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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum

The EYFS Leader is Miss Sheard

In the Foundation Stage the early learning goals are taught through seven areas of learning which are Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Expressive Art and Design and Understanding of the World.
Play is an important part of the Foundation Stage and the classroom is set up in such a way to allow the children to have lots of practical experiences, not only taking part in adult directed activities but also child initiated activities.
Here are the answers to some questions that parents and carers frequently ask us:
'What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?'

It's for children aged 3-5, and covers the years they spend from the beginning of nursery or pre-school to the end of reception class in primary school. It was introduced in September 2000 to cover these important years in your child's life. The latest framework for EYFS was introduced in September 2012.  Underwood School admits children in September for children who have their 5th birthday between 1 September and 31 August.


'Why doesn't Underwood School have a nursery?'

Nursery places are controlled by the Local Authority and the Selston area has enough places.  However, we do not feel that there is any disadvantage to children starting school at Underwood - the results that the children achieve at the end of the year show us that!


'Where will my child go for Nursery?'

The government is funding Foundation Stage places:

  • in nursery classes attached to other schools
  • in playgroups
  • in pre-schools
  • in nurseries
  • with accredited childminders in approved childminding networks.


Wherever your child goes, staff who work with them will focus on the Early Learning Goals.

They set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the foundation stage. They help people who work with children aged 3-5 to focus on what children need to learn. They are not a curriculum with lots of different subjects. They are seven broad areas of learning.


  • Personal, social and emotional development. Your child will learn to be self-confident, take an interest in things, know what their own needs are, tell the difference between right and wrong, and be able to dress and undress.
  • Physical development.Your child will learn to move confidently, controlling their body and handling equipment.
  • Communication and language. Your child will learn to listen to stories and respond to what they hear with relevant comments and questions. They will learn to follow instructions and they will learn how to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners' needs.
  • Literacy.Your child will learn to talk confidently and clearly, enjoying stories, songs and poems, hearing and saying sounds, and linking them to the alphabet. They will read and write some familiar words and learn to use a pencil.
  • Mathematics. Your child will develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. They will become comfortable with numbers and with ideas such as 'heavier than' or 'bigger'. They will be aware of shapes and space.
  • Understanding the world. Your child will explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it. They will build with different materials, know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for. They will find out about past events in their lives and their families' lives. They will find out about different cultures and beliefs.
  • Expressive Art and deisgn. Your child will explore colours and shapes, trying out dance, making things, telling stories and making music.

'Will the goals put pressure on my child?'

No. Most of the time, children will feel they're just playing and having fun. Sometimes they'll choose what they want to do. Sometimes they'll take part in an activity that helps them learn how to concentrate or develop a particular skill, like using scissors or gluing card.


'Will my child be tested at the end of the foundation stage?'

There will be an assessment made at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage based on the early learning goals. Teachers will use the evidence they have gathered throughout the year from observations and teacher assessments and they will use this to summarise your child's achievements at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It will be used to summarise their achievements of the Early Learning Goals within the Foundation Stage and covers all seven areas of learning. Teachers record achievement based on their observations of your child's activities throughout the Reception Year. They do not need to carry out any set assessment activities.


'What about when my child starts the reception class?'

When your child first starts reception class, their teacher carries out a baseline assessment, to find out about your child's learning needs. It's not a formal test. It's often done simply by doing some regular classroom activity with your child, such as looking at a book with them, so they won't even be aware they're being assessed. It's not something you or your child should worry about.


'What can I do to help my child?'

You're probably doing it already! Finding out what they have done at nursery, discovering what they like and don't like, encouraging them to ask questions, listen to others and try out new skills all help support their learning process. Reading your child stories and helping them to learn nursery rhymes is particularly helpful. Learning the key words and phonetic patterns that are sent home is crucial to success in Key Stage 1.  If in doubt, ask Mrs. Robbins  who will be delighted to help you.