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The Foundation Stage Curriculum and Assessment

The Foundation Stage Curriculum


Since September 2021 it has been statutory for children in Year R to follow the new curriculum which has been produced by DFE.

Children in Year R follow a curriculum based on the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This allows children to work towards the Early Learning Goals in all seven curriculum areas.


The curriculum for children in Year R classes is known as The Early Years Foundation Stage. This leads on to the National Curriculum that children begin in Year 1.


The curriculum is broken up into 2 main areas – Prime and Specific and then these areas are then broken up into smaller areas.


The Prime Areas are:

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


The Specific Areas are:

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


In class the children will take part in activities in all areas of the curriculum, either through child initiated activities (activities children choose to do themselves) or adult directed activities. We encourage children to take part in different activities to ensure they are accessing all of the curriculum.



At the end of Year R, children are assessed using the Early Learning Goals and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. This is done through observation of the child’s work in the classroom. Each September it is statutory for each Year R child to do a Baseline Assessment created by the government. The children are unaware they are doing an assessment and just enjoy working with an adult completing it. Any assessment carried out is done informally, children are unaware it is being done and the findings are used to inform our planning and how to move the children on.