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St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School

Wisdom & Faith

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework published in 2012 by the Department for Education that sets the standards for the development, learning and care of children from birth to five.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.
 A Unique Child + Positive Relationships + Enabling Environments = Learning and Development

In both Nursery and Reception the children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through seven areas of learning and development. The areas of learning are split into two categories; Prime and Specific. The Prime areas of learning help children to develop their skills initially which the Specific areas can be built upon at a later stage.


Prime Areas:


  • Communication and language;
  • Physical Development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development. 

Specific Areas:


  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world;
  • Expressive arts and design. 


These are used to plan learning and activities for each child’s unique needs. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.


Please click on the pages below to find out more about the Prime and Specific Areas.