Curriculum – Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)



In Reception we learn differently to the other year groups in our school. The majority of our learning and development is progressed through effective play. We aim to provide a creative and child initiated curriculum where every pupil can thrive and become an expert in their own way. Through our ethos of “permission to be spontaneous”, we will enable our children to engage in and continue their life- long learning journey where they have a thirst for knowledge and answers alongside the aims of the EYFS statutory framework. We provide inviting classroom environments indoors and outdoors to stimulate learners and engage them in developing the three ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ as set out within the EYFS.

Additionally, we want our children to develop independence, resilience, compassion and determination throughout our Reception setting, underpinned by the introduction and use of the GEM powers (diamond power, emerald power, ruby power and sapphire power).

We aim to provide the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success and to give children the best possible start to their early education.


Through our teaching, relationships with children and our well planned and organised learning environment, children will have a holistic curriculum, which enables them to develop and explore their own interests. Day in, day out, our children will follow their interests through open-ended resources and effective adult interactions within the continuous provision. We will then notice the fascinations our children have, so we can respond and create opportunities to follow these fascinations and learn more about them. Some interests that children often have are planned for in our curriculum planning, however this planning can be adapted so that our children follow their own fascinations.

Each child will form a foundation of phonic knowledge to ensure all children learn to read. High quality phonics teaching is started as soon as children begin reception. We also provide opportunities for children and families to develop a love of reading through Bug Club home reading and ‘Bedtime Book Bags’.

We believe that our curriculum forms a powerful foundation for life-long learning at Wingate Primary school. It allows our children’s first year in our school to be an exciting, enjoyable and unique time in their lives which will help them to continue their life-long love for learning.


  • High levels of engagement and motivation demonstrated by children which supports them to become lifelong learners.
  • Confident and capable readers who demonstrate a love of reading.
  • Children demonstrate the characteristics of effective learning and are well prepared for the next stage in their learning.
  • Children feel happy and safe and enjoy coming to school.
  • All children access a balanced and challenging curriculum regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
  • Children make strong progress from their starting points and are offered a broad curriculum which meets each child’s unique needs.
  • Children are supported by adults who are well trained and passionate about providing the best education for every child.
  • The percentage of children achieving the GLD within the EYFSP is in line with or above the national average.

The EYFS Statutory Framework

Characteristics of Effective Learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all the Areas of Learning and Development.

The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Areas of Learning and Development

Prime areas of development and learning lay vital foundations in the early years. The three prime areas are: CL, PSED and PD. The four specific areas are: L, M, UW, EAD which build on the development gained through the prime areas.

Learning in the EYFS: Play, Scaffolding, Modelling, Observing, Guided Learning, Direct Teaching

In our classroom, you may see children playing alone or with their peers, deciding on resources and choosing how to spend their time. You may see a child playing and listening to an adult, who is modelling how to achieve something or teaching a new skill that interests the child.

Adults may scaffold a child’s play. This involves taking their play to higher levels of learning, entering the play as a co-creator and helping to provoke a framework for the children to go from “what they know” to “what else they could know”. Scaffolding enables children to solve a problem, carry out a task or achieve a goal which is just beyond his or her abilities. During play, where foundational social and emotional skills are developed, scaffolding is a bridge to new skill levels using three key ingredients; modelling the skill, giving clues and asking questions while the child is trying out a new skill, and then as the child approaches mastery, withdrawing the support.

The EYFS statutory framework does not prescribe a particular teaching approach.

“Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.”

As our children develop and their skills progress throughout the Reception year, we use more direct teaching and modelling and plan specific sequences of lessons. These strategies help us to focus on teaching the essential skills and knowledge in the specific areas of learning so that the children can develop the skills and confidence required for the end of their reception year.

Pupil Voice

Matilda “We play a lot in Reception and we learn when we do it.”

Wisdom “I like the food at dinner time and the snacks we have. I like the weetabix!”

Madison “I learn how to read and to write in phonics so you can read by yourself and help your sister to read.”

Pippa “You come to school to learn and make friends and that’s what we do.”

Jake “I like the areas to play in and me and my friends play together!”

Maggie “The teachers and the adults are good and funny!”

Key Vocabulary

Dark, different, light, old, plain, same, striped, brown, orange, pink, white, rough, high, smooth, loudly, low, quietly, silent, soft, cross, pattern, shape, star, triangle, bigger, deep, fat, large, longest, shallow, short, thin, a few, each, enough, every, less, most, much, nearly, none, plenty, several, very, whole, both, fifth, fourth, half, next, penny, pound, second, third, twice, above, across, against, below, beside, between, bottom, close (to), facing, far, high, low, middle, (a)space, together, top, always, before, early, late, later, never, sometimes, summer, winter, along, around, forwards, sideways, towards, afraid, angry, bad, beautiful, cross, excited, friendly, helpful, lovely, nasty, pleased, surprised, tired, uncomfortable, unkind, feel, follow, finish, raise, lower, keep, ask, visit, collect, hear, listen, stay, learn, teach.


Foundation Stage SDP 22-23