The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a comprehensive statutory framework published in 2007, revised in 2012 and more recently 2021 by the Department of Education.

The framework sets standards for development, learning and care of children from birth to five.

Overarching principles
Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
• 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, in which their
experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership
between practitioners and parents and/or carers
• children develop and learn in different ways (see “the characteristics of
effective teaching and learning” at paragraph 1.9) and at different rates. The
framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision,
including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

There are seven areas of Learning and Development

3 Prime areas

  • Personal and social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning .As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in

4 specific areas 

  • Literacy
  • Mathmatics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts and design

EYFS Curriculum

In the Moment Planning and Focus Children

EYFS Curriculum Information
We have changed the way we look at the EYFS curriculum by following our Hygge experience and training; we are now looking and implementing ‘planning in the moment.’ We have been working on this basis for a very long time without actually realising the route we have been following, and it’s been blossoming and developing as we have been discovering more and more. It’s been a wonderful experience and reflection on our setting and outcomes have been truly amazing.
So, this means daily we are unsure of where the day will go, or exactly what learning will happen resulting in a sense of excitement and anticipation and wonder throughout the day. Children’s interests are very much ‘in the moment’ and this is why here at Cholsey Pre-School we very much teach in the moment and our planning is often spontaneous. It’s quite a magical experience with a lot of learning that unfolds.

What is planning in the moment?

Planning in the moment is all about capturing the moment for children to progress based on what the children are already deeply involved in.

From this we are able to see the ‘teachable moment’ from the child’s perspective and know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe. It is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress.

The teachable moment

When the teachable moment happens you can see the child feels valued, interesting, feeling important, capable and able to learn as well as gaining knowledge, skills and understanding therefore making progress in one or even several areas of the EYFS Curriculum. We are able to gain a good understanding of the child’s knowledge, skills, attitude, understanding and progress and implement next steps.
Children do have a natural desire to learn and explore and that desire can lead to a wonder of such amazing things. So instead of telling the children what to learn, they are leading us and we are supporting them with how they want to learn. This way you are more likely to achieve wonderful learning experiences and spark wonder and curiosity much more. They are finding their own interests, so we can use this to enhance and build upon their existing knowledge.

Planning on paper

This way of working means that most of our planning is in the moment (there is
little forward planning as we are following the child’s lead). We record what we have done to help the children progress each day through their ‘next steps’ and these are recorded in the children’s observations.

Adult Led activities

We still have adult led activities daily and plan for things like ‘Family links and ‘letters and sounds’; We look  topics like cooking and adding our Hygge provocations to spark wonder and curiosity. We have small key group times with the children in the morning and afternoon to check in with the children and talk about their feelings and how they are.


All observations made of the children are based on quality interactions between children or children and practitioners.  We record ‘wow moments’  when a child does something new for the first time. They will include any teaching that has taken place or progress that a child or group of children have made. All of our practitioners are responsible for highlighting progress in observations. Emphasis is highly placed on using ‘I wonder…’ statements e.g., ‘I wonder if…’, ‘I wonder what…’, ‘I wonder how…’. We feel that this approach to questioning is a lot less pressurising and allows the children to open up more readily.  Parents are also asked to share any observations of ‘wow moments’ of their child(ren) at home.

Focus Children

Instead of having focus activities, each week we have 5 focus children. The week before a child is one of our focus children, we emailed a letter to their parents explaining they are a focus child, and ask them to contribute their knowledge of your child too along with a few photographs if they can, adding any wow moments or anything they are achieved, or somethings they would like support with. During each child’s focus week they will noticeably have more observations in their journals of which will show quality interactions and learning experiences. This also helps to build up a bigger picture of each child and supports us with ways of being out the best in them and how we can support next steps. It also helps us to highlight achievements; it’s good for all staff to have an input on each child, as each staff member has skills in different areas, so all skills pulled together supports the children so much more.

EYFS Curriculum

We follow Development matters early years framework, if you would like to have a look and see what it entails please follow the link below. It’s a good document as it supports levels of development through overlapping age bands, as we all know children development and flourish all at different rates, so no development pattern is ever the same.




Schema is a pattern of repeated behaviour that children display as they develop and grow. A child might climb, move objects from one place to another, or show interest in filling containers. All of these are classed as schemas; these are ways the children learn about the world around them. When a child is repeating actions they are building up their connections with their brain. To start off with the links are weak and it’s only by repeating the activities the
links get stronger and the understanding becomes stronger. The development of schemas is supported at Pre-School by play and exploration, by doing this it offers many skills like, Making choices and decisions, using ideas and imagination, experimenting, trying new behaviours and practicing old ones, practicing and learning new skills, developing and co-originating the body and mind, adapting to things, transferring knowledge and skills and also attitudes.
We will encourage schemas by doing cooking, water play, arts and crafts, role play opportunities-home corner, and sand play.
The link below will explain and show you about schemas if you would like to know

We keep Parents/Carers up to date with what we are studying in our Hygge: A Wanderlust Nature Study Programme via our Newsletters and Facebook.

We discuss what we have been doing every week in our Newsletter, previous Newsletters are available to view on our Website.