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Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum


At Curbar Primary School we believe that all children deserve an education rich in wonder and memorable experiences that allows children’s natural creativity and curiosity to flourish, alongside the purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge. We believe that an education that does all of this gives children the best chance to become well-rounded, happy individuals, ready to succeed in an ever-changing world.

At Curbar Primary School we recognise the importance of giving our children the best possible start to their education by planning and implementing teaching and learning opportunities that supports them in reaching their full potential. We know that our children enter the Reception classes with varied life experiences, and we aim to plan teaching and learning opportunities accordingly to address this. 

The Development Matters document along with the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals set out end of reception year expectations for children by the end of the Foundation Stage. Curbar Primary School recognises the crucial role that Early Year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based. 

It is our intention to provide a broadly enriched, rounded and stimulating learning environment where children can work with adults and peers in a climate of mutual respect to develop.

  • Confidence in their ability to learn.
  • The social skills necessary to learn.
  • The emotional capabilities to enable them to understand their feelings and to solve problems.
  • A unique child.

 We aim to provide children, with a well-structured, safe, active learning environment both indoors and outdoors. This will enable them to develop the skills, attitudes and understanding that will form the basis of lifelong learning and encourage them to become useful, active members of a diverse and constantly changing society.


Our policy on teaching and learning defines the features of effective teaching and learning throughout the whole school. The curriculum is planned and implemented using a cross curricular thematic approach across the school. This approach gives children the opportunities to apply learning from across the curriculum that gives their work practical context and also opportunities to apply knowledge and skills they have learned within “real world” problem solving. Each half term, children will cover a new topic or theme of work and children are given the opportunity to influence and plan the direction of their own learning by identifying, what they already know, understand and would like to know about each new topic of work. Each topic is then flexibly delivered through a staged approach incorporating an initial engagement to ‘hook’ the children’s imagination in their new topic or theme of learning. This learning then develops through a series of lessons that builds skills, knowledge and understanding within that topic of learning.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage reflects the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning identified in the Early Learning Goals, all of which are equally valued at Curbar Primary School. These experiences our children meet through a healthy diet of both adult initiated, adult directed and child-initiated activities, enabling them to develop a number of competences across all areas of learning. The Early Learning Goals are in line with the National Curriculum and provide the basis for planning throughout the Foundation Stage.  

Curbar Primary provides a safe, stimulating outdoor learning environment in order to enhance teaching and learning in engaging, problem solving, investigative and explorative ways. Children have daily opportunities to access the outdoor environment which also enables them to increase their levels of physical activity. Children’s learning is enabled within the outdoor learning environment which is seen as an extension of the classroom within which children are encouraged to use and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills through outdoor learning opportunities that also engages all pupils in a positive way with their local, natural environment.

Throughout the Reception year as part of the learning and teaching process, children will be assessed in relation to their progress towards Development Matters and the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in-depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year. End of year assessments are finalised during the summer term, summarising each child’s development at that point against the Early Learning Goals and Development Matters.


With the successful implementation of both an enriched, rounded and balanced curriculum and a well-structured, safe, active and challenging learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, children will be able to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables them to be successful learners. Children will be actively engaged in learning and their enjoyment of this learning will be apparent to all.

All children will have experienced a curriculum that provides exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities.  Children will more fully appreciate and understand the world around them, experiencing and learning about different cultures, music, dance, art and history. Children will actively ask questions about the world around them and their learning experiences and they will never fear making a mistake, but instead see this as an opportunity to learn.  Children will be able to make links with their learning across the curriculum. Children will also be skilful at solving problems and they will have effectively developed their personal levels of resilience and independent learning skills.

Children will be successful learners and fully prepared for the next stage of their education as they transition from Foundation Stage to Year One. We will also aim to help children to make sense of the world around them, to develop tolerance, compassion and an understanding of their rights and the rights of others in an ever-evolving world. Children at the end of Foundation stage will have developed essential knowledge and skills required for everyday life and lifelong learning. Children at Curbar Primary School will be well rounded, happy, inquisitive and successful learners.

Communication and Language

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. At Curbar Primary School we understand the importance of having frequent conversations with pupils, both during class discussions and informal chats.  The use of modelling proper grammar and pronunciation, furthering ideas through the use of open ended questioning, an introduction to a varied and rich vocabulary, highlighting and promoting good listening skills and the use of talk partners to extend learning all contribute to equipping our children with strong communication and language skills.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through Communication and Language in the following ways:

  • We teach children to argue, to inform, to persuade and to explain competently, equipping them with the skills to work and socialise successfully with others.
  • We listen to and appreciate contributions from others.
  • We promote a sense of self value and encourage children to share their ideas.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

At Curbar Primary School, it is our aim that PSE gives pupils the “knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible British citizens.”

PSE enables students to understand and respect our common humanity: it’s diversity and its differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.  We are aware that our profile is mainly white and broadly Christian based and our children need to be able to take their place in an outward, multi-cultural and multi-faith world.  We believe that a high quality PSE curriculum will promote the moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life within the wider world. Curbar broadly follows the Derbyshire PSHE scheme of learning (PSHE Matters) to support class teachers in delivering all aspects of the curriculum.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through PSE in the following ways:

We develop the pupil’s ability to reflect on their own lives.

  • We encourage a knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s values and feelings.
  • We develop a sense of fascination in learning about themselves.
  • We promote an understanding of the consequences of their behaviours and actions.
  • We appreciate the viewpoints of others.
  • We encourage a willingness to cooperate with others and resolve conflicts.
  • We demonstrate skills and attitudes which will help pupils’ to fully participate in their lives in modern Britain.
  • We appreciate the wide range of cultural influences that shape our heritage.
  • We recognise shared values across a range of communities.
  • We explore and celebrate diversity (religious, ethnic and socio-economic) in the local, national and global communities.

Physical Development

“Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives.” At Curbar Primary School, the PE and School Sport Curriculum has been designed to inspire learners to realise their full potential and develop a lifelong interest in participating in physical activity and sport, whatever their innate ability in PE. In the Reception year, Physical Development is also interwoven into the other areas of learning, such as Expressive Arts and Design, and during routines in the day, such as mealtimes.  This ensures that there is a broad range of activities and opportunities to develop both fine and gross motor skills.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through Physical Development in the following ways:

We are physically active for sustained periods of time.

  • We engage in competitive sports and activities.
  • We lead healthy, active lives and recognise the value of activity in supporting well-being.
  • We promote fair play and teamwork in lessons and encourage good sportsmanship throughout.
  • We interact with the school and external communities through clubs and competition.
  • We encourage students to recognise and respect social differences and similarities.
  • We promote independence.


Early Reading

As readers, we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils so they become confident readers who can derive huge enjoyment from books and literature.  Phonic skills are essential to developing competent and fluent readers, so it is important that they have secure understanding of letters and sounds.  For the teaching of phonics, we follow the ‘Bug Club Phonics’ systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme as validated by the Department of Education.  During the Reception year, our children are provided with numerous and varied opportunities to hear and say sounds.  As children progress through the school, they will learn all sounds and the corresponding letter groups.  This consistent and rigorous approach will provide our children with the foundations to become proficient and enthused readers with a passion for books, literature and vocabulary.


As writers, we aim for children to leave their Reception year beginning to be able to communicate effectively in writing and enjoy being able to express themselves in this way.  Through our teaching sequence for writing we: immerse our children in a story; analyse and identify the skills necessary to be successful; teach the skills; draft and improve our writing and write for a purpose.  Handwriting is taught in conjunction with phonics to enable the children to become fluent and legible writers.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through Literacy in the following ways:

  • Text choice- we chose texts that represent a range of cultures and situations that will broaden the children’s knowledge of, and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values.
  • We use debate and discussion of a range of fictional, current or historical situations to develop children’s ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and make connections with their own lives.


As mathematicians, we aim towards shaping assured, happy and resilient mathematicians who relish the challenge of maths.  Maths is a key life-skill and we aim that our children become enthusiastic, independent and creative mathematicians across the curriculum.  Our maths planning is bespoke to the needs of the groups and individuals and follows the ‘Mastery Approach,’ using White Rose Maths for Early Years.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through Mathematics in the following ways:

  • We facilitate moments of pleasure and wonder when a pupil solves a problem for the first time or discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees hidden connections.
  •  Mathematics is used to give pupils the confidence to question, investigate, prove and explain.
  • We support and encourage children to be resilient and know that effort and perseverance is a route to success and achievement in many aspects of maths.

Understanding the World

As scientists, historians, geographers and people who live in a diverse world, we aim to instil a deep sense of wonder about the world around us.  During the Reception year Understanding the World is taught through a topic approach, building excitement and curiosity to explore, ask questions and engage in hands-on experiences, interwoven into all areas of learning.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through Understanding the World in the following ways:

  • We develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • We equip pupils with the skills and opportunities, so that, our pupils will be confident lifelong learners that will explore the world around them.
  • We develop the pupils’ ability to be reflective about their own beliefs.
  • We develop a knowledge of and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values.
  • We teach pupils about themselves, others and the wider world in imaginative and creative ways.
  • We explore and celebrate cultural diversity locally, nationally and globally.
  • We promote a sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world.
  • We aim to captivate pupils by giving them opportunities to discover their place in a unique, diverse and wonderful world.

Expressive Arts and Design

Art has the ability to transmit joy, transform sorrow, change minds and heal hearts.  As artists, we aim to incorporate Expressive Arts into all areas of the EYFS curriculum.  Children are naturally creative.  We give pupils the freedom, materials and space to enable them to use their creativity and imagination to communicate their inner most feelings. In the Reception year, we have one giant collaborative piece of art each half term, allowing children to work together artistically, sharing ideas, techniques and creative expression.

At Curbar, we promote pupils’ SMSC development through Expressive Arts and Design in the following ways:

  • We participate and respond positively to creative, artistic and musical opportunities.
  • We facilitate the use of creativity, enjoyment, wonder and imagination in the children’s learning.
  • We foster a sense of unity and belonging by coming together regularly as a school and across key stages to sing and perform, often engaging the wider community and developing a spirit of co-operation and collaboration.
  • We lay the foundations for the use and understanding of music as a source of pleasure, confidence, performance and emotional wellbeing.