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Early Years and the Southcott Curriculum

The Southcott curriculum includes the experiences of our youngest children in our Pre-School, Nursery and Reception classes. Our early years provision is planned according to the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework. You can view this here.


The primary national curriculum is organised into three core subjects (English, maths and science) and eight foundation subjects. The EYFS statutory framework is organised differently to account for the developmental stages of very young children. It is split into seven areas of learning. Three of these are known as the ‘prime areas’ and are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. The other four areas are the ‘specific’ areas. The seven areas are then split into further strands as follows (shown in brackets alongside the areas of learning):


Prime areas 

  • Communication and language development (listening, attention and understanding; speaking) This sets the foundations for literacy and is crucial to children being able to move onto English in the national curriculum.
  • Personal, social and emotional development (self-regulation; managing self; building relationships). This area links with PSHE in KS1 and KS2. It is a very important part of EYFS and runs through most of what we do. This is how we foster social skills such as sharing, turn-taking, empathy for others, the ability to make and sustain relationships, confidence and independence, awareness of feelings, co-operation etc.
  • Physical development (gross motor skills; fine motor skills). This area includes the development of gross motor skills needed for sports and physical health, and equally importantly the development of fine motor skills which are essential for children learning to hold a pencil, make marks with control and write.


Specific areas

  • Literacy (comprehension; word reading; writing)
  • Mathematics (number; numerical patterns)
  • Understanding of the world (past and present; people, culture and communities; the natural world). This area links with history, geography, science and RE in the national curriculum.
  • Expressive arts and design (creating with materials; being imaginative). This area links with art, music and design technology in the national curriculum.


At Southcott, we take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in our care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities.


The EYFS is about how children learn, as well as what they learn. Our early years pedagogy (method and practice of teaching) can be viewed below. We firmly believe that when we give every child the best start in their early years, we give them what they need today. We also set them up with every chance of success tomorrow.