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Our Pre School Curriculum

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education for all children from birth to the end of the reception year (their first year at school).  This important stage provides children with secure foundations for continued learning.

What will my child be learning?

The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage was reviewed and revised in September 2014. Whilst maintaining that a child’s learning in all areas is interrelated, it acknowledged that there are some areas of learning that are of critical importance (“prime areas”) and that a child’s progress in these will be key to “unlocking” a child’s potential in all other areas (“specific areas”).

Therefore, the greatest importance should be put on these prime areas of development for children in the Foundation Stage.

At Graven Hill Primary and Pre School we will tailor our provision to allow all children to make the very best progress they can in these areas, whilst also providing fun and challenging opportunities for children to progress in the specific areas of development, at a time and stage which is right for them individually.

The 7 Areas of Pre School Learning

Prime areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children will be helped to develop a positive attitude, a sense of well-being, positive relationships, confidence, independence, the ability to know what their own needs are and an understanding of the difference between right and wrong. They will learn how to make choices and how to express their needs and feelings appropriately.

Physical Development

This area of learning will help develop children’s co-ordination and control, manipulation and movement.
Gross motor skills will develop through climbing, running, building and moving. Fine motor skills will develop through small world, sand, water and creative play.
Children will also learn about staying healthy, by being introduced to healthy foods. They will learn about self-care practices through the daily routines of the pre school.

Communication and Language

Children will be helped to develop crucial speaking, listening and understanding skills. Through roleplay and creative activities they will have opportunities to practise speaking and listening to each other. During session time and crucially key group time they will have opportunities to speak and listen with adults too. If a child needs some additional support in this area he or she will be invited to join our “chattering crew”.

Specific areas


Through fun and open-ended activities children will begin to develop an understanding of numbers, space, shape and measure. They will have opportunities to sort, count, problem solve and construct. They will begin to gain a real understanding of these concepts and not simply learn to recite by rote.

Understanding the World

Children will be encouraged to explore and find out about the world around them through asking questions. They will be able to find out about everyday technology, past events, and the communities in which they live.

Expressive Arts

Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. It includes; art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play where children will be encouraged to respond and express their ideas in individual ways.


Once children have the necessary physical skills they will be supported to mark make as part of their play. Through singing and rhyming activities they will begin to apply their understanding of sound differentiation, which will form sound foundations for phonic writing later on.

Child Profiles

Your child will be continuously assessed to ensure our curriculum meets their needs and so that their progress can be recorded. We keep a profile for each child. This helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to meet your child’s needs for her/his well-being and development. You can request to see and discuss your child’s profile at any time. You and your child’s key person will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress.


You are more than welcome to talk to our staff regarding any concerns you may have about your child’s time with us. We also use a virtual hub to communicate with you, details of this are shared with you upon registration. This allows us to share information with you about your child’s day and also for you to share information with us e.g. your child’s routine, what they enjoy doing at home and what they have been doing at the weekend. Please speak to your child’s key person about their progress. For general information the pre-school will provide a termly newsletter, and the notice boards in the reception area are for your information. 

Individual planning

We plan for your child, taking into account their interests and achievements, and we value your input into this individual planning. If you ever wish to see the planning, please speak to your child’s key worker. Your children will learn through the play activities we plan for them. Play helps young children grow in confidence as they gain important social skills, learning how to interact with both children and adults.