Opening Times
arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right close email lunch-menu location online-payment opening-times phone search translate right-thin-chevron
School Logo

Pinxton Nursery School

Opening Times

Quick Links

Calendar Online Payment

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the government and early year’s professionals describe the time in your child life between birth and age 5.


This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experiences should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.


Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework here


What to expect in the Early years Foundation stage (EYFS)

  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) outlines what adults must do to help children learn and develop and to be healthy and safe.
  • From September 2021, the Early Years Foundation stage was revised and settings can now choose which guidance to follow. At Pinxton Nursery school, we are following The Birth to Five matters. More information on The Birth to Five Matters Framework can be found here
  • The Birth to Five matters includes seven areas of learning and development. In this guide the seven areas are split into ranges

Range 1

0-9 months

Range 2

9-18 months

Range 3

18-24 months

Range 4

24-36 months

Range 5

36-48 months

Range 6

48 -71 months

  • In each range, there are suggestions about what your child may be doing, and how you can help them. It’s important to remember that children develop in different ways and at different rates.

Seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS

The three prime areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning

  • Communication and language
  • Personal, social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

The three prime areas are strengthened and applied through four specific areas.

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive Arts and Design


Understanding your child’s development

  • Children develop and learn at different rates and in different ways. Their development is not neat and orderly!
  • That is why we use The Birth to Five Matters framework. It shows how many different experiences in the first five years of life will help your child to learn.
  • Birth to Five Matters helps us to identify where your child is at, their next steps and areas that we may be worried about.
  • Sometimes children have some early difficulties in their development. With the right help, they can quickly grow out of these difficulties.
  • For example, 70% of children with delayed communication in the early years will not have problems later in school. Those ‘late talkers’ need lots of opportunities to chat, play and read.
  • Some children will have long-term difficulties, so it is important to identify what their needs are and make sure they get the support they need.
  • Every child can make good progress, with the right support.
  • Each child has a key worker, who will work with you in partnership to support your child
  • If you have any concerns about your child’s progress please discuss this with your key worker, nursery teacher or Head teacher.


PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT – every moment counts

  • It is important for your child to be physically active and to eat well. Children learn through their bodies. Every time they move, their brains build connections.
  •  Young children need lots of physical activity to develop their balance, posture and coordination. These are the foundations that will help your child to be physically ready to sit and concentrate.
  • Physical activity encourages the development of hand eye coordination for reading and writing.
  • When your child is active, they are learning about their bodies and what they can do. They are also learning about social rules and managing their feelings.



What happens early, matters for a lifetime

  • Research tell us what happens at home makes the biggest difference to your child is early learning and development.
  • Playing together, singing, enjoying books, visiting the library, painting, drawing and finding out through play about letters, numbers and shapes are important activities to do at home. These activities are learning opportunities.
  • These activities will make a difference to your child’s learning right up to secondary school.


Chat, Play, Read

Giving your child the best start in life.

  • Children love to talk about all sorts of things. Make time to have back and forth conversations.
  • Do not feel embarrassed talking to your baby –it is never too soon communicating with them!
  • Go with what your child is interested in. This will help them learn many new words.


The benefits to your child learning more than one language are huge.

  • Talk and play with your child in the language that you feel most comfortable and confident using.
  • Sing, read and tell stories in your home language – rhyme and repetition help your child to remember words.
  • Home languages give your child a connection to their culture and heritage. Encourage your child to use all their languages – they will feel closer to people and part of their community.


  • Play helps children learn about the world and themselves. Children need time and space to play freely. Sometimes it is helpful if you sensitively join in with your child’s play too.
  • Children need outdoor play.
  • Play is essential for your child’s wellbeing and development. It is part of the United Nations convention on rights of the Child (1989)
  • There are many everyday moments like bath time and dinner that you can make playful. Help your child to learn in a fun and relaxed way.


  • Sharing books and telling stories is a lovely way to build closeness and encourage conversations.
  • Sharing books with your child at a young age will help them to develop a love of reading.
  • Read and share stories with your baby.
  • Talk to your child about what is happening in the pictures
  • Young children love to hear and read their favourite books and stories again and again.

What happens early, matters for a lifetime?

Building a brighter, fairer future for all

  • The early years are vital for shaping children’s views and attitude. You can make a difference to how your child sees the world.
  • It is important for you to think about your own views and can be open to exploring your thinking.
  • Boys and girls can do everything! However, they are often treated differently, from an early age. Limitations can start and hold children back.


Partnership with parents

The adults who work with your child know a lot about children – but not as much about your child. It is important to tell them what they need to know. Then they can understand your child and help them.

  • It’s important for parents and early years settings to have a strong and respectful partnership
  • A strong, trusting partnership will support two-way communication between you and your child’s keyworker.
  • Throughout the EYFS, settings must share information about your child’s progress.

The three Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

When we sees a baby in their cot, were looking at ‘the greatest mind that has ever existed, the most powerful learning machine in the universe.’

We can help children become even more powerful learners through three Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning:

  • Playing and exploring – I investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active Learning – I concentrate and keep on trying even when I encounter difficulties. I enjoy achieving.
  • Creating and thinking critically – I am learning to develop my own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.


The Areas of the Curriculum


  Communication and Language

Your child should be able to:

  • Know lots of songs and enjoy singing them.
  • Tell you a long story and talk about their favourite books.
  • Use words and actions to explain their thoughts and ideas, sometimes using long sentences of four to six words
  • Give their viewpoint, and disagree.
  • Use talk to pretend when playing, such as “let’s go on a bus – you sit there”.


Your child may still be learning:

  • How to use word endings.

They might make mistakes such as ‘runned’ for ‘ran’. Instead of correcting them, please reply and use the correct word ending, e.g. “Yes I saw how fast you ran”

  • How to pronounce some words.

These are the sounds that they might find tricky:-

    • j
    • th
    • ch
    • sh

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Your child should be able to:

  • Be more independent, and enjoy being given resources and activities that they can use by themselves.
  • Be more confident interacting with new people.
  • Play with other children and build on ideas in their play.
  • Understand rules, and follow them most of the time.
  • Assert themselves in appropriate ways.
  • Talk to their friends to solve problems that might happen when playing.
  • Use different words to talk about how they are feeling, and develop an understanding of how other people might be feeling.


Physical Development

Your child should be able to:

  • Eat independently most of the time, and will be learning how to use a knife and fork.
  • Become more independent in getting dressed and undressed, such as being able to put on their coat and do up the zip.
  • Brush their teeth, and wash and dry their hands independently, and understand why it is important to brush their teeth and make healthy choices about food and drink.
  • Use a range of skills, such as balancing, riding and ball skills.
  • Walk up steps/ stairs with alternate feet.
  • Skip, hop, stand on one leg and hold a pose for a game such as musical statues.
  • Wave flags and streamers using large muscle movements, and paint and make marks on a large scale.
  • Join in with group and team activities, such as kicking a ball to a friend.
  • Use one-handed tools, such as scissors, and choose the right tools for the task they wish to complete.
  • Work with friends to move and carry large objects such as big wooden blocks.
  • Show a preference for either their left or right hand, and Hold pens and pencils in a comfortable grip and show good control.



Your child should be able to:

  • Understand 5 important things about print:
    • Print has meaning
    • Print can have different purposes
    • In English print is read from left to right, and from top to bottom
    • Pages in story books are read one at a time
    • Books have different parts, and each part has a name, such as front cover
  • Tune into different sounds in English
  • Have some phonological awareness, so that they can:
    • Spot and suggest rhymes
    • Count or clap syllables in a word
    • Recognise words with the same initial sound such as money and mummy
  • Have long conversations about stories and learning new words.
  • Write some letters accurately, and use knowledge of sounds and letters in their early writing.
  • Write some, or all, of their name.




Your child should be able to:

  • Quickly recognise groups of up to 3 objects, without having to count them individually (this is called subitising).
  • Say numbers in order past 5.
  • Say one number for each item in order: 1,2,3,4,5.
  • Know that the last number they reach when counting a small set of objects tells them how many there are in total (this is called the cardinal principle).
  • Show ‘finger numbers’ up to 5.
  • Match the correct numeral to the right amount, up to 5, e.g. point to the number 3 when they count 3 snails.
  • Experiment with making their own marks and symbols as well as using numerals.
  • Use mathematical words to compare amounts ‘more than’, ‘fewer than’.
  • Explore 2D (flat) and 2D (solid) shapes, and talk about shapes using everyday words such as  ‘pointy’, and mathematical words like ‘sides’ and ‘corners’.
  • Understand position through words, e.g., “the bag is under the table” – with no pointing.
  • Make comparisons between objects relating to size, length, weight and capacity.
  • Choose the right shape when building.
  • Combine shapes to make new ones.
  • Talk about and identify patterns that they see around them, e.g. stripes on clothes, and use everyday language like ‘pointy’, ‘spotty’.
  • Make and extend patterns, such as red, yellow, red, yellow, and spot an error in an existing pattern.
  • Use words such as ‘first’, ‘then’ and ‘after’ to describe a pattern of events.


Understanding the World

Your child should be able to:

  • Enjoy exploring natural materials using all of their senses, and talk about what they have found.
  • Be interested in different jobs that people do.
  • Be interested in exploring how things work.
  • Enjoy planting seeds and caring for growing plants.
  • Understand the important parts of lifecycles of both plants and animals.
  • Show respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.
  • Learn about different forces they can feel, such as how water pushes up when they try to push a boat down in the water.
  • Have positive attitudes about the differences between people.
  • Know that there are different countries in the world, and talk about the differences they may have experienced or seen in photos.
  • Use simple technology to interact with a favourite game.
  • Understand technological toys and real life technology.


Expressive Arts and Design

Your child should be able to:

  • Take part in pretend play, using an object to represent something else.
  • Make up complex ‘small worlds’ using animal sets, dolls and dolls houses etc.
  • Make detailed ‘small worlds’ using blocks and construction kits.
  • Explore different materials, and develop their ideas of how to use them and what to make.
  • Join different materials together, exploring the texture of the materials.
  • Create closed shapes with continuous lines, and use these shapes to represent objects.
  • Draw with increasing complexity and detail, such as representing a face with a circle and including details.
  • Use drawings to show their ideas.
  • Show emotions in their drawings and paintings, such as happiness, sadness and fear.
  • Enjoy exploring colours and colour mixing.
  • Listen to sounds with increasing attention, and respond to what they hear.
  • Remember and sing entire songs.
  • Enjoy creating their own songs.
  • Play instruments with increasing control.


Useful Links