We follow The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This framework is a means of ensuring high standards of early education and care that enables each child’s development to be fully supported. It underpins all future learning by supporting and fostering your children’s personal, social and emotional wellbeing. It encourages positive attitudes and dispositions towards learning in your children and promotes learning through play. Well-planned and well-resourced play activities allow for progression in children’s thinking and understanding from birth. Through our observations, assessment and professional judgement we gain valuable insights into how each child learns best. This information informs our planning to meet the needs of each individual child. Progression in play comes about as a result of a real understanding of the interests, needs and experiences of each child.

Every day in the Family Unit, there are opportunities for the children to choose from a range of activities, both indoors and outdoors, where they can explore, experiment, learn and develop. Writing and mathematics are encouraged throughout all activities, where possible in meaningful contexts to support children’s understanding of its relevance in real life. We create a happy and caring environment where all children feel valued and relaxed and where they have the opportunity to develop positive relationships with all the adults who care for them. The mixed ages and abilities of children in the Family Unit means all children learn to collaborate, cooperate and explore. Every area is planned to ignite children’s interests, deepen their understanding and equip them with transferable skills.  We teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.

Communication and language

Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development

Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Personal, social and emotional development

Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read (at the bottom of this page is a link to a site which can help you practise phonics).

Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.


Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Understanding the world

People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive arts and design

Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.  

Playing and exploring

Finding out and exploring

  • Does your child show curiosity about objects, events and people?
  • Does your child use their senses to explore the world around them? Any sense perhaps used more than others?
  • Does your child engage in open-ended activities?
  • Does your child show particular interests? In what?

Playing with what they know

  • Does your child pretend objects are things from their experience?
  • How does your child represent their experiences in their play?
  • Does your child take on a role in their play? Any particular role?
  • Does your child act out experiences with others (children or adults)?

Being willing to have a go

  • Does your child initiate activities/experiences? What kind of activities/experiences?
  • How does your child seek challenges?
  • Does your child show a ‘can do’ attitude?
  • Does your child take risks, engage in new experiences and learn by trial and error?

Active learning

Being involved and concentrating

  • Does your child maintain focus on their activity for a period of time? Is this at any activity or always at a particular activity or area in the environment?
  • Does your child show high levels of energy, fascination?
  • Does your child concentrate despite distractions?
  • Does your child pay attention to details?

Keeping on trying 

  • Does your child show persistence with an activity when faced with challenges?
  • Does your child demonstrate aspects of problem solving and show a belief that more effort or a different approach will work/pay off?
  • Does your child bounce back after difficulties?

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

  • Is he/she proud of their accomplishments- not just the end result?
  • Does your child enjoy meeting challenges for their own sake rather than for rewards or praise?

Creating and thinking critically

Having their own ideas

  • Does your child think of ideas?
  • How does your child find ways to solve problems?
  • Does your child find new ways of doing things?

Making links

  • Does your child make links and notice patterns in their experience?
  • Does your child make predictions?
  • How does your child test out their ideas?
  • Does your child develop ideas of grouping, sequencing, cause and effect?

Choosing ways to do things

  • Does your child plan, make decisions about how to do something, solve a problem to reach a goal?
  • Does your child check how well their activity or what they are doing is going?
  • Does your child change strategy if needed? Or does your child always do what he/she knows?
  • Does your child review how well their approach worked? With support or on their own?


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