Lady Joanna Thornhill (Endowed) Primary School

Learning for the Head, Heart and Hand

Our Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is based on the premise that children learn through practical play-based activities.  Play is a vehicle for learning which enables children to explore and find out about the world around them. 


Our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum focuses on the overall development of each individual child.  It encourages children to become more independent and it fosters their natural curiosity through exploration and investigation.  We focus on helping children to develop positive attitudes to learning as well as ensuring they gain the skills and competencies that form the foundations for future learning.  The curriculum is mainly planned from the children’s interests; however, we incorporate a range of key themes and non-negotiable learning experiences for all our children. We begin each theme by finding out what the children already know and then we find out what the children would like to learn to ensure that the learning is matched to their interests and needs. Activities are planned for both indoors and outdoors to ensure children have a range of different experiences.  We hugely value the need for child-led learning which is reflected in our daily timetable and all children in the Early Years have free flow access to their own outdoor environment, all of the day, in all weathers.  Each term we arrange visits/ experiences out of school to support learning through a practical, hands on approach.


Underpinning all the teaching within EYFS curriculum is the ‘Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning’.  The focus of these characteristics is about how children learn rather than what they learn.  A child’s individual characteristics when learning will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning.  There are three characteristics of effective teaching and learning that will define how our children learn.

1. Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go.’

2. Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and they celebrate their achievements and learning.

3. Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.