The Curriculum

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; to develop their coordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.


Early Adopters

At Sancton Wood we believe that best practice stems from knowing and understanding our children. As such, we took the opportunity to become an ‘early adopter’ of the new curriculum before it’s launch in September 2021 in order to pilot the curriculum and feedback to the DfE. 

We offer opportunities for children to discover their passions, to challenge themselves, to succeed and to fail in a safe environment and to gain a breadth of knowledge from a provision that instills curiosity, promotes mastery and nurtures the whole child. To find out more please visit



Beyond the early years curriculum we offer lots of opportunities for explorative experiences for children to learn and develop. Giving them access to a wide range of activities and new experiences encourages inquisitiveness, creativity and further opportunity for development.

Our enrichment activities include; forest school, Makaton, pottery, Spanish, music, STEM activities, yoga, baking and much more.



SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disability.  A child with special educational needs is understood to have either a learning difficulty or a disability and the child needs special educational provision to be made for them.  This is any educational provision which is additional to or different from that generally made for other children of the same age in a mainstream school.

Special educational needs are grouped under four headings;

  • Cognition and Learning (learning needs)
  • Communication and Interaction (speech, language and social interaction needs)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Medical, Sensory or Physical Needs

For more information on our SENCo provision please contact our dedicated Special Educational Needs Coordinator Elaine Brown



The whole school, including EYFS policies and procedures, are available here. These include Admissions, Child Protection, Complaints, Equality and Diversity, Medicines and Illness, Safety and Hygiene, Uncollected Child, Whistle blowing, and many more!