Early Years Curriculum

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and Early Year’s professionals describe the time in our child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps our children get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes.  From when our children are born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs. This is what we hope our Early years curriculum provides for the youngest members of Tees Valley Education.

EYFS Curriculum

At TVED, we plan learning experiences considering both the children’s individual needs and achievements as well as a range of learning experiences that will assist them to make progress. Well planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge during the Foundation Stage. Children deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and to each other.

Our curriculum is based upon the Early Years Framework with the statutory requirements from September 2021. It reflects the expectations of sequential and progressive direct teaching, using the supporting documents of Development Matters and Birth to Five. 

The ‘characteristics of effective learning’ are at the heart of our early years curriculum which provides opportunities for pupils to develop in environments which enable learning and ignite curiosity and enthusiasm.  

In addition to this the trust has an expectation that continuous provision reflects all prime areas, meeting the needs of the children in the setting, alongside the focus on the specific areas of learning. The coherent long term learning sequence has been developed to ensure a secure foundation for social and academic development and readiness for Year 1.

Characteristics of Effective LearningAreas of DevelopmentAspects
Engagement: Playing and exploring
- Finding out and exploring 
- Playing with what they know 
- Being willing to ‘have a go
Prime areas
Personal, Social and Emotional DevelopmentSelf-regulation
Managing self
Building relationships
Motivation: Active learning
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving
Physical DevelopmentGross motor skills
Fine motor skills
Thinking: Creating and thinking critically
- Having own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
Communication and LanguageListening, attention and understanding
Specific areas
Word reading
Numerical patterns
Understanding the WorldPast and present
People, culture and communities
The natural world
Expressive ArtsCreating with materials
Being imaginative and expressive

Our early years curriculum aims to develop the pupils holistically, taking into consideration early childhood development and their cognitive stage. The curriculum is progressive and coherently planned to engage all learners and to build upon the children’s prior knowledge. Through continuous and enhanced provision, and the direct teaching of knowledge and skills, our curriculum develops each child’s unique characteristics, builds resilience, self-regulation and independence, thereby increasing their knowledge and sense of themselves and the wider world.  The development of communication and language is a fundamental skill which allows pupils to be increasingly articulate in their learning and prepare them for the next stage of their education 

Learning for today….preparing for tomorrow

Our learning environments are made up of areas which reflect all areas of the curriculum. Here, children can make their own choices, encouraging them to play and explore. They are encouraged to be active learners and are able to create and think critically, both indoors and outdoors. Links are made between both learning environments to ensure that all children receive a rich and varied curriculum that supports their learning and development.

The TVEd long-term plan for EYFS has been designed to fulfil the early years framework, whilst taking into account the area in which we serve.  

The structure of the Trust curriculum for our youngest pupils is detailed in the diagram below.


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