Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years is the first Key Stage in a child’s education. At Laurel Avenue it begins with our Nursery 2-year-olds, includes Nursery 3 and 4-year-olds and is completed by the 4 and 5-year-olds in our Reception class (Class 1). This early stage of learning is vital to children's development and equips them with skills they will need to succeed in their future school life. We want our children to be confident and secure in school and to develop a love of learning which will stay with them for life.

Children are individuals, who develop at different rates and have different interests. We take time to get to know our children and our provision takes account of the things that interest them.

The curriculum in Early Years is centred around play-based learning. There is a balance between adult-led activities and child-directed play. The well-planned environment gives children opportunities to learn and practise skills in a variety of ways. Environments are progressive from the two-year-old area through to Reception class to meet the changing needs of children as they develop.

Our curriculum is built on Development Matters (a government document) and is personalised to the specific needs of children in our school. As staff work with children, they constantly assess their development and progress, and children who need extra support in particular areas are quickly identified. All learning is planned with our individual children’s needs in mind.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) comprises three prime areas

Communication and Language

Through daily interactions and activities in all the areas below, children develop speech and communication skills.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children develop their friendships and learn to share and help one another. They begin to understand their feelings and learn how to be healthy.

Physical Development

Children develop many different movements, including developing good fine motor skills, which are important for writing.

These areas usually develop first, and success in these areas leads to children gaining skills in the four specific areas



Children learn about numbers, shapes and measuring, and how to use their skills to solve problems.

Understanding the World

Children learn about the world around them, including nature, their local area, different people and ways of life.

Expressive Arts and Design

Children learn to express their ideas through art, making models, taking part in music and dance, and in imaginative role play.

All the above areas are underpinned by Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

* Playing and Exploring

Children choose activities, follow their own interests and plan their play

* Active Learning

Children take part in routines and persevere to extend and improve what they are doing.

* Creating and Thinking Critically

Children take part in pretend play, solve real problems, and develop and make links between ideas.


Each area of the curriculum is planned so that a progression, in line with child development, occurs from the 2-year old provision, through the three- and four-year old Nursery, and into Reception. Children come into Nursery at different starting points and develop at different rates, so it may be that some pupils are working on parts of the curriculum which do not correspond to their chronological age. Throughout the EYFS there are opportunities to revisit and consolidate previous learning.


communication and language

personal, social and emotional development

Physical development



expressive arts and design

understanding the world