Early Years Education at Smallwood School.


Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the latest version of the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021.

The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development


The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:

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

Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Staff respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.

As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for year 1.

At Smallwood, we recognise the learning environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. The reception classroom, which incorporate the indoor and outdoor areas is well organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active and can be quiet. The environments are set up into learning areas where children can find and locate resources and equipment independently. Our learning environments operate a free flow system whereby the children can choose which area of the environment they would like to explore. This is around the adult led activities that take place throughout the day at various times.

Files to Download

Student Login