The Early years Foundation Stage Curriculum


At St Werburgh’s Park Nursery School, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (effective from 1st September 2021) provides the foundation for our Curriculum.

We share the belief that “a secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right” (DfE).

We seek to provide:

  • Quality and consistency so that every child makes good progress and no child is left behind.
  • A secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child.
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents/Carers.
  • Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.                                                                                                      (DfE)

Every child is unique and will learn at different rates. To support children in their learning we develop positive relationships and create enabling environments in order to plan learning experiences supported by qualified and experienced staff. We are passionate about celebrating all children and supporting them at their own pace to make the best progress they can.

We understand that children move through a developmental process as they are growing and learning. We adapt our approach according to the needs of the child. This underpins our curriculum:

Stage 1: Children are supported to leave their primary carer. They are supported to learn to trust that they will return, to trust a new adult and to feel safe and secure in their new environment.

Stage 2: Children begin to explore their environment. They need to begin to develop the skills in the Prime Areas: to make relationships, initiate interactions, communicate and try things out. They need repetitive routines and experiences while they gain confidence.

Stage 3: Children build independence to explore, interact and communicate for themselves. They need to begin to express their own opinions, thoughts and ideas.

Stage 4: Children make their own choices and decisions. They comment on what they are discovering and share this with others.

Stage 5: Children need to develop early literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills.

A3 poster (16)

Throughout their time in the early years, children will be working towards “The Early learning Goals” set out in the statutory framework. This begins at Nursery School where we provide a firm foundation on which to build future academic, social and emotional success.

There are seven areas of learning and development:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

The first three are the “Prime Areas”. These underpin the whole curriculum, providing key skills for children’s learning and development.

  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Expressive Arts and Design
  • Understanding of the World

These are known as the “specific” areas of learning, providing greater breadth and depth and helping children to become ready for the next steps in their learning journey.

Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, although some may need adult support. It is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally. Children need and have the opportunity to play indoors and outdoors.

Our Curriculum is structured around 6 curricular “goals”. Each area of the curriculum links to the learning planned under these goals:

  • Being happy at nursery
  • Learn a Nursery Rhyme
  • Make something to eat
  • Make believe
  • Tell a story
  • Solve a problem

The statutory Framework sets out what we need to teach the children. Our Curriculum sets out how we will teach skills, knowledge and understanding. Our Curriculum sequences learning, building on previous learning in order to develop new learning.

To see our Curriculum please use the links below.

Curriculum Overview

Communication and Language

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Physical Development



Safeguarding in the Curriculum

As a school, we are constantly researching the best approaches to support young children. We have taken inspiration from approaches such as High/Scope and Reggio Emilia. Both approaches have the child at the heart of their learning. The starting point is the child, their experiences and interests. Listening to and talking with the child helps us to facilitate their learning. Through the planning of learning provocations, we observe, support, develop and extend a child’s skills, understanding and experiences.

We have developed 5 principles that underpin our Curriculum:

  • Learning is delivered through contexts that are meaningful for children
  • Children learn best through active, skills based experiences.
  • All children will be supported at a pace that suits them.
  • Learning will be planned from what an individual CAN do.
  • Learning must be low threshold and high ceiling.

During each child’s “Focus week”, we carefully observe and reflect on the child’s learning journey and plan further provocations and experiences to support their development. We evidence this process so we can share with parents/carers to further reflect and work together for best outcomes for the child. This evidence is collected, alongside evidence from families in the child’s “Learning Diary”.

We encourage you as parents/carers to engage with our curriculum. You can use the resources on our website and You Tube channel to do this. You can also talk with staff and engage in your child’s “focus week”. Staff will also proactively work with you and guide you to find ways of better supporting your child’s learning at home.