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St Mary’s Preschool follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. 


The Early Years Foundation stage curriculum promotes learning through play within the context of a calm stimulating environment and warm positive relationships. The best outcomes can be achieved when parents and practitioners work together to support development and well-being. 


3 Prime areas

Communication and language, this helps children to

  • develop spoken language in a language rich environment

  • engage actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems

  • use and embed new words in a range of contexts through conversation, storytelling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from the staff 


Physical development, this helps children to

  • pursue happy, healthy and active lives. 

  • develop gross motor control, co-ordination, core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility through play

  • develop healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. 

  • develop fine motor control and hand-eye co-ordination to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and practice of using small tools


Personal, social and emotional development, this helps children to

  • lead healthy and happy lives, which is fundamental to their cognitive development. 

  • learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others, manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals and have confidence in their own abilities

  • learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. 

  • make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably


4 specific areas

Literacy, this helps children to 

  • develop a life-long love of reading and writing


Mathematics, this helps children to

  • count confidently and develop a deep understanding of the numbers 1 to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers

  • develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. 


Understanding the world, this helps children to

  • make sense of their physical world and their community and foster understanding of our world culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. 


Expressive arts and design, this helps children to

  • develop their imagination and creativity and engage with a wide range of media and materials,  as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology

Characteristics of Learning

Learning how to learn! The characteristics of effective learning are behaviours which must be developed to enable children to become effective learners. We are aiming for children who are self- motivated, have the courage to try something new, to be able to concentrate and persist at challenges, to have their own ideas and solve problems.


  • Playing and exploring: this area is all about engaging with others, objects and environments.

  • Active Learning: this area is all about being motivated to engage in play and learning

  • Creating and thinking critically: this area is all about promoting children’s thinking skills.


For further information about the EYFS or other early years topics go to: 

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK (

Follow this link for the Government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme

Tax-Free Childcare - GOV.UK (

For any new parents who wish to apply for a 30H code

Childcare Choices | 30 Hours Free Childcare, Tax-Free Childcare and More | Help with Costs | GOV.UK

Useful information for parents and Carers of children 0-5

Home (

Follow this link for expert advice and support for children with speech and language difficulties in Luton and Bedfordshire

Home | Children's Speech and Language Therapy for Luton and Bedford (

The link below details funding available for 2 year olds

Family Information Service - Funded 2 year olds . Registering an account will enable you to access information or make payment for local authority services.

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