Early Years

At White Cliffs Primary and Nursery School we follow the statutory framework and the non-statutory guidance for the early years foundation stage profile (Development Matters).


The Early years foundation stage framework sets out the curriculum areas as follows:

Prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, social and emotional development

  • Physical development

  • Communication and language

Specific areas of learning:

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Knowledge and understanding of the world

  • Expressive arts and design

The early years curriculum is underpinned by four themes:

• Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured

• Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships

• Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

• Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.


At the heart of the early years foundation stage curriculum is the characteristics of effective learning. These focus on how children learn and enable us to ensure we provide opportunities to develop these essential skills for learning in young children.  

The characteristics of effective learning 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


Page Downloads Date  
EYFS framework March 2021 25th Feb 2022 Download
DfE Development Matters 2021 25th Feb 2022 Download