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Early Years Education

Early Years Education is the starting point for all pupils in school so we believe it is vital for all pupils to begin their learning in a caring, inclusive and enjoyable environment. 


At Darley Churchtown we provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for learning, where all areas of the EYFS curriculum are planned and provided within the KS1 classroom. All areas of learning are catered for through providing play based learning alongside targeted teaching throughout the day. 


Our EYFS has an outside area for children to explore and learn alongside their peers; using a wide range of resources to engage and develop understanding. 


The Early Years curriculum followed in Reception is different to that of Key Stage 1 and 2. It is based on the seven areas of learning and the three learning characteristics. All children begin Reception at different starting points and develop at different rates. By considering your child's needs, interests and stages of development, we aim to offer challenging and enjoyable experiences across the EYFS curriculum.


The EYFS curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning and development - three prime areas and four specific areas.


Prime Areas


These are areas of learning most essential for children's readiness for future learning and healthy development.

1.Communication and Language - Developing the confidence and skills to express themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


2.Physical Development - Developing co-ordination, control and movement, understanding the importance of physical activity and making healthy food choices.


3.Personal, Social and Emotional Development - Developing a positive sense of themselves, forming positive relationships, developing respect for others, developing social skills, learning how to manage feelings, understanding appropriate behaviour in groups and having confidence in their own abilities.


Specific Areas


1.Literacy - Linking sounds to letters, beginning to read and write and developing an interest in a wide range of reading materials.


2.Mathematics - Developing counting skills, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and describing shapes, spaces and measures.


3.Understanding the World - Making sense of their physical world and community by exploring, observing and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment.


4.Expressive Arts and Design - Exploring a wide range of media and materials, sharing their thoughts, feelings and ideas through art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design technology.


The Characteristics of Learning


The characteristics of effective learning describe factors which are important to a child's learning and in becoming an effective learner. The characteristics of learning run through the EYFS curriculum. Information describing each child's characteristics of effective learning will provide Year 1 teachers with vital information when considering the child's next stage of development and future learning needs.


                           The Characteristics of Learning are based on three areas


      Playing and exploring        Creating and thinking critically:               Active learning:

    Finding out and exploring        Having their own ideas                  Being involved and concentrating

    Using what they know in          Using what they already know       Keeping on trying

    their play                                 to learn new things                       Enjoying achieving what they

                                                                                                         set out to do

Your child will access all of the learning areas through planned purposeful play that has a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Each area has its own set of Early Learning Goals which cover the knowledge, skills and understanding that most children are expected to have achieved by the end of Reception.


Click for a link to the EYFS Curriculum Plan





Moving in different ways


Communication and Language




Reading and writing



Mathematics - Counting, adding, subtracting and learning about shapes and measurement.



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