Riverside Primary School and Nursery

Every child a happy learner

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Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage

Nursery and Reception


The Curriculum

The Riverside curriculum consists of what you want children to experience, learn and be able to do.  It meets the requirements of the educational programmes in the statutory framework for the Early Years foundation Stage (EYFS).  The aim is to improve outcomes for all children and help close the gap for disadvantaged children.

The EYFS is about how children learn, as well as what they learn.  Children need opportunities to develop their own play and independent exploration.  This is enjoyable and motivating.  They also need adults to ‘scaffold’ their learning by giving them just enough help to achieve something they could not do independently.  Helping children to think, discuss and plan ahead is important, like gathering the materials they need to make a den before they start building.  These are ways of helping children to develop the characteristics of effective learning - playing and exploring / active learning / creating and thinking critically.


The Seven Areas of Learning and Development

Communication and Language

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development.  Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development.  The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial.  By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children’s personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development.  Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world.  Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.


Physical Development

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives.  Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults.



It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading.  Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading.  Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth.  It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.  Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.  Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).



Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically.  Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers.


Understanding The World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community.  The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them - from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters.  In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and acologically diverse world.  As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains.  Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.


Expressive arts and design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity.  It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials.  The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.


More information to follow

The schemes of work that support teaching and learning:-

RWI / Talk Through Stories / Powermaths / Number Fluency