We believe that children learn best from first hand experiences and through play.  We offer our children a carefully planned range of experiences and opportunities, starting with their interests and existing knowledge.  Children are most engaged when they are undertaking activities that are child initiated and based on their current interests.  We follow the children’s interest when we plan our themes. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development, and care of children from birth to 5 years old.   The EYFS profile is broken down into seven areas of learning: 1-3 are known as the Prime areas and 4-7 the Specific areas. By the end of the reception year, your child should reach or exceed a main goal for each of the areas of learning. These goals are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)” The goals for each area are shown in italics.


 1. Personal and social development: helping to build confidence, concentration, independence, and respect.

Self-Regulation: Children can understand their own feelings and the feelings of others and regulate their behaviour accordingly. Children can wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses. They can focus their attention on the teacher and respond appropriately.

Managing Self: Children are confident to try new activities and gained independence so that they understand and follow rules and manage their own basic needs such as toileting, dressing and the need to eat a healthy diet.

Building Relationships: Children can form positive relationships and have developed skills allowing them to work and play cooperatively. They are aware of their needs and the needs of others.


 2. Communication and language: developing speaking, listening, understanding and attention skills.

Listening, Attention and Understanding: Children can listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments, or actions. They will be able to make comments and ask questions about what they have heard. They will be able to hold a back-and-forth conversation.

Speaking: Children will participate in 1:1, small group, and class discussions, offering their own ideas and using recently introduced vocabulary. They will be able to offer explanations about why things happen and express their ideas and feelings using full sentences. They will be able to use different tenses and conjunctions with modelling and support from their teacher.


 3. Physical Development: developing fine and gross motor skills

 Gross Motor Skills: Children will be able to negotiate spaces and obstacles safely, with consideration for both themselves and others. They will be able to demonstrate strength, balance and coordination while playing. They will move energetically in a variety of ways e.g. Running, jumping, dancing, hopping.

Fine Motor: Children will hold a pencil effectively ready to write fluently - for the majority this will be the tripod grip. They will be able to use a variety of tools such as scissors, brushes and cutlery and start to show accuracy and care when drawing.


 4. Literacy: developing skills in comprehension, reading and writing.

 Comprehension: Children demonstrate an understanding of what has been read to them by re-telling stories and narratives. They use their own words and recently introduced vocabulary. Where appropriate they will anticipate key events in stories. They use and understand new vocabulary introduced during discussions stories, non-fiction, poems, rhymes and during their role-play.

Word Reading: Children say a sound for each letter of the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs. They read words by blending, using their phonic knowledge. They can read aloud simple sentences that are consistent with their phonic knowledge including some common exception [tricky] words.

Writing: They can write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. They segment to spell, identifying the sounds and representing the sounds with a letter/letters. They can write a simple sentence that can be read by others.


 5. Mathematics: focusing on a deep understanding of numbers to 10.

Number: Children will have a deep understanding of number to 10. Be able to subitise to 5 recognise quantities without counting by the patterns e.g. the spots on a dice. Automatically recall without the need for number rhymes or counting aids number bonds to 5, and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

Numerical Patterns: Children can verbally count beyond 2, recognising the patterns in the counting system. Be able to compare quantities up to 10. Saying when there are more, less or the same. They will explore and represent number patterns within numbers to 10, including odds, evens, doubles and how quantities can be distributed equally.


 6. Understanding the world: helping children investigate and think about their place in the world.

Past and Present: Children can talk about the lives and roles in society of the people around them. They will know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now using knowledge provided within the class through books, and their individual experiences. They will gain an understanding of the past through settings, characters, and events they encounter in books read in class.

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.

People, Cultures and Communities: Children can describe their immediate environment using knowledge gained from observation, discussion, story, non-fiction texts, and maps. Know some of the differences between the different cultures and religions in this country. Know and explain some differences or similarities between life in this country and life in other countries, again drawing on knowledge gained from non-fiction, stories, and maps.

The Natural World: Children explore the world around them making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. Thet know some similarities and differences between local environments again drawing on their experiences and books read in class. They understand some of the important changes in the natural world such as the seasons and changes in matter e.g. water to ice.


 7. Expressive arts and design: centred on building children’s imagination and allowing them to explore different media and materials

Creating with Materials: Children will use safely a variety of tools. They will explore a variety of materials and techniques and experiment with colour, texture, design, form and function. They will share what they have made and be able to explain the process they followed to make it. They will make use of props and materials during role-play and when creating narratives.

Being Imaginative and Expressive: Children will make up or adapt stories to create narratives with peers or teachers. They will sing a range of songs and rhymes and be able to perform them with others when appropriate. They will try to move in time to music. 




In Starfish class our curriculum is flexible.  We follow the interests of the children and this allows our children to learn at a pace that is right for them. By acknowledging, and building on, children’s own interests we help children feel valued as an individual.  Our skills progression documents give points where particular skills are taught in Nursery and Reception. Some children acquire skills rapidly and ahead of age expectations and when this happens opportunities are given for children to apply and deepen this learning.  Some children do not work at the age related expectations and our clear skills progression ensures that they are able to access the curriculum at their level.