Foundation Stage




At Barnes Infant Academy we strive to develop independent children who are lifelong learners. Within the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Recepion), topics and themes will be determined by children's interests to ensure learning is meaningful and motivating for the children. Learning outcomes from the Early Years Curriculum will underpin the learning linked to the different topic/theme. Areas of the classroom and outdoor provision will also be enhanced throughout the year in order to extend and develop further children's learning.
The Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning. There are three prime areas and four specific areas of learning. Development within the prime areas underpin and support skills for learning and progress in all other areas of learning.
Prime Areas of Learning:


  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development


Specific Areas of Learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Characteristics of effective learning

The Early Years Curriculum identifies specific characteristics of learning that support children's development across all areas of learning – considering both HOW and WHAT children learn.

Playing and Exploring

Involves children developing their interest and lines of inquiry, exploring different resources/equipment, applying what they already know, being willing to have a go.

Active Learning
Relates to children enjoying their achievements, reaching goals that they have set out to achieve, children's level of involvement and concentration and their willingness to 'have a go'.
Creating and Thinking Critically
Where children choose ways to approach a situation/activity/scenario, use their own ideas and make links, applying what they already know.
At Barnes Infant Academy we ensure children are able to experience learning linked to all characteristics through the organisation of the environment, planned activities and high quality interactions between adults and children and children and children.
Learning is based upon first hand, practical experiences to capture and engage children. Children's learning is carefully observed to enable staff to provide next steps to support and extend the children's learning. The children are also encouraged to plan, evaluate and extend their own learning through discussions, questioning and time provided to reflect upon learning and learning experiences.
Throughout the day in Reception children participate in a range of adult directed activities including Literacy, Mathematic, Key Worker Sessions and Phonic sessions. There is also the opportunity to develop their own interests and ideas through child initiated learning, during which time staff carefully observe, support and extend learning. Children also participate in weekly PE sessions, Religious Education and daily opportunities to develop interests and in the outdoor environment.
Guidance on expected levels
Children are assessed using the
Development Matters age related expectations and the Early Learning Goals.
By the end of Nursery children are expected to be working confidently within 30-50 months. Some children may exceed this and be working within 40-60 months and some children may continue to be working within the 30-50 months.
By the end of Reception it is expected that children will achieve the 'Early Learning Goal' for each area of learning. Some children will not reach the expected levels and will be 'emerging', other will have met the Early Learning Goal and beyond and will be 'exceeding'.
Staff work hard to ensure that each child reaches their full potential.


Please click here for the EYFS curriculum overview.


Please click here for our Early Years Policy.


If you have any questions relating to the EYFS curriculum, please speak to Mrs Rushworth.