Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed by the Nursery and Reception classes at St Joseph's School.

 The care and education of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follow statutory requirements and guidance given by Government.

Please click here to view the EYFS Statutory Framework

Please click here to see the 'Child Development Overview.'


Further information about the topics we cover in Nursery and Reception class can be found on each of the class pages. Please click here to view the class pages.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

This is the statutory framework for all children aged between 0 and 5 years. It provides a planning framework for all the children at St Joseph's School.


The early years curriculum is organised into 7 areas of learning.

For each area of learning there is a set of developmental stages and early learning outcomes which describe what each child is expected to be learning at each stage. An overview of the main outcomes of these areas is available by clicking the 'Child Development Overview' above.

Teachers and Early Years Practitioners plan the curriculum to ensure the children make good progress towards the early learning goals which children are expected to reach by the end of the Reception class. At St Joseph's School, we support all children to make the best possible progress and achieve their highest potential by the time they leave us. This may be at the end of Nursery, or as they leave Reception to move into Y1.


There are 7 areas of learning:


3 Prime areas of learning

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

4 Specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design





Communication and Language

• Listening and Attention: Children learn to listen to each other and adults individually and in small and large groups. They listen and join in with stories and rhymes every day with enjoyment and relevant responses.

• Understanding: Children develop understanding of language through their play and exploration they respond to questions, they explore, predict, explain, describe… They learn to follow instructions to extend their learning.

• Speaking: Children are given a rich range of real experiences and activities to talk about. They take part in planning and recall activities enabling them to talk about past experiences and plan the future


Physical Development                     

• Moving and Handling: learning and improving skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement in large and small movements e.g. climbing, jumping and using pencils and scissors.

• Health and self-care: Children learn about the importance of good health, physical exercise and healthy diet. They enjoy the outdoor environment every day including a wide range of play activities and welly walks. They will learn to manage their own hygiene and personal needs, e.g. hand washing and healthy snacks.



Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

• Making relationships:  St Joseph's provides a happy, safe and secure environment where children feel valued and respected. Children form positive relationships and learn to work and play together cooperatively.

• Self-confidence and self awareness: We provide an environment where children grow in independence and are excited about learning. They will learn to speak in a group, to express their ideas and to make choices.

• Managing feelings and behaviour: Children learn about their emotions and the feelings of others. They will be supported to show appropriate behaviour, turn take and share.





In the EYFS children’s mathematical understanding develops through active learning, play and exploration. They will use indoor and outdoor environments, stories, songs, cooking and games.

• Number: Children will learn to count reliably, order numbers, calculate, problem solve and use mathematical language

• Shape, space and measure: Children will learn about weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. They will explore, recognise, create and describe patterns and shapes.



For both reading and writing children will develop phonic knowledge that will enable them to decode, read and write words. Phonics will take place through a range of learning experiences e.g. listening activities, songs, rhymes and playing with language throughout the EYFS. The Read Write Inc Scheme is used to teach phonics in Nursery and Reception.

• Reading: Children will learn the skills they need to be a reader and to love books, they will borrow books to be read to them at home and enjoy daily stories at school. They will become familiar with print and talk about their reading.

• Writing: All attempts at writing will be encouraged, children will start with their own names and words of interest to them. They will write what is meaningful to them and be able to read it.

Understanding the World

People and Communities; The World; Technology

In a rich active learning environment children are challenged to find out about themselves and the cultural diversity within the world.


They will use ICT and explore the natural world that they live in.  


Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media materials; children will sing, make music and dance.  They will have daily opportunities to use a wide range of tools, techniques and materials creatively and safely.

Being Imaginative; children will be encouraged and supported to express themselves imaginatively through all media.


Assessment in EYFS

 Assessment in Nursery and Reception class is embedded throughout the curriculum. Observation based assessments are conducted throughout the day, and these are logged using the 2Simple online system.

Termly, the objectives achieved by each child are analysed, and their position within the age and stages is noted. Each individual child is tracked carefully to monitor attainment and progress. Interventions are set to support individuals, in addition to groups of pupils, including higher attaining pupils, to ensure all children achieve their full potential.

Moderation is a key part of the EYFS routine, and the team meet regularly to moderate judgements. External moderation is also important to us, and we work with external agencies and other schools to moderate our judgements.


How young children learn

Through Child Initiated Play, and small group adult led activities, the children will experience a range of activities indoors and outdoors, whatever the weather to develop skills, knowledge and independence. Children learn actively within a supportive routine. 


In all areas of learning there is a strong emphasis on active learning, play and exploration, and creating and thinking critically.


More information about the EYFS can be found on: www.foundationyears.org.uk