Early Years Foundation Stage (Pre-School and Reception) is for children aged three to five years old and is the first stage of their education.  The key focus during this part of the National Curriculum is on teaching the children routine and easing them into the idea of learning in a structured environment.  A lot of the activities your child will undertake will be play-based, with more formal teaching not starting until they begin Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2).

There are seven learning areas for children at the Foundation Stage:

Physical Development

We all know that young children often love to be active, but they also need to understand that continued physical activity, as well as healthy food choices, are important and why.

Communication and Language

It is important for children to learn to listen to others, pay attention, follow instructions involving several ideas or actions and ask and answer questions.  Children are encouraged to articulate themselves, talking clearly about what is happening now, what happened in the past and looking ahead to future events.

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development

This area helps to shape children’s social skills and develops respect and an understanding of their different feelings.

Literacy Development

It’s important for children to discover phonemic awareness – the ability to hear and identify different words and sounds, and also to start reading and writing.


Children need to be guided in developing skills with numbers and calculations, as well as being able to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the World

This involves children making sense of things by observing and exploring everything from the places they spend time to the technology and other things that they use.

Expressive Arts and Design

Activities like drawing, playing with paint, playing instruments or using technology all give children the chance to express themselves and learn new things.