Curriculum & Planning

Development Matters – Early Years non statutory guidance

Birth to 5 Matters: Non statutory guidance for EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

The curriculum focuses on seven areas of Learning and Development

Three Prime areas:

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

Four specific areas:

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

The Characteristics of Effective Learning run through and underpin the seven areas of learning and development.  They focus on the process of learning rather than outcomes.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Critical Thinking

A guidance for parents about the Early Years Foundation Stage: ‘What to Expect in the EYFS’ clearly sets out the curriculum and the ages and stages of development from 0 – 5 years.  It also contains useful tips and activity ideas for you to do with your child.  You can download a copy here:

What to Expect in the EYFS: A Guide for Parents


At Rosemary Works, we plan for the children using ‘Objective Lead Planning’. Through Objective Lead Planning, we observe the children to find out what they can do, based on the learning objectives in the early years curriculum – ‘Development Matters’. We then plan for their next steps (what we want them to achieve next) and incorporate these into our daily curriculum, adult-led activities and child-led play.   

For one week each month your child will be a ‘focus child’.   The week before their focus week, you will be asked to complete a ‘WOW Slip’ which will inform us of your child’s current interests at home, where they like to go, who they like to play with and what they are doing developmentally.  We will then use this information to help us plan accordingly for your child. During their focus week, your child will be observed every day. Our observations will then be used to assess their progress, plan ‘next steps’ and contribute to their Learning Journey. Many of the fun and exciting things your child does at nursery are captured on their online Learning Journeys, which you can access whenever you wish.

We incorporate mini topics, based on the children’s interests to further enrich the curriculum. For example transport, mini beasts, superheroes and princesses.  At Rosemary Works, we firmly believe that children in the early years learn through play. We do not believe formal learning is appropriate for young children. For example children learn about measures and quantity through cooking, sand play and water play. Writing is learnt through mark making with paints, using sticks in sand and developing hand strength using playdough.

We celebrate many festivals and celebrations, recognising the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan feel of the nursery and the wider community.  We also support charitable events throughout the year, teaching the children the importance of caring for one another in our community and in the wider world.