Early Year's Curriculum

"Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments."  EYFS Development Matters, 2012

The revised EYFS Curriculum has seven Areas of Learning.  These are split into three Prime Areas and four Specific Areas. The seven Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development are interconnected with the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These identify the ways in which a child engages with other people and their environment – Playing and Exploring, Active Learning, and Creating and Thinking Critically – underpinning learning and development across all areas and supporting the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.


The 3 Prime Areas

The Prime areas are fundamental, work together and develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences. They run through and support learning in all other areas and continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making Relationships -

Children learn to play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They begin to take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness -

Children become confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They become confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They learn to say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing Feelings and Behaviour -

Children begin to talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They learn work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.


Communication and Language

Listening and Attention -

Children learn to listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They begin to give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understanding -

Children begin to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They start to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speaking -

Children learn to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They begin to use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They start to develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


Physical Development

Moving and Handling -

Children develop good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They begin to move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They learn to handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and Self-Care –

Children learn the importance for good health, of physical exercise and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They learn to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


The 4 Specific Areas

The Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.



Reading –

Children learn to read and understand simple sentences. They begin to use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also start to read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Writing –

Children learn to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also begin to write some irregular common words and simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.



Numbers –

Children learn to count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they begin to add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They learn to solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, Space and Measure –

Children start to use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They learn to recognise, create and describe patterns. They begin to explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.


Understanding the World

People and Communities –

Children begin to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They start to understand that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The World –

Children learn about about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They begin to talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They start to make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology –

Children begin to recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They learn to select and use technology for particular purposes.


Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and Using Media and Materials –

Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They learn how to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being Imaginative –

Children begin to use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They learn to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.