Early Years and Foundation Stage


This is the Curriculum for children from birth to age 5. At Darlinghurst Academy this guides the teaching and learning in our Nursery, Tiddlers Class, and in Reception, Jellyfish and Starfish Classes.

The EYFS is made up of 4 themes: The Unique Child, Positive Relationships, The Enabling Environment and Learning and Development.

These themes are important as they all combine to ensure young children make good, strong progress in their earliest years. This stage in life is the most important as children's minds and bodies grow and develop most from birth to age 4. In Learning and Development there are 7 Areas of learning into which the curriculum is organised to make sure children make all round development in this important stage.


The Seven Areas of Learning: Further Detail


How Children learn in the EYFS at Darlinghurst Academy

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a period of education from 0 –5 years. In our Foundation classes the children learn the skills needed to become strong, confident individuals who are capable of learning and achieving through positive relationships, enabling environments and an understanding that every child is unique.

The children are introduced to new ideas and further thinking through the seven

Areas of Learning and Development:

The first three are known as the Prime Areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development) which develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences. These support and scaffold the four Specific Areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design) which include essential skills and knowledge to ensure that children have the best possible start to their learning journey.

These skills, experiences and learning opportunities are presented to the children through meaningful play contexts and adult led activities. This ensures that each child has the opportunity to play and explore in an active and engaging environment that allows them to be creative, think critically and take risks to achieve more.

At Darlinghurst Academy, children follow the EYFS in their Foundation Classes. Through interactive learning, children follow the curriculum areas to build up key basic skills in the seven areas of learning. Teachers very carefully observe children to understand what they can do, how children are learning well and then use this information to plan the next steps in their learning. Whenever possible the children's interests are used to inspire and engage deep learning. Learning takes place indoors and outdoors, in all weathers and teaching can be direct in small or large groups, guided by the teacher or sometimes through an independent, response to a specific task or learning opportunity. These lessons and learning opportunities are planned to ensure children can apply their basic skills confidently and prepare them for the later stages of schooling, starting in Year 1.

The learning experiences and interest's children have outside school are very important, especially those they share with parents and carers.

These experiences promote deep learning and hold great value for children as they experience new learning with those they are closest too. To help your child to learn the best they can in the Foundation Stage we really encourage partnership work. Please tell us how your child is learning at home, what they enjoy doing, and any new learning moments they have so we can build on this in school. Likewise, we aim to share with you the developments your child makes as they progress well through the Foundation Stage at Darlinghurst Academy.

Click here for Reception Early Learning Goals – A Parents' Guide 

Each area of the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum has an Early Learning Goal, which is the standard that a child is expected to achieve by the end of their reception year in order to meet the standards for their age. The Early Learning Goals cover all of the 7 areas of learning as specified in the EYFS Curriculum, a copy of ELG can be downloaded here.