Early Years & Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Back to Curriculum by Phase

The Early Years curriculum at Milestone provides a highly-adapted, individualised curriculum within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework. This focuses on creating exciting and engaging experiences where each child’s interest in learning can grow and develop. Children will learn through a balance of adult-directed and child-led learning where children will have access to both inside and outside environments. Careful consideration is given to balance a child’s stage in relation to their age of development, within the planned provision. We target the three ‘Prime Areas’ of Communication & Language: Personal Social & Emotional Development and Physical Development. We provide learning opportunities that enable the children to engage with ‘Specific Areas’ of the curriculum including play that incorporates emergent Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and exploring Expressive Arts & Design. Adults will follow children’s interests to help them learn new skills and consolidate previous skills, whilst also encouraging them to try new things and take risks in a controlled and safe setting. Adults promote independence at every opportunity in the school day. 

We are a total communication environment and understand the power that particular modes of communication have such as signing, PECS, switch use and help to extend, refine and develop them in the most positive and successful way.

Parents and carers are encouraged to be partners in their children’s education and have opportunities to help their children learn at home, through online learning journals and very close links with the Academy. Each child is assigned a key worker. The key worker’s role is to work alongside the class teacher to ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet his/her individual needs. However, children work with all the adults in the Nursery. 

We follow the whole school transdisciplinary theme with our own termly central idea. We use this to plan some learning activities but staff are constantly observing in order to ‘plan in the moment’ and follow the pupils’ interests. The skills taught during these learning activities will be an individualised path for each pupil. Each pupil will have a ‘next steps’ plan with their individual targets for each of the learning areas and these will be focused on through the learning activities and continuous provision. This next step plan will also incorporate a child’s personalised plan targets, provision plan targets and any SALT or therapy targets. 

Children are continuously observed and assessed. Individual provision and targets are reviewed on a regular basis. At Milestone we use our own extended version of the Milestone Assessment toolkit (MAT) to assess each area of learning as a baseline, mid-year and end of year. 

At Milestone Academy our Early Years department consists of a satellite provision, specialist intervention O&A Nursery (Stepping Stones) and reception classes based at the main school site. 

aims of the eyfs at milestone academy

Prime Area: Personal, Social & Emotional Development


Children show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others.  They will begin to regulate their behaviour, beginning to focus their attention on instructions aiming towards a simple goal. 

Managing Self

Children begin to feel confident to try new activities, showing independence, resilience and perseverance.  They begin to know what is right and wrong and manage their own personal needs.

Building Relationships

Children form positive attachments, working and playing cooperatively, taking turns and showing sensitivity to self and others.

Listening and Attention

Children listen attentively and respond, beginning to make comments, engaging in back and forth exchanges with others


Children participate in joint communication, using relevant vocabulary, expressing their ideas using the most appropriate form of communication available to them

Gross Motor Skills

Children negotiate space around them being aware of their own physical abilities and begin to demonstrate strength, balance and coordination leading to more energetic movements.

Fine Motor Skills

Children use a range of tools, working hard to use writing instruments, showing accuracy and care when drawing.


Children demonstrate an understanding of what is being said and begin to anticipate key events using acquired vocabulary.

Word Reading

Children begin to use phonic knowledge to say letter sounds and read simple words.


Children begin to make marks forming some letters and words.


Children begin to have a deep understanding of numbers to 10.

Numerical Problems

Children compare quantities up to 10 within different contexts.  They begin to explore patterns within 10, including odds, evens and doubling.

Past and Present

To give children the opportunity to begin to understand people around them and their roles.  Differences about the past and present, drawing on their own experiences and those shared with them through events encountered through storytelling.

People, Culture and Communities

To give children the opportunities to communicate about their own environment through their own observations.  They begin to explore religions through their own experiences and those relayed to them in class.  They explore differences and similarities in this country and others through practical experiences shared in class.

The Natural World

Children explore the natural world around them, similarities and differences and understand some processes and changes in the natural world.

eyfs curriculum

  • To set individualised targets that can be achieved both in the specialist nursery and mainstream nursery, to support a child to make progress from their starting points and access learning within a nursery setting. 
  • To plan and lead interventions in order for a child to reach their individual targets. 
  • To liaise with relevant professionals to ensure each child has appropriate support/provision when they start school in September. 
  • To model interventions to EYFS practitioners in mainstream settings so they can continue to support a child effectively after the intervention placement. 
  • To ensure parents and mainstream settings are supported so a child is supported consistently in all settings, and parents feel fully involved in their child’s learning. 
  • To ensure pupils can access a safe and stimulating learning environment at all times. 
  • To provide a fully accessible sensory based EYFS curriculum so all pupils are able to make progress on their starting points. 
  • To ensure every pupil is able to follow their own personalised learning journey, incorporating targets from all professionals e.g SALT, OT and Physiotherapists.
  • To promote independence across the school day. 
  • To ensure parents are supported so a child is supported consistently in all settings, and parents feel fully involved in their pupils learning. 
  • To ensure pupils can access a safe and stimulating learning environment at all times. 
  • Every pupil has their own ‘next steps’ plan and these targets are worked on through all activities, across the school day. 
  • The timetable is structured to include a balance of child-initiated, adult-led activities as well as sensory circuits, 1:1 focus time, small group song time and any other specific interventions. 
  • Staff plan to ensure that pupils are given time to consolidate and repeat skills. Pupils learn new skills during adult-led activities and then, through a scaffolded approach, they can then be supported to demonstrate these in a child-initiated environment independently. 
  • Routines are developed and established through the use of objects of reference, photos, symbols and scaffolded adult support. 
  • Children are regularly observed and staff are skilled at ‘planning in the moment’ and therefore able to adapt and consistently  support pupils to make progress within their play choices. 
  • The environment is equipped with resources and activities appropriate for the level of development of the pupils with clear, defined areas of learning. Communication is a key focus across all areas of learning to develop understanding and expressive communication. 
  • A total communication approach is used, including objects of reference, signing, key language, photos, symbols and any individual communication aids. 
  • Milestone early years provide outreach and inreach to ensure mainstream settings can support the pupils’ needs effectively in their own setting. 
  • Observations are uploaded onto Tapestry and shared with parents to ensure learning is shared and can be consistently implemented in all settings. 
  • A combination of nursery visits, coffee mornings, pre-admission meetings and observations support effective transition into Nursery and Reception. 
  • Each  child has a personalised learning plan that all settings can follow in order for the child to make progress from their starting points. 
  • Mainstream nursery practitioners feel confident to carry out the interventions. 
  • If appropriate, a statutory assessment has been initiated for a child and detailed information has been shared to support effective interventions when a child starts school. 
  • Pupils can independently access the learning environment based on their levels of development. 
  • Parents feel supported and satisfied that strategies, interventions and targets are shared in order to support children effectively at home.
  • Pupils at Milestone make good or excellent progress based on their starting points during the EYFS. 
  • Assessment is effective and useful and does not require prolonged periods of time away from pupils. 
  • Pupils’ well-being is high and emotional regulation is well supported to ensure pupils are happy and feel safe at school.
  • Parents feel supported and satisfied that  strategies, interventions and targets are shared in order to support children effectively at home. 
  • Pupils can independently access the learning environment based on their levels of development. 
  • Transitions into Nursery and Reception are effective and children settle quickly.