Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum   

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

The aim of the Early Years Foundation Stage is to provide:

    Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;

   A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;

    Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;

    Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

At Samuels we base our curriculum (children's learning experiences) on the Early Years  Foundation Stage and all our plans are interpreted imaginatively and creatively through play.  

The Early Years Foundation Stage has a principled approach.  These principles are grouped into four themes:

A Unique Child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.    

Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.

Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.

Learning and Development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and interconnected.

The EYFS looks at the Characteristics of Effective Learning which underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner. These characteristics represent processes rather than outcomes and the ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment. They look at how the child exhibits these characteristics and how these may be observed in order to better understand the child and support their development as learners.

There are three learning characteristics:

Playing and exploring: Finding out and exploring; Using what they know in their play;     andƒ Being willing to have a go

Active learning: Being involved and concentrating; Keeping trying; and Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically: Having their own ideas; Making links; and Choosing ways to do things


All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS:

Communication and language development: involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development: involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development: involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning:

Literacy: development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics: involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the world: involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design: involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role- play, and design and technology.

For further information, there is a useful webpage within the Department for Education website relating to the Early Years Foundation Stage on the following link: 

National strategies - standards for early years - DfE

The new revised EYFS areas of development and the statutory requirements have changed slightly since September 2013. Click on the link below to learn more about these changes from the Northamptonshire County Council Website:

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

To find out more about the Free Entitlement to the 3 & 4 year olds, please click on the following link:

 Free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

And to find out more about the Free Childcare and Education for 2 Year olds, please click on the following link:

Free childcare and education for 2 year olds