Edith Neville Primary School

Edith Neville
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The Early Years Curriculum


Edith Neville Primary School Early Years Foundation Stage, is made up of a Nursery class for 3-4 year olds and a Reception Class for 4-5 year olds.


In Early Years, we use the Development Matters Guidance which follows the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage and sets out the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five years.  This is organised into seven different areas of learning and development as follows:


The 3 Prime Areas of Learning

  1. Communication and Language
  2. Physical Development
  3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development


The 4 Specific Areas of Learning

  1. Literacy
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding the World
  4. Expressive Arts and Design


Click here for The Development Matters Guidance 

Click here for The Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 

Click here for The Letters and Sounds Guidance


In Nursery and Reception, children learn through exploration, play and direct teaching.  Their learning is organised into half termly topics.  You will find their topic overview on the Topic page. 

We use the Sounds and Letters guidance to teach phonics in Nursery and Reception. 



At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are assessed against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.  The Profile provides parents and carers, and teachers with an assessment of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities at the end of Reception. It lets us know the progress the child is making against expected levels and their readiness for Year 1. Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals which can be found in the Development Matters document linked above.


At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage children should reach at least a level known as ‘expected’ in the prime and specific areas of learning.  If a child reaches ‘Expected’ in all 7 areas of prime and specific areas of learning the child is assessed to have met ‘a good level of development’ and is what an average child is expected to reach.  The assessment outcomes are reported to parents and carers in end of year reports.



The Early Learning Goals: Prime Areas


Communication and language Listening and attention:

Children 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 give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.



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



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


Physical development Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing. Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


Personal, social and emotional development Self-confidence and self-awareness:

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


Managing feelings and behaviour:

Children 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 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.


Making relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They 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.



The Early Learning Goals: Specific Areas


Literacy Reading:

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



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


Mathematics Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 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 add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.


Shape, space and measures:

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


Understanding the world People and communities:

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


The world:

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



Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They 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 safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.


Being imaginative:

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