EYFS – The Foundation Stage Curriculum – Areas Of Learning

Communication and language

Listening, Attention and Understanding

Children listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions.

They make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding.

They hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.


Children participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary.

They offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate.

They express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Physical Development

Gross Motor Skills

Children negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others; – Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing.

They move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

Fine Motor Skills

Children hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases.

They use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery; – Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.

Personal, social and emotional development


Children show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly.

They set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate.

They give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

Managing Self

Children are confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.

They explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly.

They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.

Building Relationships

Children work and play cooperatively and take turns with others.

They form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers.

They show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.



Children demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.

They anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories.

They use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

Word Reading

 Children say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.

They read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.

They read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.


Children write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.

They spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.

They write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.



Children have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number; 14 – Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5.

They automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

Numerical Patterns

Children verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system.

They compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity.

They explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.

Understanding the world

People, Culture and Communities

Children describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.

They know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

They explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

The Natural World

Children explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants.

They know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

They understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Expressive arts and design

Creating with Materials

Children safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

They share their creations, explaining the process they have used.

They make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

 Being Imaginative and Expressive

Children invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.

They sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs.

They perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.