Early Years Curriculum

The Foundation Stage is vital as it lays the foundations for the rest of school life, in particular for Key Stage 1 and the National Curriculum.

Development Matters, sets out what is expected of children at each stage of their development and Early Learning Goals provide an expected standard for the end of the Reception Year.

The EYFS profile provides a nationally reported, summative assessment in the summer term of your child’s Reception year.

Children get off to a strong start in early years.

Teachers help learn the fundamental skills they need to be successful in school.

Ofsted 2019

The education that we offer our children is based on the following principles:

  • It builds on children’s previous learning and experiences via a planned child led approach within a rich and stimulating environment.
  • It recognises that each child is different and ensures that all children have equal opportunity to succeed.
  • It offers a structure for learning that has a variety of starting points, content and activities that allow for learning both indoors and outdoors.
  • It recognises that parents and teachers need to work together to make a positive impact on children’s education and wellbeing.
  • It values and promotes the characteristics of effective learning – playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically.

The EYFS curriculum has seven main areas.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Throughout the EYFS, the children will use books as inspiration to begin discussions about the things that make us feel emotions and how to best deal with these feelings.  The children will also be encouraged to talk about activities and skills they are good at and to share these with their peers.

Physical development

The children will have daily Funky Fingers focus time, where they will work on developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  These activities are differentiated so each child will be working at an activity that matches their skill level.

We provide space and time for the children to develop their larger muscle groups using bikes, climbing, bats and balls as well as balancing equipment.  Children in Reception have a focused Physical Education time, where a specialist leads their learning.

All children are encouraged to develop independent self-care skills and learn how to make healthy choices in relation to eating, exercising and hygiene.

Communication and language

At Temple Grove Academy, we aim to provide a language rich environment.  Adults model appropriate grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary as well as good listening skills.  Play-based activities encourage children to listen to each other, share ideas and maintain focus and concentration during particular tasks.

Reception children also take part in French lessons with a specialist teacher.  The teacher focuses on developing vocabulary, conversational skills and love of learning a language.


In Nursery, the children will be exploring non-fiction books and using these to support daily investigations and play.  There are also opportunities to read and listen to a variety of high-quality stories, poems, rhymes and songs.

They will continue working on writing their names on a daily basis.  Throughout the continuous provision, there will be many opportunities for mark making and independent writing.

Phonics teaching in Nursery will focus on listening skills and hearing sounds within words (Phase 1).  These are game based sessions that encourage children to discriminate sounds in their environment and, eventually in words.

In Reception, the children will continue their phonics sessions with an emphasis on learning letter shapes and the sounds they make (Phase 2 – Phase 4).  They will learn how to form these letters correctly and use them in their writing.  Phonics sessions will take place daily, with many opportunities during continuous provision to apply these skills.

A variety of high quality non-fiction texts as well as stories, poems and rhymes will be used throughout the Reception year to support learning through topics and the children’s interests.


Children will be consolidating skills in number, shape and measures.  There is a strong emphasis on adults encouraging children to solve problems that occur during their play.

Nursery children will focus on numbers to 10 while Reception children will work on numbers to 20 and beyond.  They will learn to count, manipulate and understand the patterns within numbers.

Children will learn about shapes and their properties through handling and making arrangements.

They will also develop mathematical vocabulary and concepts related to time, size, length and weight.

Understanding the world

The children will talk about the things they have observed and experienced, both at home and school.  There is a strong focus on learning to show care and concern for living things and the environment.

Expressive arts and design

Each classroom has a Creative Station, where children have daily access to experiment and create representations of their experiences.  There is an emphasis on process rather than product and the children will have access to many different media, such as clay, paint, collage and junk modelling.

The children will have daily singing sessions, focusing on learning new songs and building our singing repertoire.  Reception children also have a timetabled music session with an experienced music teacher.

Enrichment opportunities

Throughout the year, we will invite members of the community to come and share their expertise with the children.

We also take the children on days out of school to enhance their learning and build first-hand experiences.

Each term, our Nursery and Reception teachers plan the children’s learning based on their interests.  Please see our curriculum maps for each term to see, in more detail, what your child is learning.