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Birchwood Nursery School

Overview of the EYFS Curriculum

 Our curriculum follows The Statutory Framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and the four guiding principles that underpin our curriculum are:  

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents/carers.
  • Children learn and develop in different ways.


We support the children to develop ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ and recognise that these are an important part of how children play and learn - they help them to form attitudes about learning that will last a lifetime.

  •  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.


The EYFS covers seven areas of learning and development - three prime areas and four specific areas of learning, all of which are valued equally at Birchwood Nursery School and Preschool. The children experience each of these areas, through adult directed and child-initiated opportunities and through provocations and invitations to support their fascinations and to enhance their learning.


The Prime Areas

 Communication and Language

The development of children’s language and communication underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Your child will take part in a variety of speaking and listening activities within a language –rich environment. Many of the child initiated and adult directed activities are planned to encourage the children to talk about what they see and hear, to ask questions and to develop new vocabulary. Opportunities to share and listen to stories are provided throughout the setting. We have a trained speech and language early years practitioner who supports children with speech, language and communication delay across the setting.

Physical Development

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Your child will have opportunities both inside and outside to take part in activities and experiences that will develop both their gross and fine motor skills .Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional development. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination.

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. Your child will develop warm and supportive relationships with adults and with other children. They will be supported to manage their emotions, develop a positive sense of self and to gain confidence in their own abilities. They will be encouraged to manage their own needs independently and how to look after their bodies through exercise and eating healthily.

The Specific Areas


Your child will listen to a range of stories as they explore how print has meaning and how a story is structured.  They will talk about the marks they make as they draw and paint.

Mathematical Development 

The children have access to resources, which support their learning in all areas of mathematics including counting, sorting, measures, pattern, sequencing and time. Puzzles and games also provide opportunities for children to develop their mathematical thinking and problem solving.

Understanding the World

Your child will be encouraged to explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it. They will build with different materials, know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for. They will find out about past events in their lives and learn about different cultures and beliefs.

Expressive Arts and Design

 In this area, the children are encouraged to express themselves creatively in a variety of ways and with a range of resources; for example, they may choose to make models, paint, dance, make music or role play out their thoughts and ideas.


This does not mean a child’s own learning is divided into separate areas; one experience may provide a child with opportunities to develop a number of concepts and skills. This developmental curriculum supports the learning and care of young children and provides opportunities for all children to:

  • develop new friendships, to play co-operatively with each other and to take turns.
  • gain in confidence and independence.
  • develop a caring and respectful attitude towards others.
  • enjoy listening to stories, poems and rhymes and to encourage them to make up their own.
  • develop and extend their reading and writing skills.
  • participate as both speakers and listeners in small and large group settings.
  • engage in conversation with adults and other children.
  • use number in everyday situations and to count with increasing accuracy.
  • develop their classifications skills, for example sorting by colour, shape or size.
  • use appropriate mathematical and scientific language.
  • investigate objects and materials and to stimulate their natural curiosity.
  • develop their large and fine motor control.
  • enjoy a variety of materials such as sand, water, glue, paper and paint.