Early Years Curriculum

The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help young children to achieve the ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes, of staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.  

The EYFS is a very important stage which helps prepare children for school ‘readiness’, as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. Children’s early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure and support their development, care and learning needs.  Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.  Children develop quickly in the early years and we know that a child’s experiences before the age of five will have a major impact on their future life chances. 



At Gildredge House, we provide a progressive, ambitious and inclusive curriculum that is rich in language for all learners.  This: 

1. Prepares students for future careers, with appropriate knowledge and skills. 
2. Creates aspiration for lifelong learning. 
3. Develop independent, resilient people who positively contribute to their own lives and the wider community. 


The Values that Underon the curriculum are:

Ambition Support Perseverance Integrity Reflection Empathy


We are passionate advocates for ensuring all of our children follow the Gildredge House Way which was developed by both students and staff. These consist of these three core values:


  • Ready  - Gildredge House equips students with the skills to help prepare them be ready to learn both in and out of school.   
  • Respectful - Gildredge House celebrate diversity and encourages students to be respectful to each other and those in the world around us.
  • Safe - Gildredge House offers a positive, safe and nurturing learning environment in which everyone is valued as individuals empowering them to be resilient and caring people.

THE Early Years Curriculum

Learning in Reception follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework. This exciting board and balanced curriculum ensures students are kept healthy and safe as well as meets their needs. At Gildredge House we believe that our Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial to developing firm foundations to be built upon throughout the children’s school journey and beyond.

It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, emotionally, creatively and intellectually, whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning, in order for each child to achieve their full potential. We set high expectations throughout all areas of school life and beyond.  

Our ethos in Early Years is to support children’s personal, social and emotional development so that they feel safe and secure and are ready to learn. We then carefully plan opportunities for them to develop and embed this in their lives so they become resilient lifelong learners in an environment of acceptance and support. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in supporting all children to achieve their full, unique potential.

Each student in EYFS is supported to achieve the Early Learning Goals through across seven areas of learning. These areas are:

Prime Areas: 
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Physical Development
Specific Areas: 
  • Literacy (Reading, Writing and Comprehension)
  • Mathematics (Number and Numerical Patterns)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (Art, DT and Drama)

Through these seven areas of learning we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on their own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them in order to help them gain the skills needed to succeed in life. Language and vocabulary are a central focus where we aim to ensure children acquire a wide vocabulary and communicate effectively.  

The Characteristics of Effective Learning

At the heart our EYFS Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”.  We strive to develop these key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development. Our learning environments, both inside and outside, are frequently adapted to meet the different and developing needs of our children.

Within our EYFS Curriculum, children are assessed through accurate and informative observations which are used to guide future planning, and inform our children’s individual next steps in their learning. This enable us to ensure learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make the best possible progress within our EYFS setting.  

Early Learning Goals

The Early Learning Goals are the goals or targets for children to achieve at the end of their EYFS Reception year. They will be working towards these goals throughout their time in Early Years.

A Foundation Stage Profile is built up to give an accurate picture of each student’s progress over the year. This is made up of ongoing observations and assessments of students, ensuring that they are developing at the rate expected and spotting any areas where the child may need further support.

Parents are invited to add their own contributions sharing their child’s home learning achievements via Evidence Me to further create a more in-depth portrayal of that student.

Students at Gildredge House from their starting points will make great progress academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves to ensure they are well prepared for transitioning into the next stage of their education.