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Stoneham Park Academy


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum

Characteristics of effective teaching and learning

Part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is known as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning’ (COETL) which focuses on how children are learning to learn, rather than what they are learning. These are a key focus for us. 

These are divided into three areas:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically 

Areas of Learning

The EYFS is made up of seven all important and interconnected areas of learning. There are three prime areas and four specific areas of learning.

The three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:


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

Pupils need to be secure in all three of these areas before they are ready to learn more traditional academic skills such as reading and writing.

There are four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are;

Literacy Mathematics Understanding of the World Expressive Arts
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Number
  • Numerical patterns
  • People, Culture and Communities
  • Past and Present
  • The Natural World
  • Creating with Materials
  • Being Imaginative and Expressive

None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most pupils to reach by the end of the EYFS. As a school, we also set aspirations for our children. These are skills that we would like the children to achieve by the end of their year in Reception. A copy of this can be found below. 

During this first year in school, we capture the natural enthusiasm and curiosity of pupils to ensure that they develop an independence and interest in learning. This gives pupils the firm foundation required as they move on to the next key stages of the curriculum. They are encouraged to discover the excitement that can be found in learning new ideas and concepts. They are given the opportunity to develop the broader skills of independence in learning that will help them throughout their school career and beyond.

We do not set out a list of rigid topics that the children will cover in Year R, instead we listen to what has captured the children's interests and build our weekly plans around this. We do also have some thematic learning units which we use alongside key texts to introduce the children to new things to spark their curiosity. You can find a copy of our curriculum below. 



Early phonics is taught through the Bug Club phonics scheme. By the end of Year R all pupils have experienced Phases 1-4 of the scheme in order to ensure they are on track to achieve the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening. 


Children take part in reading activities daily. These are a combination of whole class stories, small group work or one-to-one reading with an adult. The children have access to a range of eBooks and paper books via Pearson's Bug Club.

 Curriculum presentations

We provide a curriculum presentation for parents in the Autumn term of every academic year:




We run parent workshops during the school year to share an insight into the curriculum and how we share that with the children at school: