Thursday 19 August 2021

Understanding your child's curriculum

During pre-school, your child will develop significantly on a personal, social and physical level, and start learning about different subjects which they’ll explore in more depth in primary school. They’ll develop important life skills and start to learn the basics of important subjects like English and Maths. Here’s some guidance from a pre-school in Surrey on the key aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Main areas of learning

The EYFS curriculum focuses on three prime learning areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Communication and Language. Within this, EYFS educational programmes provide activities and learning opportunities in the following seven areas:

Communication and language

Children experience a rich language environment and develop their confidence and skills in self-expression. They also learn to speak and listen in different situations and interact with people in various ways. 

Physical development

During the EYFS children start to gain physical skills such as motor skills and spatial awareness. They’re given the chance to be active and develop their coordination skills and control of their own movements. They’re also taught about the importance of being physically active and eating a healthy diet. 

Personal, social and emotional development

The focus here is on building children’s self-esteem and self-agency, and helping them develop positive relationships with others and learn to respect their peers and caregivers. They also learn how to manage difficult emotions, and recognize others’ feelings, and how to behave appropriately toward them. 


Children are encouraged to start linking sounds and letters, and to learn the basics of reading and writing. They should be given access to a wide range of reading materials to stimulate their interest and introduce them to different concepts and ideas. 


At this stage, children start learning to count and add or subtract simple numbers, usually through play activities or more structured lessons. They also learn about shapes, space and measurements through playing with different objects. 

Understanding the world

Children are given the opportunity to explore their surroundings and the people in it so they can make sense of the world and the environment. They might go on day trips to see local sights or interact with the local community. This teaches them about the world beyond their immediate physical limits. 

Expressive arts and design

Children’s creativity is nurtured through them exploring a variety of media and materials, and getting hands-on, for example, through painting or making models. They’re also prompted to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas through activities like dance, music, role-play and technology. 

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