Curriculum – Rayleigh

At Rainbow we work towards the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (Rev 2012) Curriculum.  The EYFS – 3 Prime Areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language) and 4 Specific areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Designs) – seeks to provide: quality & consistency in all early years settings, so that every child, including children with special educational needs & disabilities, makes good progress & no child gets left behind; a secure foundation through learning & development opportunities which are planned around the needs & interests of each individual child & are assessed & reviewed regularly; partnership working between practitioners & with parents and / or carers; equality of opportunity & anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included & supported.

The four overarching principles that should shape practice in settings are: every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning & can be resilient, capable, confident & self-assured; children learn to be strong & independent through positive relationships; children learn & develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs & there is a strong partnership between practitioners & parents and /or carers; Children develop & learn in different ways & at different rates. Further details of the prime and specific areas will be provided in the parent information pack. All rooms follow the Governments Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which covers children from age 3 months to the end of the reception year in school. It includes the following areas of learning and development:

Personal & Social Development.

The programme for personal and social development encourages children to continue to be interested, excited and motivated to learn; to be confident to try new activities, initiate ideas and to speak in a familiar group; to maintain attention, concentrate, and sit quietly when appropriate; to respond to significant experiences, showing a range of feelings when appropriate; to have a developing awareness of their own needs, views and feelings, and be sensitive to the needs, views & feelings of others; to have a developing respect for their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people; to form good relationships with adults and peers; to work as part of a group or class, taking turns and sharing fairly, understanding that there need to be agreed values and codes of behaviour for groups of people, including adults and children, to work together harmoniously; to understand what is right, what is wrong and why; to consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others; to select and use activities and resources independently; to understand that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs, which need to be treated with respect; to understand that they can expect others to treat their needs, views, cultures and beliefs with respect.

Communication and Language.

The programme for communication and language encourages children to: interact with others, negotiating plans and activities and taking turns in conversation; enjoy listening to and using spoken, and readily turn to it in their play and learning; sustain attentive listening, responding to what they have heard with relevant comments, questions or actions; to listen with enjoyment and respond to stories, songs and other music, rhymes and poems and make up their own stories, songs, rhymes and poems; to extend their vocabulary, exploring the meanings and sounds of new words; to speak clearly and audibly with confidence and control and show awareness of the listener; to use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences; to use talk to organise, sequence, and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events; to hear and say sounds in the order in which they occur; to link sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet; to explore and experiment with sounds, words & texts; to retell narratives in the correct sequence, drawing on the language patterns of stories.

Physical Development

The programme for physical development encourages children to move with confidence, imagination and in safety; to move with control and co-ordination; to travel around, under, over, and through balancing and climbing equipment; to show awareness of space, of themselves and of others; to recognise the importance of keeping healthy and those things which contribute to this; to recognise the changes that happen to their bodies when they are active; to use a range of small and large equipment; to dress and undress independently and manage their own personal hygiene; use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.


The programme for literacy encourages children to use their phonic knowledge to write simple regular words & make phonetically plausible attempts at more complex words; to read a range of familiar and common words and simple sentences independently; know that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom; show an understanding of the elements of stories, such as main character, sequence of events and openings, and how information can be found in non-fiction texts to answer questions about where, who, why and how; attempt writing for different purposes, using features of different forms such as lists, stories and instructions; write their own names and other things such as labels and captions, and begin to form simple sentences, sometimes using punctuation.


The programme for mathematics encourages children to use number names in order in familiar contexts; to count reliably up to 10 everyday objects; to recognise numerals 1 to 9; use developing mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems; to use language such as “more” or “less” to compare two numbers; to find one or more or one less than a number from 1 to 10; to begin to relate addition to combining two groups of objects, and subtraction to “taking away”; use language such as “greater”, “smaller”, “heavier”, or “lighter” to compare quantities; to talk about, recognise and recreate simple patterns; to use language such as “circle” or “bigger” to describe the shape and size of solids and flat shapes; to use everyday words to describe position.

Understanding the World

The programme for understanding the world encourages children to investigate objects and materials by using all their senses as appropriate; to find out about, and identify some features of, living things, objects and events they observe; to look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change; to ask questions about why things happen and how things work; to find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology and use information and communication technology and programmable toys to support their learning; to find out about past and present events in their own lives, and in those of their families and other people they know; to observe, find out about, and identify features in the place they live and the natural world; to find out about their environment, and talk about those features they like and dislike; to begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people.

Expressive Arts and Design Development

The programme for expressive arts and design development encourages children to respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel; to express and communicate their ideas and thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of materials, suitable tools, imaginative and role play, movement, designing and making, and a variety of songs and musical instruments; explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two and three dimensions; to recognise and explore how sounds can be changed, sing simple songs from memory, recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns and match movements to music; to use their imagination in art and design, music, dance, imaginative and role play and stories; to build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources, and adapting their work where necessary; to select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join the materials they are using; to handle tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.