settings. We value all areas of learning equally and understand that they are often 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 are the Prime Areas and they continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.

Prime Areas

Communication and Language

The children will learn to:

  • develop their listening and concentration skills
  • develop their understanding of language
  • express themselves effectively in a variety of situations

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The children will learn to:

  • become self-confident
  • have awareness of their own feelings and feelings of others
  • take an interest in things
  • become independent
  • tell the difference between right and wrong

Physical Development

The children will learn to:

  • move confidently
  • control their body
  • handle equipment, including scissors, pencils, cooking utensils
  • manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing and undressing independently
  • handle equipment and resources safely

The curriculum also consists of four Specific Areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. They provide essential skills and knowledge, providing important contexts for learning.

Specific Areas


The children will learn to:

  • develop an understanding of stories and non-fiction
  • hear and say sounds, and link them to the alphabet
  • read and write familiar words and sentence
  • Phonics

Reception, Year 1 and 2 children are taught according to the Letters and Sounds programme. Daily phonics lessons last for 15-20 minutes and directly follow the phases and teaching programmes detailed in Letters and Sounds. All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/tricky words, and application of new skills. It is an active, multi-sensory session and in the early phases Jolly Phonics actions are used to help children remember the sounds. It is essential that each phonics lesson includes the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing. Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and apply these skills to their independent reading and writing. Some children will receive additional support in class, in addition to whole class phonic sessions.


The children will learn to:

  • develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play
  • become comfortable with numbers and everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems
  • be aware of shapes and space

Knowledge of the World

The children will:

  • explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it
  • know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for
  • find out about past events in their lives and their families’ lives
  • find out about different cultures and beliefs

Expressive Arts and Design

The children will explore:

  • Colours and textures
  • making things
  • imaginative play
  • making music and singing songs

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The ways in which children learn are as important as what they are learning and are pivotal to enable them to live as effective learners throughout life.

Playing and exploring – Through play, children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations. We deliver learning for all of the areas through purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led, adult-initiated and child-initiated activities.

Active learning – Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.

Creating and thinking critically – Children are given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.

Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is an integral part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and vital for children’s development and we encourage children to go outdoors in all kinds of weather.  Physical activity and energetic play provide exercise, encourage co-ordination and help children develop physical skills, such as climbing, balancing, doing up their coats and writing/mark-making, etc. Through outdoor play children have unique opportunities to play co-operatively – sharing resources, turn taking, negotiating, communicating ideas and developing friendships and self-esteem.


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