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Our aim for our EYFS children at Patrington  is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success to become school ready or ready for year 1. This is shown through the golden threads of our school whereby children foster curiosity, learn to disagree respectfully, become open to other ways of thinking as well as finding their own unique wonderful self worth, allowing children to become successful, happy and curious life-long learners who aspire to do more, know more and remember more. Within our inclusive environment this curriculum allows all children to ensure that Equity, Curiosity and Ambition are nurtured. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage 

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) begins from birth, then in school from entry to nursery and finishes at the end of the Reception class. Whilst your child is in the Early Years Foundation Stage, they will experience activities which will help them progress in their development and learning. The Statutory Early Learning Goals establish expectations for the children to reach by the end of the Reception year. These goals are organised into seven areas of learning and provide the basis for planning and assessment throughout the EYFS. The seven curriculum areas of learning are made up of three prime areas and four specific areas. Three Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self Regulation, Managing Self, Building Relationships),
  • Physical Development (Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills),
  • Communication and Language (Listening, Attention and Understanding, Speaking)

Four Specific Areas:

  • Literacy (Word Reading, Comprehension, Writing),
  • Mathematics (Number, Numerical Patterns),
  • Understanding of the World (People, Culture and Communities, The Natural World, Past and Present)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (Creating with Materials, Being Imaginative and Expressive) 


The New EYFS Framework became statutory in September 2021. We follow the statutory framework alongside guidance such as ‘Development Matters’ to plan learning and experiences for our children. This also feeds into our own curriculum documents. 

EYFS Statutory Framework 2023 Development Matters 202

Foundation Stage at Patrington

Our nursery and reception children form a cohesive Early Years unit, ensuring that your child’s transition into school is seamless.

We value the Characteristics of Effective Learning and therefore these are at the core of our Early Years curriculum.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and Exploring

Children are encouraged to play with what they know and to develop the confidence to ‘have a go’. We offer our children an experience that will foster a love of learning within a safe and stimulating environment. We build positive and secure relationships which allow our children to flourish.

Active Learning

We have both an indoor and an outdoor environment in both of our Early Years settings. These are carefully resourced to support our children to become independent learners. Children are supported to be more resilient: to keep on trying and achieve what they set out to do, even if it is difficult. We follow the children’s interests in our provision which develops high levels of engagement and motivated to learn.

Creating and Thinking Critically

As children engage in a broad range of activities in Early Years, they begin to actively think about the meaning of what they are doing. Children will begin to generate new ideas, make links between experiences and learning and become problem solvers.


Intent  Patrington Primary School’s  EYFS curriculum is designed to promote and embed life-long learning behaviours through: independence, choice, collaboration, aspiration and personal discovery.  We place high importance on the school community and always ensure that our resources, lessons, experiences and curriculum are tailored to the area we serve, whilst also ensuring exposure to the wider world. Our tailored EYFS Patrington curriculum has a large focus on developing key skills including speaking and listening, fine motor development and personal, social and emotional development. 
Substantive Knowledge  Substantive Knowledge is the understanding and use of knowledge across the seven areas of learning. In the prime areas, this is building a broad and varied vocabulary, developing focus, listening and attention skills.  We ensure that  children secure the gross and fine motor skills that they need to move forwards with their learning. PSED is a key aspect in our curriculum and every unique child is celebrated; helping to develop confidence as well as knowledge on how to make and maintain relationships, manage feelings and behaviour and build self-esteem.

 In the specific areas, substantive knowledge is the area specific understanding and use of key concepts which are taught sequentially through adult-led teaching  and those which also naturally arise through child-initiated learning. Development of substantive knowledge is achieved through deliberate practice so that children develop fluency in their knowledge and understanding. 

Disciplinary Knowledge  Disciplinary Knowledge: This builds on the substantive. It is the interpretation and independent use of learnt knowledge and skills demonstrated through the characteristics of effective learning. Learning is embedded from the start through accurate assessments that show  what a child can do independently and consistently in everyday situations. This is secure when a child applies their knowledge to a range of situations, uses it to solve problems or back up their own theory with facts (this is done through as plan, do, review approach); this may be independently mixing colours to achieve the desired colour or applying phonic knowledge to read for a purpose. 
Implementation We have carefully broken the content down and sequenced logically to allow for progression for both nursery and reception children, with regular opportunities to revisit and reactivate prior knowledge. The Substantive and Disciplinary Knowledge are the  stepping stones ahead of starting the National Curriculum or Reception. 

We implement this by offering a bespoke pathway focussing on speaking, fine motor skills and personal, social and emotional development for all of our EYFS children. Children have access to a range of learning experiences through both child-initiated and adult-led opportunities that encourage them to foster curiosity and investigate alternative ways of doing things and points of view. Children all learn to recognise themselves as important and unique individuals, as well as developing a sense of belonging to their Patrington community and school family. 

Children are presented with a broad and balanced curriculum within both our indoor and outdoor environment and staff working with children are ambitious that they will all find their ‘wonderful’, regardless of their starting point in life and education. From the moment children start their learning journey at Patrington, they are exposed to high quality phonics teaching which encourages them to become lifelong lovers of reading. 

We strive to develop and maintain effective partnerships with parents and other agencies such as the local children’s centre. This enables us to support families at all stages of their life to ultimately offer our children the best possible start. 

MONITORING AND IMPACT The EYFS team’s mindset places the learner at the heart of the curriculum and insists practitioners consider… “What do we want our children to learn and retain, what personal and educational tools will they need to get there, what could be the possible outcomes and how will these skills relate to the lives children lead within and beyond our community”.

We aim to develop children who must and can, think for themselves, be resilient and face challenges with strategies to overcome and progress. 

As a result of this, children will be successful learners, who can apply their learning skills and knowledge set out in the curriculum as well as being respectful and open to other views and methods. 

Within a single day at Patrington, our children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with the learning materials, environments and challenges we present across all 7 areas. 

In EYFS we monitor the understanding and retention of knowledge and skills through regular retrieval, discussion and carefully planned end point opportunities as a platform for children to independently showcase the knowledge and skills transferred into long term memory.  All children are offered bespoke interventions depending on their needs. Children’s learning is assessed and monitored based on the work they produce, observations and interactions that are made and through discussion based activities.

The children will  leave EYFS ‘Year One ready’ with a sense of belonging to a tightly-knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, reflect and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners. They all have the opportunity to find their ‘wonderful’.  

EYFS Patrington LTP