EYFS Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is built upon the principles of:

  • A Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments
  • Learning Development, taking into consideration that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

The seven areas of learning and development are covered in the education programme. The prime areas of learning are:

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

The specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts and design

Activities in the Kindergarten are child-centred and are planned using the Framework for the Early Years. The Kindergarten Practitioners consider the individual needs, interests and stage of each child in their care, and use the information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for the children in all areas of learning and development.

In planning and guiding the children’s activities, the Practitioners focus on the Characteristics of Effective Learning and reflect these in their practice and assessment processes:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience, and ‘have a go’
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep 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 carrying out tasks

Structured and imaginative play forms an important part of the EYFS curriculum. Adult intervention is for a real purpose and, in all areas, language is one of the prime indicators of achievement and progress.

Included below are development statements for a 30- to 50-month child. These help parents to understand their child’s level of progress in the EYFS curriculum. The statements are taken from the document published by the DfE ‘What to Expect When’.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making relationships

  • I can play in a group with my friends. I can make up ideas for things to do and games to play
  • I will ask my friends to play with me
  • I can watch what my friends are doing and join in with them
  • I talk to and make friends with other children and grown-ups I know

Self-confidence and self-awareness

  • I choose the toys I want to play with and what I want to do with them with help from a grown up.
  • I like it when you say things like “well done for eating all your dinner” or “thank you for putting the toys away”
  • I like helping you when you are busy, like putting some shopping away or matching my socks together
  • I am beginning to talk to grown-ups I don’t know when you are there. I will join in new things when you are with me
  • When we are playing, I will chat to my friends about you and our family
  • I can ask grown-ups for help when I need it

Managing feelings and behaviour

  • I know when I am sad or cross and that if I shout or say unkind things I might make my friends sad or worried too
  • I know that sometimes my friends will want to have the toys I am playing with and need help from a grown-up to help me share these with them
  • I am beginning to understand that when you are busy I can’t always have everything I want, when I want it
  • I know that sometimes I can’t do things I want to do, like running around in the supermarket or jumping up and down on your friend’s sofa with my muddy boots on

Physical Development

Moving and handling

  • I like running, walking, jumping, hopping, skipping and moving around in different ways
  • I can go up and down stairs and steps like a grown up, using one foot per step
  • I can carry something I like carefully downstairs, usually stopping with two feet on each step
  • I can run around, stopping, changing direction and slowing down so I don’t bump into things
  • When you show me how to stand on just one foot, I can copy you, just for a second without falling over
  • I can catch a large ball when you throw it to me
  • I can wave my arms or ribbons to make up and down lines and circles in the air
  • I can use child scissors to make snips in paper
  • I can hold my pencil near the top, like a grown up, using my thumb and two fingers, not my whole hand
  • I can make the lines and marks that I want with a pencil
  • When you write my name, I can copy some of the letters by myself on my piece of paper

Health and self-care

  • I can tell you when I am hungry and want something to eat or when I am tired and want to sleep
  • I notice that when I am running, I get hot and I pant a bit
  • I understand that I have to be careful when I am using children’s scissors to snip or my knife to spread jam
  • Most of the time, I remember to go to the toilet in time and I wipe myself
  • I can wash and dry my own hands
  • When you help me and hold out my coat, I can put my arms in and I can do the zip up when you start it. I can pull my own trousers up too

Communication and Language

Listening and attention

  • When I like what they are talking about, I listen to my friends
  • I listen to the stories you tell me and I talk about them later
  • When you read me stories, I join in with my favourite bits, like “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” in Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • I can join in with my favourite rhymes and stories with you and guess what will happen next
  • I stop what I am doing and listen when I hear you talk to me, or I hear the doorbell ring
  • When you ask me to do something like “Come and put your coat on”, I will do it if I am not really busy playing


  • When you ask me questions like “What do we need to cut the bread?” I know it’s a knife
  • When we are playing and you ask me to “Put the car on top of the garage” I know what you mean and I can do it by myself
  • I can help you when you ask me to put something away or get something, like “Put your shoes in the basket, please”
  • I am beginning to understand when you ask me questions like “How can we mop up the juice?” and “Why do you want to wear your boots today?


  • I am beginning to use longer sentences with words like “because” and “and” like “I cried, I did, because I banged my foot”
  • I can tell you about something that happened yesterday, like “remember when we went to the park and had a green apple and came home”
  • I ask lots of questions and answer your questions too
  • I can talk about what we are doing now, and what might happen later or tomorrow
  • When I talk to you, sometimes I talk like a grown-up to make myself clear, like “I really, really need the toilet now”
  • I can use lots of words about things that interest me, like “diplodocus” and “brontosaurus” and I like to learn new words
  • I pretend about things when I am playing



  • I like singing nursery rhymes and songs
  • I can join in with rhymes and I recognise when words start the same, like ‘big boat’ and ‘tall tower’
  • I can clap my hands to match the sounds in words, like 2 claps for “he-llo”
  • I can listen and join in when we read books and sing rhymes
  • I can join in with my favourite stories and guess what will happen next
  • I know that stories have beginnings and endings and sometimes I guess how the story will end
  • I can listen to longer stories and talk about them
  • I can talk about the places and people in stories and the important things that are happening
  • I like to look at the pictures and words in books. I can show you words when we are outdoors
  • I can recognise my own name and words that are special to me, like “mummy” and my favourite shops and foods
  • I hold the book the right way up and turn the pages carefully when I look at it on my own
  • I know that books can tell me things like the names of cars I am interested in
  • I know that the words in the book tell me things and where the words start on the page


  • Sometimes I can tell you about my drawings and paintings and what my writing means
  • When I see your writing, I tell you what I think it means, like the shopping list says “beans and chips and ice cream”
  • I can make the lines and marks that I want with a pencil
  • When you write my name, I can copy some of the letters by myself on my piece of paper



  • I can use some number names and words like “more than” and “fewer than”, when I am playing
  • I can say numbers in order from 1 to 10
  • I know that numbers tell me how many things there are altogether, like 8 biscuits on a plate
  • I use my fingers, pictures or marks to show you how many things there are
  • Sometimes I can match a numeral to the right number of things, like “3” to three balls
  • I am interested in numbers and I talk about them and ask you questions
  • I know when there are the same number of things, like 2 cakes, one for you and one for me
  • I show I am interested in playing with numbers when I share things out in different ways, like putting my 10 farm animals in 2 fields and then in 3 fields and I am beginning to know there are still 10 animals
  • I talk about the numbers I see when we are outdoors
  • I am interested in making marks and calling them numbers
  • I know that I can count claps and jumps as well as things like apples and buses and dinosaurs

Shape, space and measure

  • I like lining up shapes and fitting shapes and different things into boxes
  • I see shapes when we are outdoors, like square windows and triangle and circle shapes in road signs
  • I can use words like “under”, and “next to” to describe where things are
  • I choose to play with different sorts of building sets and talk about what I am making
  • When I am doing puzzles, I look at the missing shapes to see what could fit
  • I am beginning to use words like “round” and “straight” when I talk about the shapes I see

Understanding the World

People and communities

  • I am interested in the grown-ups I know and talk about where they live and what they do
  • I can remember times that are special to me and talk about them, like the first day I got my scooter
  • I can talk about people and times that are special to me and my family and friends, like “remember the party when we had fireworks and big bangs”
  • I am interested in the different jobs that grown-ups do, like fire fighters and doctors
  • I know that I am special and some things that I do are the same as my friends and some things are different. I might say things like “I don’t eat meat” and “I go to the same swimming pool as my friends”.

The world

  • I can talk about my home and the places that I know like the park, the shops and the library. Sometimes I ask questions about the animals and trees I see
  • I can talk about plants and animals that interest me, like next door’s dog that bark
  • I talk about why things happen and how things work, like “where does all the bathwater go when it goes down the plughole?”
  • I am beginning to notice changes in things, when bananas turn black when they stay in the bowl for too long or the flowers in the park getting bigger
  • I know that we have to be careful with animals and plants and remember not to pick the flowers or to stroke the cat gently


  • I know how to operate simple equipment. I can turn on the DVD player and use remote controls
  • I like toys with knobs and touch screens and real objects like cameras or mobile phones
  • I can make toys move or the sound or picture images on toys work by pressing switches or touching the screen
  • I know that I can find out things that interest me from the computer, mobile phone or tablet

Expressive Art and Design

Exploring and using media and materials

  • I like joining in with dancing and ring games
  • I can sing some familiar songs
  • I am beginning to move with rhythm, especially when I hear music I like
  • I can tap out simple repeated rhythms, especially to songs and rhymes I like
  • I can make lots of noises with different things, like banging a spoon on my plate
  • I can mix paints together to make new colours
  • I know that I can join up lines on paper to make different shapes and I use these shapes to make things I know, like a face or a door
  • I like to find out more and talk about things that feel different, like the soft duvet cover or the shiny saucepan
  • I can use building toys and cardboard boxes to make things
  • I make lines and piles of blocks, joining the pieces together to make things like houses
  • I know that I can use tools like scissors, spoons and hammers to do different things

Being imaginative

  • I am beginning to like some things more than others and sometimes I might like painting and drawing more than dancing or singing
  • I move around in different ways when I am happy or excited, sometimes I dance and jump up and down when I hear music
  • I sing to myself and I change songs I know to make up my own songs and rhythms
  • I notice the things that you do, like cooking and cleaning and I pretend to do the same
  • When something special has happened to me, I pretend play it happening, like feeding the new baby or my first swimming lesson
  • When I am playing with my toys, I make up stories like superheroes rescuing people from a building or animals eating grass
  • I use ordinary things and pretend they are something else, like a spoon is a fire hose and my bricks are fish fingers and chips
  • When we have done something exciting, I like to draw or paint a picture or make up a dance or song/rhyme

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