EYFS Curriculum Intent

At Sandford Hill Primary School our ethos of ‘Thoughtfulness and Respect’ underpins our EYFS curriculum and is reflected in everything we do. Through positive relationships and high-quality interactions, our aim is to create a nurturing learning environment where every child feels happy and safe. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as individuals and we are passionate in allowing our children to achieve their potential from their various starting points. By building positive relationships, we ensure our children become self-regulated learners who work hard to overcome challenges and build resilience. We work collaboratively with parents and carers to encourage independent, enthusiastic and happy learners who thrive in school regardless of background, circumstances or needs.

It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their life-long learning journey by developing verbally, emotionally, physically and cognitively whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.

Our curriculum is the cultural capital we know our pupils need so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success and for future learning. We aim to provide an ambitious, child-centered curriculum that includes rich and purposeful experiences. Our indoor and outdoor enabling environments support high quality play and reflect our children’s interests.

At Sandford Hill Primary School, we are passionate about creating opportunities for children to become confident communicators and to develop language skills through adult modelling, scaffolding, stories and the teaching of vocabulary for all areas of the curriculum.


At Sandford Hill Primary School we meet the welfare requirements stated in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. We recognise that children will learn most effectively when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults who care for them. We aim to provide a setting that encompasses a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence and independence. This includes practitioners supporting children to develop their self-regulation skills as they experience warm and nurturing relationships.

We aim to achieve the best outcomes for our children and recognise the importance of working in close partnership with parents and carers. We exchange information and share examples of the children’s engagements regularly through the use of our school Blog and Evidence Me. Listening to what parents and carers have to say about their own child’s capabilities and interest’s, plays a vital part in our planning and the interactions that we have with the children.

 In Nursery and Reception we follow the educational programmes for the seven areas of learning as set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We work towards the children achieving the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception year. The seven areas of learning are split into three prime areas and four specific areas and these are planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive curriculum. The core aim of the EYFS is to provide a strong and solid platform. To aid the early development of our children, we strongly believe that they should develop the three prime areas first. As children grow and progress, the prime areas will support them to develop skills in the four specific areas.

The Prime areas are: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development

Specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

 Children in our EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. We ensure our environment supports the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure children make good progress in all areas of learning and development.  

These 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.

Through observations and high-quality interactions, we build positive relationships with the children and plan a curriculum that is based upon the skills and knowledge we feel our children need to make good progress. Our curriculum includes rich experiences, topics and stories which engage the children and is designed to be flexible so that the children’s unique interests are included.

At Sandford Hill Primary School, we believe that children are powerful learners and that every child can make progress in their learning with the right support. Our pedagogical approaches include children learning through play, adults modelling and scaffolding, children observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching. During the school day, children will have the opportunity to work independently and to work collaboratively with their friends. Practitioners join in with children’s play when appropriate and sensitively introduce challenges and new ideas. Through sustained shared thinking and scaffolding, practitioners support and encourage the children to solve these problems and become independent learners. It is through these interactions that communication skills, language and vocabulary is modelled and introduced. Through the cycle of observation, assessment and planning we identify the children’s successes, next steps and interests.


We strive to ensure our children make strong progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically from their varied starting points. Knowledge, understanding and skills are secured and embedded so that children attain highly and are fully prepared for their new year group. Our broad and balanced curriculum design, and its delivery, meets the needs of our children and ensures that all children make good progress during their time in our EYFS.

We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child and observations. These assessments inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills.

The impact of our curriculum is also measured by how effectively it helps our children develop into well rounded individuals who embody our school values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. Our children will grow to be confident and competent and will demonstrate emotional resilience. They will take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best. Our children will be thoughtful, respectful and honest and will leave our EYFS with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon.