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Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Foundation Stage Curriculum is built around the document 'Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage' which sets the standards expected for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.

The curriculum is split into seven areas of learning which are all inter-connected. The children have access to all these areas during their sessions in Nursery and Reception and whilst working in the outdoor provision areas. The level of progress children should be expected to have made by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is defined by the Early Learning Goals set in each area of learning.

Our curriculum at Gledhow is built around the provision outlined above and practically runs around a theme for each half term and the weeks within it. Children have a key worker who focuses on ensuring that their named children's curricular and personal needs are being well met. This additional knowledge is also key for assessments.

A typical day at Reception will start with registration and a class input before a mixture of teacher and child led activities in the classroom. After approximately 50 minutes, outdoor provision is also available. Staff are either involved in direct teaching, supporting children in investigating the provision available, assessing progress or observing children at work.

Areas of Learning

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape our early years educational programme; these are all 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, are:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development;
  • personal, social and emotional development.

We also support the children in four Specific Areas which are:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world;
  • expressive arts and design.


The Gledhow Curriculum

At Gledhow our curriculum is a balance between ensuring that the EYFS curriculum is followed and adapting it to the specific needs of our school community.

We do use a balance of teaching techniques and value both the need for children to find out for themselves by 'following their lead' and planning those activities that will best help them to achieve their early learning goals.

Parents are a key part of their children's learning and are expected to be a part of their child's education throughout their time at Gledhow. In Foundation Stage it is not unusual for families to be asked to continue school learning at home by setting work in the context of home life and family experiences.

School is a mixture of class, group and individual work planned to suit the needs of each child and help them develop their abilities across all areas of learning.

Early Learning Goals - The 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.

Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer 'how' and 'why' questions about their experiences and in response to stories and events.

Speaking: 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 coordination 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 aand 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 and how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others' needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Downloadable Documents

Early Learning Goals - The Specific Areas


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.

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


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, describe and create 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.

Technology: 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 up music and dances, 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.

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