At Fairlight we teach a play based curriculum that follows the ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’.  This is split into three prime areas and four specific areas as described below. Foundation Stage covers our 50 place Nursery and 2 Reception classes. At Fairlight we recognise that every child is an individual with their own special needs, wants, likes and dislikes. We will work hard to provide your child with learning experiences which celebrate their achievements, develop their learning needs and support them in becoming confident explorers and learners.


Prime Areas of Learning

Physical Development

Teaching children about how to become and stay healthy is extremely important. We give children opportunities to move with confidence, imagination and safety, in a wide variety of situations.  We teach the children about food and promote healthy eating habits. The children are also encouraged and taught to use a range of small and large equipment carefully and confidently to develop their co-ordination.


Personal Social and Emotional

Your child’s well being is our number one priority. In this area of the curriculum we provide children with experiences and support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others; respect for others; good social skills; and a positive attitude to learning.  At Fairlight we recognise the importance of supporting and developing children in this area of the curriculum so that they can achieve their full potential in the other areas.


Communication and Language

At Fairlight we want children to become skillful communicators and that is what this area is all about. The focus is on developing good listening skills, clear speaking abilities and the capacity to demonstrate that they understand what they have heard.Children are encouraged to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills through play and small group work. As they gain in confidence they will be able to use these skills to talk to a range of people and different audiences.



Specific Areas of Learning


At Fairlight we want children to become confident readers and writers. The children are read to daily and encouraged to spend time reading and re-telling stories using story sacks where they can develop their story telling language. Children have opportunities for mark making using a variety of materials and through more structured ‘Write Dance’ sessions. This encourages their writing which is developed in Reception where children can apply their phonic knowledge to write a range of words and sentences and begin writing for a range of purposes such as lists, instructions and stories.



In our everyday lives we all use mathematical ideas and problem solving skills. In this area children will learn to know and use numbers and counting in play, and eventually recognise and use numbers reliably. It develops calculation skills teaching children to compare numbers and learn about addition and subtraction. It also covers learning about shapes and quantities, and developing appropriate vocabulary to describe these. All of this knowledge is then used to develop mathematical ideas and to solve problems.


Expressive Arts and Design

Children's creativity and curiosity is developed through their exploration and imaginative play. They are provided with opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings. The children do this through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities. They are encouraged to express themselves using a range of media and materials such as paint and collage.


Understanding the World

In this curriculum area children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Their learning is supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations; carry out practical 'experiments'; and work with a range of materials. They use computers and technology and start to develop a sense of the past and present. The children also begin to learn about their own and other people's cultures in order to understand and celebrate the similarities and differences between them in our diverse school community and the wider world.


All of the learning in these areas of the curriculum are taught through ‘Playing and Exploring’, ‘Active Learning’ and ‘Creating and Thinking Critically’. These are known as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’.