Early years Foundation Stage-

The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning are all interconnected.

Annual curriculum content through the Seven areas of learning:

We aim to cover these Development Matters Statements across the year through six main topics/themes. These are ‘Me and my School’, ‘Light, dark and Festivals’, ‘Castles’, ‘Growth’, ‘Transport’ and ‘Water’.

The Prime Areas of Learning


  • Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them- Childrenshare news and items of interest with the class and in groups. Talk partners for discussion during whole class teaching.
  • Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall- Listen to a variety of stories and poems and respond appropriately to what they have heard.
  • Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories- Children join in with repeated refrains in favourite class stories; Shark in the Park, Shark in the Dark, Farmer Duck.
  • Responds to simple instructions- Following task instructions and routines of the classroom; self-registering.
  • Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.
  • Builds up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences-Introducing new language linked to each topic.
  • Uses language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences in play situations- use of a wide range of small world and role play scenes.
  • Uses past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future- Adults modelling correct spoken English.
  • Develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events- Adults modelling role play scenarios.
  • They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity Adults modelling good listening and use of language to encourage social play.


  • Initiates conversations, attends to and takes account of what others say. Adults modelling good listening and use of language to encourage social play.
  • Can describe self in positive terms and talk about abilities- Discussion and class display about the children’s own abilities and what they would like to learn.
  • Understands that own actions affect other people- Discussion about consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others.
  • Aware of the boundaries set and of behavioural expectations in the setting- Clear and consistent rules and routines, widget symbols used as visual prompts for all children.
  • Initiates conversations, attends to and takes account of what others say- Adults modelling good listening skills.
  • Shows sensitivity to others’ views and feelings, and forms positive relationships with adults and other children.
  • Confident to try new activities and say why they like some activities more than others- Encouraging children to try a variety of activities and giving plenty of opportunities for children to talk about their likes and dislikes.
  • Confident to speak in a familiar group-Childrenshare news and items of interest with the class and in groups. Talk partners for discussionduring whole class teaching.
  • Can say when they do or don’t need help.
  • Able to adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride- Giving children plenty of prior warning if there are to be changes to routines to enable them to assimilate it and adjust.


  • Experiments with different ways of moving- Through P.E sessions in the hall and using apparatus in the outside areas, children are encouraged to try new ways of moving.
  • Handles tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control- Experience of playdough, plasticine, clay and a variety of construction sets.
  • Begins to use anticlockwise movement and retrace vertical lines- Ribbon dancing to encourage anti-clockwise movement and retracing vertical lines. Use of whiteboards and a variety of writing and drawing implements to encourage this.
  • Begins to form recognisable letters Air writing and use of RML mnemonics to help with correct letter formation.Plenty of gross and fine motor skills activities.
  • Eats a healthy range of foodstuffs and understands need for variety in food- Discussions about school lunch choices and foods to keep us healthy.
  • Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene can contribute to good health – Stories about healthy eating and ways to look after our bodies. Excellent P.E lessons.
  • Shows good control and co-ordination in large and small movements- Plenty of fine and gross motor skills activities.
  • Manages own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully- Reminders for some children when engrossed in an activity to use the toilet.

The Specific Areas of Learning


  • Hears and says the initial sound in words.-Parent meeting held in October to inform parents of how we teach synthetic phonics using the Ruth Miskin Literacy programme.
  • Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together and knows which letters represent some of them- Daily phonics teaching in October. Small group phonics, reading and writing teaching in small groups in January.
  • Looks at books independently- wide variety of fiction, poetry, non- fiction books in the classroom and outside area.
  • Knows that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom- Use of big books and pointing sticks, modelled my the adults in the setting.
  • Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet- RML teaching
  • Uses some clearly identifiable letters to communicate meaning, representing some sounds correctly and in sequence- Providing many opportunities in adult-initiated and adult -led activities for writing. Linking writing activities to the children’s current themes.
  • Writes own name- Plenty of opportunities for name writing, reminding children to label their work.
  • Uses phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately- RML group teaching and whole class reading activities.
  • Reads some common irregular words-Red word games and activities for children to learn these irregular words.
  • Writes own name and other things such as labels and captions- Writing opportunities in role play areas.
  • Able to read and understand simple sentences- RML group teaching.
  • Demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read- Discussionand asking inferential questions when reading to the whole class and in small groups.
  • Able to write sentences which can be read by themselves and others- Adult-initiated and self -initiated writing activities linked to the children’s current interests and current topic.
  • Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible- Phonic charts available for children to use during all writing activities. Guided writing for whole class and during RML group work.


  • Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10 – Using a wide range of objects for counting.
  • Selects the correct numeral to represent 1-5, the 1-10 objects- Use of a wide range of mathematical equipment.
  • Uses the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets of objects- Use of mathematical language.
  • Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all of them- whole class, group maths activities.
  • Says the number that is one more than a given number- Plenty of opportunities for counting aloud forwards and backwards.
  • Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘solid’ 3D shapes and ‘flat’ 2D shapes, and mathematical terms to describe shapes- whole class, groupmaths activities.
  • Can use positional language-whole class, groupmaths activities.
  • Orders two or three objects by length or height-whole class, groupmaths activities.
  • Orders two items by weight or capacity-whole class, groupmaths activities.
  • Counts reliably with numbers from one to 20 and places them in order.
  • Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on and back to find the answer.
  • Says the number that is one more than a given number.
  • Solve problems involving doubling, halving and sharing- Exciting activities including cooking.


  • Knows some of the things that make them unique, and can talk about some of the similarities and differences in relation to friends or family- Talking how special they each are and how we need to respect our differences.
  • Enjoys joining in with family customs and routines Sharing news of special family occasions. Parents coming in to share and talk about their religious customs and festivals.
  • Shows care and concern for living things and the environment- Growing broad beans, sunflower seeds and talking about caring for all living things.
  • Completes a simple programme on a computer-Use of bee-bops, cbeebies games.
  • Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members- During topic on ‘Growth’ children share an item of clothing they wore as a baby and bring in a photograph to show the class.
  • Recognise that a range of technology is used in home and school- Talking about how their parents use technology; iphones, ,i pads etc.
  • Can select and use technology for particular purposes- Use of bee bops, coomber, computer, interactive whiteboard.


  • Begins to build a repertoire of songs and dances-Weekly Music sessions with Adrian. Class singing with Paul Atkins twice weekly.
  • Explores the different sounds of instruments- Provision of a wide range of musical instruments.
  • Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources- Provision of a range of resources and construction sets.
  • Creates simple representations of events, people and objects.
  • Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme- A wide range of small world and role play scenes to encourage social play.
  • They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories- Role play performance areas. Provision of a wide range of resources for children to use creatively.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and exploring

Finding out and exploring

  • Showing curiosity about objects, events and people
  • Using senses to explore the world around them
  • Engaging in open-ended activities
  • Showing particular interests

Playing with what they know

  • Pretending objects are things from their experience
  • Representing their experiences in play
  • Taking on a role in their play
  • Acting out experiences with other people

Being willing to ‘have a go’

  • Initiating activities
  • Seeking challenge
  • Showing a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Taking a risk, engaging in new experiences, and learning by trial and error

Active learning

Being involved and concentrating

  • Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time
  • Showing high levels of energy, fascination
  • Not easily distracted
  • Paying attention to details

Keeping on trying

  • Persisting with activity when challenges occur
  • Showing a belief that more effort or a different approach will pay off
  • Bouncing back after difficulties

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

  • Showing satisfaction in meeting their own goals
  • Being proud of how they accomplished something – not just the end result
  • Enjoying meeting challenges for their own sake rather than external rewards or praise

Creating and thinking critically

Having their own ideas

  • Thinking of ideas
  • Finding ways to solve problems
  • Finding new ways to do things

Making links

  • Making links and noticing patterns in their experience
  • Making predictions
  • Testing their ideas
  • Developing ideas of grouping, sequences, cause and effect

Choosing ways to do things

  • Planning, making decisions about how to approach a task,solve a problem and reach a goal
  • Checking how well their activities are going
  • Changing strategy as needed
  • Reviewing how well the approach worked

Educational Visits

  • Trip to Little Angel Theatre to watch a Puppet show in Spring Term.
  • Whole School trip to Highgate Woods or similar venue in Summer Term
  • Visiting animal expert in class during Summer Term.