Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)

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.

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

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.

We have overarching topics that are based upon predictable interests. However children’s own interests and lines of enquiry are also promoted and developed. Planning is responsive to the information gathered from observations of what children are saying and doing.

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:
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.

Throughout EYFS (Nursery and Reception) all staff work hard to help each child develop across all areas of learning; recognising their interests, building upon their experiences and helping all children to make good progress.

Guidance on expected levels


Please click here for expectations for children in Nursery

Please click below for Nursery Topic Plans:

Nursery Autumn 1 – Why Am I Special

Nursery Autumn 2 – Lets Celebrate

Nursery Spring 1 – Once Upon a Time

Nursery Spring 2 – Healthy Me

Nursery Summer 1 – New Life

Nursery Summer 2 – Seaside Adventures


By the end of Reception year the expectation is that children will achieve the ‘Early Learning Goals’. Some children will not reach expected level and will continue to work towards this in Year 1. In the documents below, more information is provided.

Please click here for expectations for children in Reception

Please click here for Early Learning Goals

Please click below for Reception Topic Plans:

Reception Autumn 1 – Marvellous Me

Reception Autumn 2 – Welly Wanders

Reception Spring 1 – Our Big Adventure

Reception Spring 2 – Healthy Heroes

Reception Summer 1 – All Creatures Great and Small

Reception Summer 2 – When I Grow Up

Please click here for our Early Years Policy

Please click here for our topic overview

Please click here for our focus authors

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.