Early Years Foundation Stage




At Barnes Infant Academy our Early Years Curriculum is designed to be creative, challenging, memorable and meaningful to the children within a safe and caring environment. We aim for children to be active agents in their own learning.


We place a strong emphasis on communication and language and children’s social and emotional development.


At Barnes Infant Academy we strive to develop independent children who are lifelong learners. Learning within the Early Years is very practical and through a play based approach where children are developing their language skills and knowledge through areas of the provision and through planned activities and interactions with adults.


Within the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) our intent is to provide a curriculum that is engaging and provides the opportunity for children to develop into independent, confident, successful learners.


We have overarching topics that are based upon predictable interests. However children’s own interests and lines of enquiry are also promoted and developed.


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 – this is about the process and how children learn.


Playing and Exploring

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

Active Learning
This relates to children enjoying their achievements, reaching goals that they have set out to achieve. We consider and develop children's level of involvement and concentration and their willingness to 'have a go'.

Creating and Thinking Critically
This is where children choose ways to approach a situation/activity/scenario. It considers how they 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, through planned activities and through high quality interactions between adults and children and children and children.
Learning is based upon first hand, practical experiences to capture and engage children. Staff are very skilled when observing, interacting and extending 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, Mathematics, 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.


Planning is responsive to the information gathered from observations of what children are saying and doing.

Guidance on expected levels
Children are assessed and progress is monitored using the
Development Matters age related expectations and the Early Learning Goals.
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.

Please click here for our topic overviews.

Please click below for our topic plans.



Why am I special? - Autumn 1

Let's Celebrate! - Autumn 2

Once Upon a Time - Spring 1

Healthy Me - Spring 2

New Life - Summer 1

Seaside Adventures - Summer 2



Marvellous Me - Autumn 1

Welly Wanders - Autumn 2

Our Big Adventure - Spring 1

Healthy Heroes - Spring 2

All Creatures Great and Small - Summer 1

Giants - Summer 2


Please click here to see how you can support your child.

Please click here to see the impact of COVID-19.


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