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Stoneham Park Academy


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum

Characteristics of effective learning

Part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is known as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ (COEL) which focuses on how children are learning to learn, rather than what they are learning.

These are divided into three areas:

Playing and Exploring Active Learning Creating and Thinking
Finding out and exploring
Playing with what they know
Being willing to ‘have a go’.
Being involved and concentrating.
Keeping on trying.
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do.
Having their own ideas
Making links
Choosing ways to do things.

Areas of Learning

The EYFS is made up of seven all important and interconnected areas of learning. There are three prime areas and four specific areas of learning.

The three prime 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 three areas, the prime areas, are:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development Communication and Language Physical Development
Self-confidence and self-awareness.
Managing feelings and behaviour
Making relationships
Listening and attention
Moving and handling
Health and self-care

Pupils need to be secure in all three of these areas before they are ready to learn more traditional academic skills such as reading and writing.

There are four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are;

Literacy Mathematics Understanding of the World Expressive Arts
Shape, space and measures
People and communities
The world
Exploring and using media and materials
Being imaginative


 None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most pupils to reach by the end of the EYFS.

During this first year in school, we capture the natural enthusiasm and curiosity of pupils to ensure that they develop an independence and interest in learning. This gives pupils the firm foundation required as they move on to the next key stages of the curriculum. They are encouraged to discover the excitement that can be found in learning new ideas and concepts. They are given the opportunity to develop the broader skills of independence in learning that will help them throughout their school career and beyond.

We do not set out a list of rigid topics that the children will cover in Year R, instead we listen to what has captured the children's interests and build our weekly plans around this. For example, the children recently displayed a keen interest in spiders this led to a whole week of work on our creepy crawly friends!


Early phonics is taught through the Bug Club phonics scheme of work which is based on Letters & Sounds. By the end of Year R all pupils have experienced Phases 1-4 of the  in order to ensure they are on track to achieve the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening.


Children take part in reading activities daily. These are a combination of whole class stories, small group work or one-to-one reading with an adult. The children have access to a range of ebooks and paper books via Pearson's Bug Club. This scheme is supplemented with Big Cat Collins books.


We provide a curriculum presentation for parents in the Autumn term of every academic year. 

 Curriculum presentations