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EYFS Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception)

At St Paul’s Primary School our aim is to provide every child with a rich, engaging and varied curriculum in the EYFS. We aim to provide a flexible timetable which encaptures the needs, interests and abilities of every child; and that provides support, care and high-quality resources to enable children to achieve.

When a child joins us in class we will begin to assess them looking at the Characteristics of Effective Learning:


  • Finding out and exploring – Does the child show curiosity about objects, events and people?
  • Does the child use their senses to explore the world around them? Is any sense perhaps used more than the other?
  • Does the child engage in open-ended activity or show particular interests?

Playing with what they know

  • Does the child pretend objects are things from their experience (symbolic play)?
  • How does the child represent their experiences in their play?
  • Does the child take on a role in their play?

Being willing to have a go

  • Does the child initiate activities / experiences? What kind of activities / experiences?
  • How does the child seek challenges?
  • Does the child show a ‘can do’ attitude?
  • Does the child take risks, engage in new experiences and learn by trial and error?


  1. ACTIVE LEARNING - Being involved and concentrating
  • Does the child maintain focus on their activity for a period of time?
  • Does the child show high levels of energy, fascination?
  • Does the child concentrate despite distractions?
  • Does the child pay attention to details?

Keeping on trying

  • Does the child show persistence with an activity when faced with challenges?
  • How does the child demonstrate aspects of problem solving and show a belief that more effort or a different approach will work / pay off?
  • Does the child bounce back after difficulties?

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

  • Does the child show satisfaction when meeting their goals?
  • Is he / she proud of their accomplishments – not just the end result?
  • Does the child enjoy meeting challenges for their own sake rather than for rewards or praise?


  1. CREATING AND THINKING CRITICALLY - Having their own ideas
  • Does the child think of ideas?
  • How does the child find ways to solve problems?
  • Does the child find new ways of doing things?

Making links

  • Does the child make links and notice patterns in their experience?
  • Does the child make predictions?
  • How does the child test out their ideas?
  • Does the child develop ideas of grouping, sequencing, cause and effect?

Choosing ways to do this

  • Does the child plan, make decisions and about how to do something, solve a problem to reach a goal?
  • Does the child check how well their activity or what they are doing is going?
  • Does the child change strategy if needed?
  • Does the child review how well their approach worked?


The Curriculum

There are seven areas of learning and development. The three Prime Areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.


The Prime Areas are:

  • Communication and language development – This involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development - This involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children will also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, social and emotional development – This involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their abilities.


Children will also be supported in four Specific Areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.


The Specific Areas are:

  • Literacy Development - This involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics – This involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world – This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design – This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.


At St Paul’s Primary School, we take pride in providing high quality care and support for both children and parents. Please see a copy of ‘Our Curriculum’ (link below) to see how the children are supported in each of the areas of learning and development.

EYFS at St Paul's

Our EYFS Curriculum