Curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Within the group, all children are supported in their development at their own pace. Our key-worker system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum tailored to the needs of each child. By means of developmental play activities and a high level of individual adult input, we offer a curriculum that enables children to progress through the seven early learning goals throughout the Foundation Stage. This prepares them for the National Curriculum, which begins at Year 1 in Primary School.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Within our nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults.

Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity to take responsibility for themselves and also for the group.

At the open snack bar we introduce different foods to try, always as part of a healthy diet.

Lunchtimes provide an informal and social occasion for the children to chat and share their experiences with each other.

Physical Development

A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and outdoors, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills.

A very high level of adult supervision enables children to safely create and meet physical challenges, developing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time, children are helped to develop the skills they will need to use tools, including scissors, pens and pencils, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision. They use outdoor tools when digging in the garden.

They are also encouraged to develop awareness of their own bodies and learn about how to stay healthy. This is achieved through role-play, snack bar, stories, etc.

The children have access to climbing and gym equipment with safety mats, and they play with our array of play equipment including balls, hoops, bicycles, tractors and prams, as well as our large building blocks.

Communication and Language

In both small and larger groups, children are encouraged to extend their talking and listening by hearing and responding to stories and songs. They are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves.


A well-stocked book area gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and be aware of their uses, both for references and for stories and pictures. We regularly take the children to visit Harbury library for book-reading sessions.


The children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities, which form the basis for early mathematics.

As their understanding of numbers develops, children are helped to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number and are encouraged to use their problem solving skills.

Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences.

Sand or water play is always available to the children where we provide problem-solving activities.

Understanding the World

A safe and stimulating environment allows children to observe and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to recognise differences, patterns and similarities, and to share and record their findings.

We help the children explore and understand their environment, both within the group and also in the wider community.

The children learn to respect other people, and expect to be respected for themselves.

Harbury Pre-School regularly takes the children to the local village shops such as the greengrocers to see the fruit and vegetables displayed. The children are encouraged to talk about the origin of the produce and learn what money is for. Or they may visit the Post Office to post a letter back to themselves at home.

We explore different cultures and festivals, for example we have celebrated the Diwali Festival of Light and Chinese New Year, along with taking the children to a local stable for a Nativity Songtime.

Expressive Arts and Design

Children are encouraged to express their own ideas and feelings through art and play.

Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and recycled materials, provides for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage.

Children join in with and respond to music and stories, and there are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of a group.

The children like to create their own puppets, and together they put on puppet shows using stories they have created.