Curriculum and Learning

Learning and Development

At St Mary’s Pre-school our practice follows the principles and standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum.


We believe that every child is a unique, capable individual with their own specific needs and interests.  Our aim is to provide a safe yet stimulating environment for our children that generates in them a curiosity and enthusiasm for knowledge, exploration and discovery.

We understand that every child learns and develops in different ways and at different rates and we strive to develop strong, positive relationships with each child and their family.  All of the staff are parents themselves so we fully understand the importance of feeling confident in your choice of pre-school and knowing that your child will be happy, safe and well cared for whilst they are there.

The EYFS Curriculum

The EYFS Curriculum consists of seven interlinked areas of learning and development.

Three areas are considered particularly important in building the key skills that children will need in the future.  They are known as the prime areas and consist of:

  • Communication and Language (listening, attention, understanding and speaking)
  • Physical Development (moving, handling, health and self-care)
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour, making relationships)

In addition, there a further four specific areas which extend and reinforce the learning and development in the prime areas.  These are:

  • Literacy (reading and writing)
  • Mathematics (numbers, shape, space and measures)
  • Understanding the world (people and communities, the world and technology)
  • Expressive arts and design (exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative)

At St Mary’s Pre-school we carefully plan resources, activities and experiences for the specific children in our care each day.  These allow them to develop and improve their skills and confidence in all of the areas of learning.

A parent’s guide to the EYFS can be downloaded at

How we deliver the curriculum

Our staff are experienced, well qualified early year’s practitioners with knowledge of how children learn and develop.  When you join the Pre-school you will be allocated a specific member of staff to be your key person.  It is their role to build a warm, supportive relationship with your child, to monitor their progress and development and to work in partnership with your family to ensure the care and learning experiences we provide are tailored to meet the needs of your child.

The emphasis at St Mary’s Pre-school is on learning through play.  We offer a mixture of adult-led and child initiated activities each day all of which have been specifically planned for the needs and interests of the children attending each session.

The staff interact with the children throughout each session, supporting and encouraging them as they develop and practise new skills.  We encourage them to investigate, explore and create, to think and develop their own ideas and help them to make connections in their learning but above all, to enjoy themselves.