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Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage at Thameside is a nurturing and caring environment where children are supported to become confident and independent learners, delivered through an exploratory-based approach to developing and securing new skills.

Children in Foundation Stage classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (EYFS) as outlined in the latest version of the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021.

There are three characteristics of effective learning that are woven through all areas of learning and development. The characteristics are designed to be developed as children learn new skills and become more confident and independent learners.

The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and Exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active Learning - children concentrate and keep on 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 doing things.

There are seven areas of learning and development. All are important and interconnected.

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.

These are the Prime Areas;

Communication and Language

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development.

Physical Development

Vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives.

Practitioners must also support children in 4 Specific areas;


It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).


Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically.

Understanding the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community.

Expressive Arts and Design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity.

Each day the children will be taught through adult-led guided groups and through their own independent choices of activity, all of which are underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

If you would like to learning more about the EYFS please visit the Government website here:

Statutory framework for the EYFS