EYFS Curriculum Overview

We Love Stories

The year starts with members of the Foundation Stage team visiting each child and their family at home. During this meeting, staff talk to parents and children to find out as much as they can about the new starters and their family to best support the children when they begin school.  To help ease the children into school life, children begin on a part-time basis which gradually increases over the first few weeks of term.  This enables children to build relationships with adults, make new friends and familiarise themselves with the routines and expectations of school. 

 We help to settle children into school through our love of books, stories and rhymes as we talk about stories and characters they are familiar with. At the beginning of the term, we focus primarily on stories about starting school, linking to the children’s own lives and how they themselves feel about starting school. It helps the children understand our school routines and gives them the opportunity to talk about their own experiences. The children learn about familiar characters, such as The Gruffalo and Kipper, through reading a variety of books and stories. We support the children's story telling skills by looking through picture books, retelling stories, creating story maps and using small-world resources. 

 During circle times we ask the children about their favourite books and interests. This supports our planning and activities as children learn best from their own interests. Children have an opportunity to talk about themselves and their families when reading stories about families. Daily circle times are also aimed at developing children’s self-esteem and increasing their sense of community as they find out more about each other. Emphasis is placed on discussing how children are feeling and how they can manage certain feelings. 

 The book Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School inspires our investigation week. The children become detectives and come to school to find a broken window, missing resources and lots of mess! Looking at the clues left behind (such as footprints), the children then work out who has been into school, why they have been into school and how they can stop them from coming back. They use their new knowledge of the routines and expectations at school to work together, teaching the dinosaurs how to respect and look after their resources, focusing on how to tidy up carefully and how to be a good role model. 


In this topic, we look at the impact of colour in the world around us and find out how colour features in some of the key festival and celebrations that take place at this time of year. 

 Bonfire Night falls during this half term. The children work both independently and collaboratively to explore colour, using a range of techniques, materials and media and create firework pictures to classical music by representing what they hear through expressive art and design. The children love hearing the story of Guy Fawkes and have lots of fun building bonfires and campfires in the outside area. Talking about the sounds of fireworks gives them the chance to create firework noises by experimenting and performing with percussion instruments and exploring onomatopoeic words. Having a dark tent allows experimentation with light, dark, reflective materials and shadow.  Going on an autumn walk around school allows the children to investigate weather, colours and textures and observe how they change with the seasons. Looking at the book The Day the Crayons Quit helps children to think about selecting, mixing and using colours for a purpose. 

 We also celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali. We think about how materials can be changed when we make diva lamps. The children learn how to follow a design process: moulding and shaping their diva lamp so it can contain a candle, allowing the clay to dry, painting them in bright colours and finally decorating them. We arrange for visitors to demonstrate Hindu traditions, showing clothing, religious objects and using henna to create mehndi patterns. The children use their fine motor skills to draw around their hand, cut it out and design their own mehndi pattern – they even have a go using chocolate icing! 

After retelling stories from other cultures through drama, we start preparations for our Christmas production. We begin by talking about the story of Christmas and discussing how traditions vary between different families and cultures. The children talk about how their family celebrate different festivals. They use their mathematical knowledge to order presents by number, size, shape and weight and use their writing and mark making skills to create lists. We look at colourful cards and Christmas decorations and make some of our own. Learning songs, actions and dances for the Christmas production and performing in front of their families and a large audience increases self-confidence and gives the children a sense of pride and achievement. 


The children arrive at school to find their classroom turned into a jungle, covered in leaves, a tree top house and jungle animals. The children put on their back packs, binoculars and explorers' hats and go on a journey to discover the jungle. Together, we think about all the things we already know about the jungle and create questions we want to find the answers to. The children then spend the day creating the animals we saw using lots of different media including paint, play dough and construction toys.  

 Rumble in the Jungleby Giles Andreae provides the children with a stimulus to learn the names of jungle animals and what they look like. The children then use non-fiction books to find out more information about their favourite animals to share with their class during circle time. Each week the children learn about what the animals look like, including their different prints, and are given the opportunity to make each animal to add to the jungle classroom. The children also listen to sounds from the jungle and use a range of instruments to recreate the sounds they can hear. In small groups, the children select the instruments they feel best match each animal and work together to create a performance which is shown to the rest of the class. 

 The bookWhatever Next by Jill Murphy, gives the children the opportunity to explore an adventure into space. The children use their imagination to act out the story by travelling in a rocket to the moon; they recreate what they have seen using construction toys, play dough and paint. Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman allows the children to use their mathematics skills to go on a hunt around the classroom, sorting the aliens by numbers, type and size. The children also design and create their own alien using their chosen resources and materials. 

 We celebrate the Chinese New Year. The children discuss similarities and differences with their own traditions and learn about the traditions of Chinese New Year. We have a Chinese restaurant role play area and opportunities for children to try some Chinese foods. The children learn about Chinese drumming rhythms in music and make instruments to perform their own Chinese dragon dance. This week involves lots of art and design technology activities, allowing the children to learn to self-select suitable tools, equipment and materials to produce their work, including designing and making a class Chinese dragon, paper lanterns, fans and lucky red envelopes. The children are encouraged to consider their design process and resources and reflect on how to make their work even better. 

When I Grow Up

For the first two weeks of this topic, the children’s learning is based around superheroes, providing a stimulus for writing opportunities such as descriptive writing and creating imaginative stories.  The children learn that superheroes are not real but the people who help us are the real heroes in our world. Inviting visitors to help widen the children’s knowledge and understanding of people who help others in the community is an important aspect of this topic. We have several days where the children meet a variety of people who help us, such as a postman, nurse, dentist, vet, police officer and even the fire brigade! The children enjoy taking part in an interactive learning experience, especially seeing the uniforms, vehicles and equipment and learning how they are used in the work of people who help us.  Lots of opportunities are provided for the children to ask questions, find out new information and talk about what they would like to be when they grow up. 

 We turn our classroom into a mini town, providing the children with lots of opportunities to apply their new knowledge. This develops their understanding of the world through role play and mark making in both inside, and outside role play areas. The children experiment with ordering parcels by weight and size in the post office and practise using tools and equipment safely to cut and slice foods in their class café. In the building site role play area and when using the large construction resources outside, the children construct with a purpose in mind and can handle construction materials with increasing safety and control. Making emergency vehicles from paper shapes and junk modelling materials allows the children to explore the properties of 2D and 3D shape. We explore a range of non-fiction books, identifying features, finding new information and writing labels and captions. In our outdoor area and during P.E sessions, we observe the effect that activity has on our bodies. 

 Our investigation week follows the story of The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters by Allan Ahlberg. After the postman’s visit and by researching the journey of a letter, the children must use their detective skills to investigate who a mystery bag belongs to. The children need to look closely at the letters to connect the clues and work out who the letters are for, who they are from and the address they need to be delivered to.  The children must make sure each letter gets to the correct address and use simple maps to help the postman deliver them to the right person! The children also take their first trip to the local post office to send a letter themselves so they can experience posting a letter in real life. 

 Mother’s Day and Easter both fall within this topic. The children will participate in circle times and discussions to talk about their families and how they celebrate at this time of year. Children will begin to observe some similarities and differences between themselves and their friends. 

Wonderful Wellies

The children learn that there are lots of different places you can wear wellies including in the garden, in the woods and at the farm. This is a very practical, hands on and real-life topic so that the children can truly experience everyday life and broaden their understanding of the world around them. During this topic, the children read a range of minibeast stories including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and What the Ladybird Heard.  They explore the garden and school grounds trying to spot the signs of Spring and Summer. Looking for minibeasts is always great fun. The children learn that tiny creatures, such as spiders and beetles, live in lots of different places. They enjoy looking for them hiding under stones and logs, in leaf piles and in the ground. They keep a log of how many they found and love to use magnifying glasses to look at the creatures in detail.  

  The children will visit a farm as part of this topic where they will have the opportunity to see a range of farm animals such as cows, pigs and sheep. The children learn about each of these animals, understand how to look after them and even get the chance to feed the lambs! We also have a very special delivery of eggs. The children find out about which animals hatch from an egg and watch with great excitement to see what emerges from them.  The children are excited to come to school to see the ducklings that emerge and love watching them. They are keen to talk about what they see, using the new vocabulary they have been learning. Teaching the ducklings to swim and seeing them splashing about in the water can be messy but always make the children laugh! 

  Using the story Jasper’s Beanstalk, the children understand the process of growing something from a seed. They have the chance to grow a range of plants within our outside area, learning to care for and maintain them and talk about their growth. They then get to taste the vegetables they have grown. During the investigation week, the children investigate how to grow cress and where it grows best. During this activity, they build upon their previous learning. They are asked to justify their decisions, make predictions and talk about what has happened. They then use their phonic knowledge to record what happened to their cress.  

 Once Upon A Time

At the beginning of each week this half term, the staff perform a story or traditional tale, which the children will then learn about. Having a staged area in the classroom allows the children to use drama to retell their favourite stories with their friends using props and costumes, as well as performing their favourite songs and poems. The children begin to explore characters, settings and plots and experiment with ways of changing and adapting stories. The puppet theatre has a variety of story sacks and boxes for the children to act out. The children can also make their own props, puppet characters and write their own scripts and books. As well as writing stories, instructions, lists and letters, further writing table activities encourage the children to create other related items for their production such as programmes, tickets, show times, posters and price labels. The children also have lots of opportunities to be creative by painting characters and writing their own stories. 

 During Goldilocks and the Three Bears the children make and try porridge, often for the first time. We talk about how to stay safe around the hob and how the oats turn into porridge using milk. Exploring and making a variety of foods is central to this topic; the children begin to notice how materials and ingredients can change. Making bread, gingerbread men, vegetable soup and porridge allows children to follow instructions, experiment with weighing and capacity as well as sequencing and creating their own recipes. 

 Designing and making baskets for Red Riding Hood and becoming builders in The Three Little Pigs construction site allows the children to experiment with shape, form and texture. The children are encouraged to evaluate their designs and consider how to improve their own work. A focus on morals and choices supports children in their Personal, Social and Emotional Development; they are encouraged to discuss the choices characters could make and how to make things right.