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Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Offer

At Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy, we view our Early Years children as competent, capable and creative with huge potential for learning. Our environments enable our children to foster and develop skills and knowledge through a highly effective combination of adult and child led activities.

Adult led activities are meticulously planned from the Statutory Early Years Curriculum and are planned according to children’s needs and interests. Activities are engaging, practical, visual and active and our children display high levels of involvement and motivation.  Lessons are planned to teach specific knowledge and skills and adults model specific learning strategies to aid learning.

As well as adult led teaching activities, our children enjoy long periods of uninterrupted play, indoors and out, that allow them to initiate their own learning experiences. These activities encourage them to independently apply new found knowledge and skills, learn to manage risk and to develop their own sense of curiosity, perseverance, resilience and collaboration. Through these more “open” activities, children also learn to problem solve, take and manage risk and to self-challenge. Adults support and challenge the children during these times through modelling, questioning, demonstrating and encouraging imagination.

The Framework is divided into three sections:

  • Characteristics of Learning
  • 3 Prime Areas of Learning
  • 4 Specific Areas of Learning
  • with 17 early learning goals to be aimed for by the end of the Reception year in school.


Characteristics of learning

  • Playing and Exploring: finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to ‘have a go’.
  • Active Learning: being involved and concentrating, persevering and enjoying achieving, what they set out to do.
  • Creating and Thinking Critically: children having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.



Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: making relationships and getting along with other children and adults, having confidence and self-awareness, and being able to manage their feelings and behaviour:

  • forming meaningful relationships with other children and adults
  • having respect for other people
  • being an individual and also belonging to a community
  • being able to express and cope with your feelings and emotions
  • becoming independent and helping others
  • being able to make choices and taking responsibility
  • developing a sense of fairness, what is right and wrong
  • understanding appropriate behaviour
  • respecting and being able to empathise with others
  • having feelings of wonder and joy
  • sharing and celebrating festivals, traditions and special occasions.

Communication and Language: developing good listening and attention skills, to have good understanding and also speak and express themselves clearly:

  • developing confidence to be able to express your opinions and make your own choices
  • talking, listening, discussing and recalling experiences in a range of different situations
  • being able to describe and explain things in your own words, using your own ideas
  • listening to stories, anticipating what might happen and responding appropriately to the story
  • listening and following instructions, and being able to answer questions appropriately.

Physical Development: large and small movements in a variety of ways, having good control and co-ordination, handling different tools and equipment well. It also covers health and self-care, looking at ways to keep healthy and safe:

  • developing confidence and independence through achievement
  • learning to use tools competently
  • learning co-ordination and control
  • building confidence, stamina, energy and strength
  • learning to move in a variety of ways
  • expressing yourself through movement
  • understanding the importance of exercise
  • learning to make healthy choices about food, and taking care of ourselves and our healthy body



Specific areas

Literacy: stories, rhymes, books and reading, and also mark making/writing:

  • believing in yourself as a reader and writer and developing the skills to become one
  • enjoying stories and a wide range of reading materials e.g. books, poems, print in the environment
  • learning to recognise letters and the sounds they each make
  • learning to make marks and give meanings to those marks.

Mathematics: numbers, counting, shape, space and measure:

  • appreciating pattern, and relationships in mathematics
  • logical thinking
  • exploring, comparing and describing shapes, quantities, height, etc.
  • finding ways to solve mathematical problems e.g. estimating, measuring
  • learning to use and understand mathematical language
  • understanding and using number
  • counting, understanding and using numbers
  • calculating simple addition and subtraction problems.

Understanding the world: people and communities and helping children understand about the world they live in, including ICT:

  • exploring the local environment
  • finding out about the past
  • developing an understanding of travelling to other places, distance and maps
  • using technology – making models in a variety of ways
  • planning, making and designing things
  • exploring and solving problems
  • using I.C.T. for a range of purpose
  • exploring, experimenting and having ideas
  • being curious – wondering why, how, what if?
  • understanding why and how things happen
  • observing carefully and closely
  • experiencing and changing materials
  • sharing the joy of finding things out with your friends.

Expressive Arts and Design: developing different forms of expression, exploring music, dance and song, encouraging children to be creative in all respects. It also focuses on media and materials and imaginative/pretend play:

  • representing and communicating your thoughts, ideas and feelings in a variety of ways, for example, art, music, movement dance, language and design and technology
  • expressing yourself through a wide range of media e.g. paint, clay, drawing, 3D materials
  • experiencing and enjoying beauty
  • imagining, expressing and creating
  • having original ideas and thoughts

Teaching and activities are planned based on children’s interests. As professionals, we understand that children are more highly motivated when they are engaged in activities which are linked to their particular interests.

Some adult initiated activities are also planned to teach specific skills but these are always interactive and fun and linked as far as possible to the children’s interests.

Phonics is also taught on a daily basis, beginning in Pre-School. It is structured and routine and based on the Government phonics programme “Letters and Sounds”. This is a progressive scheme and phonic activities are always interactive and engaging and based around games. In FS1, the activities are mainly based around listening activities and training children’s ears to discriminate different sounds in preparation for them hearing the various sounds of letters of the alphabet. In FS2, the programme continues with children learning to recognise and write the written symbols that correspond with the sound and moving onto recognising the various ways that sounds in our language can be made. They then learn how to apply their phonic knowledge to their own reading and writing.

We are very fortunate in our school to have some amazing facilities and we use these to enrich the statutory curriculum. Opportunities include:

FS1 and FS2 children

  • Forest Schools
  • Cook School

FS2 children

  • PE
  • Spanish
  • Swimming

With the exception of Forest Schools, the above activities are taught by specialist staff.

Parents as Partners

Reciprocal relationships between adults and children are essential and we respect and value the relationships we have with our children and their parents an carers. Parents are welcome into our classrooms each day as well as for other events such as Stay and Play sessions in FS1, Open Doors, Christmas activities and twice yearly Parents’ Evenings.

Parent workshops are also held around various curriculum subjects, such as Phonics and Reading, which not only provide information about what is taught in school, but also provides advice of how to support their child’s learning at home.


We are fully inclusive of children with Special Educational Needs and DIsabilities (SEND) and children who have other additional needs. All staff work alongside these children and their parents, as well as the SEND Team within school to  employ various supportive strategies so that the children make progress and enjoy successful outcomes and access the curriculum alongside their peers.