Welcome to our Foundation Stage Curriculum Page.

On this page you will find:

  • information about what our children are learning
  • expected standards at the end of the year  in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
  • information about any formal assessments

Nursery- If you would like to see what is happening in our class, please look at our Blog or follow Twitter .

Reception- If you would like to see what is happening in our class, please look at our Blog or follow Twitter .

What we are Learning about this Term

Please click image to enlarge

What children should know be able to do in Each Phase

Areas underlined in Reception are the Development Goals for end of this stage.

Area Nursery Reception
Personal, Social and

Emotional Development

Making Relationships

Can play in a group, extending & elaborating play ideas eg. building up a role-play activity with other children.

• Initiates play, offering cues to peers to join them.

• Keeps play going by responding to what others are saying or doing.

• Demonstrates friendly behaviour, initiating conversations & forming good relationships with peers & familiar adults


• Initiates conversations, attends to & takes account of what others say.

• Explains own knowledge & understanding, & asks appropriate questions of others.

• Takes steps to resolve conflicts with other children, e.g. finding a compromise

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others.

They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.

They show sensitivity to others’ needs & feelings, & form positive relationships with adults & other children.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Self Confidence & Self Awareness


• Can select and use activities and resources with help.

• Welcomes and values praise for what they have done.

• Enjoys responsibility of carrying out small tasks.

• Is more outgoing towards unfamiliar people and more confident in new social situations.

• Confident to talk to other children when playing, & will communicate freely about own home and community.

• Shows confidence in asking adults for help.

• Confident to speak to others about own needs, wants, interests & opinions.

• Can describe self in positive terms and talk about abilities

Children are confident to try new activities, & say why they like some activities more than others.

They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, & will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities.

They say when they do or don’t need help.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Managing Feelings & Behaviour

• Aware of own feelings, and knows that some actions and words can hurt others’ feelings.

• Begins to accept the needs of others & can take turns & share resources, sometimes with support from others.

• Can usually tolerate delay when needs are not immediately met, & understands wishes may not always be met.

• Can usually adapt behaviour to different events, social situations and changes in routine.



• Understands that own actions affect other people, eg. becomes upset or tries to comfort another child when they realise they have upset them.

• Aware of the boundaries set, & of behavioural expectations in the setting.

• Beginning to be able to negotiate & solve problems without aggression, e.g. when someone has taken their toy.

Children talk about how they & others show feelings, talk about their own & others’ behaviour, & its consequences, & know that some behaviour is unacceptable.

They work as part of a group or class, & understand & follow the rules.

They adjust their behaviour to different situations, & take changes of routine in their stride.


And Language

Listening & Attention

• Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them.

• Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.

• Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes & stories.

• Focusing attention

• Is able to follow directions

• Maintains attention, concentrates & sits quietly during appropriate activity.

• Two-channelled attention – can listen & do for short span.

Children listen attentively in a range of situations.

They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events & respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.

They give their attention to what others say & respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.                                                                                                                                                       


And Language


• Beginning to use more complex sentences to link thoughts (e.g. using and, because).

• Can retell a simple past event in correct order (e.g. went down slide, hurt finger).

• Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening & anticipate what might happen next,

recall & relive past experiences.

• Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.

• Uses a range of tenses (e.g. play, playing, will play, played).

• Uses intonation, rhythm and phrasing to make the meaning clear to others.

• Uses vocabulary focused on objects and people that are of particular importance to them.

• Builds up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences.

• Uses talk in pretending that objects stand for something else in play, e,g, ‘This box is my castle.’

• Extends vocabulary, especially by grouping & naming, exploring the meaning & sounds of new words.

• Uses language to imagine & recreate roles & experiences in play situations.

• Links statements & sticks to a main theme or intention.

• Uses talk to organise, sequence & clarify thinking, ideas, feelings & events.

• Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.

They use past, present & future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future.

They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


And Language


• Understands use of objects (e.g. “What do we use to cut)

• Shows understanding of prepositions such as ‘under’, ‘on top’, ‘behind’ by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture.

• Responds to simple instructions, e.g. to get or put away an object.

• Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.




• Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence.

Understands humour, e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.

• Able to follow a story without pictures or props.

• Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Physical Development Moving & Handling • Moves freely & with pleasure & confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering,

shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding & hopping.

• Mounts stairs, steps or climbing equipment using alternate feet.

• Walks downstairs, two feet to each step while carrying a small object.

• Runs skilfully & negotiates space successfully, adjusting speed or direction to

avoid obstacles.

• Can stand momentarily on one foot when shown.

• Can catch a large ball.

• Draws lines and circles using gross motor movements.

• Uses one-handed tools and equipment, e.g. makes snips in paper with child scissors.

• Holds pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole-hand grasp.

• Holds pencil near point between first two fingers and thumb and uses it with good control.

• Can copy some letters, e.g. letters from their name.

• Experiments with different ways of moving.

• Jumps off an object and lands appropriately.

• Negotiates space successfully when playing racing & chasing games with other children, adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles.

• Travels with confidence & skill around, under, over & through balancing & climbing equipment.

• Shows increasing control over an object in pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it.

• Uses simple tools to effect changes to materials.

• Handles tools, objects, construction & malleable materials safely & with increasing control.

• Shows a preference for a dominant hand.

• Begins to use anticlockwise movement and retrace vertical lines.

• Begins to form recognisable letters.

• Uses a pencil and holds it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements.

They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space.

They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing

 Physical Development Health & Self-Care • Can tell adults when hungry or tired or when they want to rest or play.

• Observes the effects of activity on their bodies.

• Understands that equipment and tools have to be used safely.

• Gains more bowel and bladder control and can attend to toileting needs most of the time themselves.

• Can usually manage washing and drying hands.

• Dresses with help, e.g. puts arms into open-fronted coat or shirt when held up, pulls up own trousers, & pulls up zipper once it is fastened at the bottom.


• Eats a healthy range of foodstuffs and understands need for variety in food.

• Usually dry and clean during the day.

• Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping & hygiene can contribute to good health.

• Shows understanding of the need for safety when tackling new challenges, and considers and manages some risks.

• Shows understanding of how to transport and store equipment safely.

• Practices some appropriate safety measures without direct supervision

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, & a healthy diet, & talk about ways to keep healthy & safe. They manage their own basic hygiene & personal needs successfully, including dressing &going to the toilet independently.

Literacy    Reading • Enjoys rhyming and rhythmic activities.

• Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

• Recognises rhythm in spoken words.

• Listens to and joins in with stories and poems, one-to-one and also in small groups.

• Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes & stories.

• Beginning to be aware of the way stories are structured.

• Suggests how the story might end.

• Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.

• Describes main story settings, events and principal characters.

• Shows interest in illustrations and print in books and print in the environment.

• Recognises familiar words and signs such as own name and advertising logos.

• Looks at books independently.

• Handles books carefully.

• Knows information can be relayed in the form of print.

• Holds books the correct way up and turns pages.

• Knows that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom

• Continues a rhyming string.

• Hears and says the initial sound in words.

• Can segment the sounds in simple words & blend them together & knows which letters represent some of them.

• Links sounds to letters, naming & sounding the letters of the alphabet.

• Begins to read words and simple sentences.

• Uses vocabulary & forms of speech that are increasingly influenced by their experiences of books.

• Enjoys an increasing range of books.

• Knows that information can be retrieved from books & computers.

Children read and understand simple sentences. 

They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words & read them aloud accurately.

They also read some common irregular words.

They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Literacy   Writing • Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint.

• Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places.

• Gives meaning to marks they make as they draw, write & paint.

• Begins to break the flow of speech into words.

• Continues a rhyming string.

• Hears and says the initial sound in words.

• Can segment the sounds in simple words & blend them together.

• Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.

• Uses some clearly identifiable letters to communicate meaning, representing some sounds correctly & in sequence.

• Writes own name and other things such as labels & captions.

• Attempts to write short sentences in meaningful contexts.

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.

They also write some irregular common words.

They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves& others.

Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

Mathematics Numbers • Uses some number names and number language spontaneously.

• Uses some number names accurately in play.

• Recites numbers in order to 10.

• Knows that numbers identify how many objects are in a set.

• Beginning to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures.

• Sometimes matches numeral and quantity correctly.

• Shows curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions.

• Compares two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number.

• Shows an interest in number problems.

• Separates a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same.

• Shows an interest in numerals in the environment.

• Shows an interest in representing numbers.

• Realises not only objects, but anything can be counted, including steps, claps or jumps.

• Recognise some numerals of personal significance.

• Recognises numerals 1 to 5.

• Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item.

• Counts actions or objects which cannot be moved.

• Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10.

• Counts out up to six objects from a larger group.

• Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10 objects.

• Counts an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects.

• Estimates how many objects they can see and checks by counting them.

• Uses the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets of objects.

• Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all of them.

• Says the number that is one more than a given number.

• Finds one more or one less from a group of up to five objects, then ten objects.

• In practical activities & discussion, beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding & subtracting.

• Records, using marks that they can interpret and explain.

• Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own interests and fascinations

Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order& say which number is one more or one less than a given number.

Using quantities & objects, they add & subtract two single-digit numbers & count on or back to find the answer.

They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.


Shape, Space & Measures

• Shows an interest in shape & space by playing with shapes or making arrangements with objects.

• Shows awareness of similarities of shapes in the environment.

• Uses positional language.

• Shows interest in shape by sustained construction activity or by talking about shapes or arrangements.

• Shows interest in shapes in the environment.

• Uses shapes appropriately for tasks.

• Beginning to talk about the shapes of everyday objects, e.g. ‘round’ and ‘tall’.

• Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘solid’ 3D shapes & ‘flat’ 2D shapes & mathematical terms to describe shapes.

• Selects a particular named shape.

• Can describe their relative position such as ‘behind’ or ‘next to’.

• Orders two or three items by length or height.

• Orders two items by weight or capacity.

• Uses familiar objects and common shapes to create & recreate patterns & build models.

• Uses everyday language related to time.

• Beginning to use everyday language related to money.

• Orders and sequences familiar events.

• Measures short periods of time in simple ways

Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time & money to compare quantities & objects and to solve problems.

They recognise, create and describe patterns.

They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes & use mathematical language to describe them.

Understanding the World

People & Communities

• Shows interest in the lives of people who are familiar to them.

• Remembers & talks about significant events in their own


• Recognises & describes special times or events for family or friends.

• Shows interest in different occupations and ways of life.

• Knows some of the things that make them unique, & can talk about some of the similarities & differences in relation to friends or family.



• Enjoys joining in with family customs and routines.

Children talk about past & present events in their own lives & in the lives of family members.

They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things,& are sensitive to this.

They know about similarities & differences between themselves & others, & among families, communities & traditions.

Understanding the World

The World

• Comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar

world such as the place where they live or the natural world.

• Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as

plants, animals, natural and found objects.

• Talks about why things happen and how things work.

• Developing an understanding of growth, decay & changes over time.

• Shows care and concern for living things and the environment.

• Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials & living things.

They talk about the features of their own immediate environment& how environments might vary from one another.

They make observations of animals & plants & explain why some things occur, & talk about changes.

Understanding the World


• Knows how to operate simple equipment.

• Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects.

• Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images.

• Knows that information can be retrieved from computers

• Completes a simple program on a computer.

• Interacts with age-appropriate computer software

Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.

They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring & Using Media & Materials

• Enjoys joining in with dancing and ring games.

• Sings a few familiar songs.

• Beginning to move rhythmically.

• Imitates movement in response to music.

• Taps out simple repeated rhythms.

• Explores and learns how sounds can be changed.

• Explores colour and how colours can be changed.

• Understands they can use lines to enclose a space & then begin to use these shapes to represent objects.

• Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things.

• Uses various construction materials.

• Beginning to construct, stacking blocks vertically & horizontally, making enclosures & creating spaces.

• Joins construction pieces together to build and balance.

• Realises tools can be used for a purpose.

• Begins to build a repertoire of songs and dances.

• Explores the different sounds of instruments.

• Explores what happens when they mix colours.

• Experiments to create different textures.

• Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.

• Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect.

• Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.

• Uses simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.

• Selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary.

• Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble & join materials they are using.

Children sing songs, make music & dance, & experiment with ways of changing them.

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

Expressive Arts and Design

Being Imaginative

• Developing preferences for forms of expression.

• Uses movement to express feelings.

• Creates movement in response to music.

• Sings to self and makes up simple songs.

• Makes up rhythms.

• Notices what adults do, imitating what is observed & then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there.

• Engages in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences.

• Builds stories around toys, e.g. farm animals needing rescue from an armchair ‘cliff’.

• Uses available resources to create props to support role-play.

• Captures experiences & responses with a range of media, such as music, dance & paint & other materials or words.


• Create simple representations of events, people and objects.

• Initiates new combinations of movement and gesture in order to express & respond to feelings, ideas and experiences.

• Chooses particular colours to use for a purpose.

• Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

• Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme.

• Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative

Children use what they have learnt about media & materials in original ways, thinking about uses & purposes.

They represent their own ideas, thoughts & feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.