Early Years Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum outlines three characteristics of effective teaching and learning

  • Playing and exploring – children investigating and experiencing things “having a go”
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things

These three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive and they are woven through all curriculum areas.


The Early Years Curriculum has seven areas of learning

Communication and Language

shutterstock_96856597This area of the curriculum 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

Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food

Personal, social and emotional development

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 own abilities

These three areas are the foundations on which all other learning is built. They are referred to as the Prime Areas of Learning.

However “Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied”.

The specific areas are…

Literacy Development

shutterstock_133226156This area of learning involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children need to have access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest in both reading and writing.

The teachers in the pre-school room plan a structured programme of work specially designed to develop phonological awareness, reading and writing skills.


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

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

shutterstock_110031959Involves 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.

Here at Dragonflies Day Nursery, we always seek to value the children’s self – initiated play and are vigilant in the maintenance of meaningful adult interventions. We provide a balance of child led and adult initiated teaching experiences for all our children in all areas of the nursery. We plan and implement activities according to the developmental needs of the children.