020 8556 0103     school@downsellprimary.waltham.sch.uk     Downsell Road, Leyton, London, E15 2BS  



16 Feb 2024

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
At Downsell, our EYFS curriculum is based on the DfE: Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage and the non-statutory Development Matters guidance.
The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the National Curriculum framework. The curriculum in EYFS is organised into seven areas of learning, rather than subject specific as it is in the National Curriculum.
The seven areas of learning:
  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Physical Development
  3. Communication and Language Development
  4. Literacy
  5. Mathematics
  6. Understanding the World
  7. Expressive Arts and Design
Within these seven areas of learning, there are three prime areas:
  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Physical Development
  3. Communication and Language Development
Although all of the seven areas of learning are important, the three prime areas describe the universal core aspects of early child development. They are the key areas of learning that provide the foundation to the other, more structured areas of learning: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

At Downsell we extend the broad, balanced and engaging curriculum offer to for our pupils in EYFS. We understand that the EYFS is the first experience of schooling that children and their parents experience, so it is essential that this first interaction is well planned and thought out, working successfully with parents and carers. Through the seven areas of learning, we seek to ensure that our curriculum offer is engaging and exciting so that all of our children’s interests and needs are catered for.
Our curriculum and termly planning is driven by:
  • Recognising and planning to celebrate our children’s diverse backgrounds
  • Recognising children’s prior learning and experiences
  • Building on children’s interests
  • Provide first hand learning experiences
  • Allowing our children to develop interpersonal skills
  • Building resilience
  • Supporting our children to become critical and creative thinkers 

In our EYFS setting, we meet the requirements as set out within the statutory framework.
We plan within the seven areas of learning. Our curriculum is topic based, which supports children in embedded key learning within other areas of the curriculum and developing higher-level thinking and deeper learning. It is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning as set out in Development Matters:

1. Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

2. Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.

3. Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.

Child initiated learning is valued and encouraged. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult- led and child-initiated activities. 

Our outdoor environment is equally as important as the indoor provision. Our children can access the whole curriculum outside all year round and access to the provision is available daily. 

Working with parents / carers and outside agencies is an essential part of implementing the curriculum successfully. We work with others in a child centred approach when implementing the curriculum. This may be through advice from outside agencies on how to tailor activities or through working with families to celebrate diversity and planning for this within the curriculum.

Please click on the links below for the yearly planning overview

  Nursery Cycle 1.docx-  

  Nursery Cycle 2.docx-  

  Reception curriculum map.docx- 

Our families are from a diverse range of backgrounds. Regardless of starting points, we strive for all of our children to reach Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with age expectations. 

The table below shows the comparison between Downsell Primary and National, for the percentage of children achieving good level of development (GLD), with each year showing Downsell achieving above National.

  2016 - 2017 2017 - 2018 2018 - 2019
Downsell Primary 73.2% 75.6% 73.9%
National 70.7% 71.5% 71.8%
Summative assessments are used throughout the year. Where we recognise that children are not making the required progress to be at age expected, we put in the required interventions to support them to meet these expectations.

Our carefully planned curriculum, opportunities for play based learning, quality first teaching and our consistent use of assessment opportunities supports children with making the required progress.

Our parental / carer involvement is also key at this stage. We are committed to celebrating the success of our children, the impact of the curriculum and teaching on their progress. We do this through the use of tapestry.
Tapestry is an online learning journal that is used by school, parents/carers to share information about your child’s achievements.

 EYFS Policy.pdf  

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