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Year R Curriculum

In Year R we follow the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.  

The Early Years curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning; three Prime Areas and four Specific Areas, as detailed below:

Prime Areas of Learning

Communication and language development

This involves giving pupils opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.

Physical development

This involves providing opportunities for pupils to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Pupils must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development

This involves helping pupils to:

  • develop a positive sense of themselves and others
  • form positive relationships and develop respect for others
  • develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings
  • understand appropriate behaviour in groups
  • have confidence in their own abilities

Specific Areas of Learning


This involves encouraging pupils to read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Pupils must be given access to a wide range of reading materials for example books, poems, and other written materials to ignite their interest.


This involves providing pupils with opportunities to:

  • practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems
  • describe shapes, spaces, and measures

Understanding of the world

This involves guiding pupils to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design

This involves supporting pupils to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. It involves providing pupils with opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology.

Teachers will also monitor each child's characteristics of learning, namely their abilities in:

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically

Children's progress towards the Early Learning Goals is tracked using the Development Matters guidance materials.