We follow the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) Framework. This framework covers the care and education of children from birth to the end of their Reception year in school. The EYFS is made up of two parts. The Statutory Framework sets out the standards and requirements that early years settings must abide by in respect of Learning and Development, Assessment and Welfare. The Development Matters document offers guidelines to practitioners for implementing the curriculum. The curriculum is based on learning through play, and children work towards achievement of the Early Learning Goals by the end of their Reception Year.

In September 2012, an updated version of the EYFS was implemented. The new curriculum focuses learning and development on three ‘Prime Areas’ (Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Physical Development) and four ‘Specific Areas’ (Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Arts and Design).

The Prime Areas are fundamental, and underpin all learning and development. As such, practitioners ensure that the activities and experiences they provide for children encourage development in all three of these areas. The Specific Areas gradually develop from these Prime Areas, as children learn more particular skills.

The curriculum also focuses on the ways in which children learn, and these are classified as the Three Characteristics of Effective Learning - Playing and Exploring; Active Learning; Creating and Thinking Critically.

For more information about the EYFS curriculum please visit


We provide a broad range of activities and experiences based on topics and themes and the children‘s interests, needs and abilities.


During a session at Steam Mills Pre-School, children are given extended opportunities to engage in meaningful play activities and experiences of their choosing, which flows freely between our indoor and outdoor play areas. During this time, they will be supported by their Key Person and encouraged to seek new challenges and learn new skills.

The setting is extremely well resourced, and we constantly evaluate and reflect upon the activities and resources that are available. We are particularly proud of our large outdoor area that provides lots of varied opportunities for play, including a house and a sand pit play boat, gardening area, mud kitchen, builders yard and art area. Play experiences are well planned and balanced to include adult initiated new and fresh experiences, activities that build upon current interests by developing and extending them, and the continuous provision of favourite and familiar resources.

At certain times throughout a session we bring the whole group together to share experiences such as stories, circle times and songs.

We often visit our immediate local area to take advantage of the available activities that help us to enrich children‘s experiences, for example, walks in the Forest, the Forest School site, games on the school field and visits to the local park.

Throughout the year, we also arrange extra curricular activities such as family outings, fun days and special events.