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Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Foundation Stage

The children in Nursery and Reception follow a programme of study based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.  This is a statutory framework that sets out children's learning and development in the Foundation Stage.

It gives children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.  Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through learning and development.

There are seven areas within this phase.  Children should mostly develop the three prime areas first:

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

These prime areas are the most essential for your child's healthy development and future learning.  As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas:

  • Literacy (Reading and Writing)
  • Mathematics (Number and Shape, Space and Measures)
  • Understanding of the World (includes ICT)
  • Expressive Art and Design


At the end of the year, we use these goals to assess your child's level of development. 

  • If they are confident and secure within these goals, they are assessed as expected. 
  • If they are working towards these goals, they are emerging.
  • If they are working above these goals, they are exceeding.

These assessments are based on what your child can do independently.


The Foundation Stage at St Mary Magdalen's

Click to view the Development Matters guidance from the Department for Education (DfE).

Click to view the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage from Early Education.

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