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Chiddingstone Church of England School

Educating for life in all its fullness - John 10:10

Early Years Foundation Stage


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum sets standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. It ends when a child enters KS1. The EYFS is the framework by which all children in England have a focus placed on the their well being and development as they grow and prepare for their entrance into compulsory education.


The EYFS curriculum has been statutory since 2008. The EYFS is currently being reformed and at Chiddingstone School we have chosen to be early adopters of the new EYFS. The new EYFS will become statutory for all schools in September 2021. As an early adopter school we have to follow the new EYFS curriculum from September 2020. 


 View the EYFS framework here.


In summary, the EYFS comprises:

  • the seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes.
  • The Early Learning Goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of YR.
  • The assessment requirements.


The seven areas of learning are:

The three prime areas, which are seen as being particularly important (communication and language, physical development and PSED).

The four specific areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design).


The Early Learning Goals are the level of development the children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS.


In addition , the Characteristics of Teaching and Learning are an important part of the EYFS curriculum and describe how a child learns. The three characteristics are:

  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things and "have a go".
  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. 


In YR we aim to achieve the above through a rich and varied curriculum. The children will have the opportunity to take part in various trips, weekly Forest school sessions, find out about different cultures, create their own role play areas, learn French and take part in many other activities. We have a weekly RE lesson during which the children find out about the life of Jesus, the stories he would have heard and learn about different religious festivals.


As well as delivering the curriculum through a range of adult led and adult directed activities, an important element of the EYFS is child initiated learning. Child initiated learning is an important element of the early years and in our school we call this "Children’s Choice". Child-initiated play has an important role in children's learning and development, because children explore and learn from their own thoughts and ideas through the freedom and creativity that child-initiated play enables.