Home Page

Lilleshall Primary School

Working Together for Excellence and Enjoyment


The Early Years curriculum is based on the following 40-60 months Development Matters Statements and Early Learning Goals (ELG). The themes chosen to deliver the curriculum are flexible and follow children’s interests. For this reason they will vary according to different cohorts.


Over the year the children will experience the statements through different activities and a typical child in Reception will progress through 40-60 months and into the Early Learning Goals by the end of the year. The following document will help you to understand what to expect and when, this is a guide only and all children progress at different rates.

Prime Areas of Learning

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Communication and Language

Physical Development

Making relationships:

40-60 months

1. Initiates conversations, attends to and takes account of what others say.

2. Explains own knowledge and understanding, and asks appropriate questions of others.

3. Takes steps to resolve conflicts with other children, e.g. finding a compromise.

Early Learning Goal

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


Listening and attention:

40-60 months

1. Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.

2. Two-channelled attention – can listen and do for short span.

Early Learning Goal

Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.


Moving and handling:

40-60 months

1. Experiments with different ways of moving.

2. Jumps off an object and lands appropriately.

3. Negotiates space successfully when playing racing and chasing games with other children, adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles.

4. Travels with confidence and skill around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment.

5. Shows increasing control over an object in pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it.

6. Uses simple tools to effect changes to materials.

7. Handles tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.

8. Shows a preference for a dominant hand.

9. Begins to use anticlockwise movement and retrace vertical lines.

10. Begins to form recognisable letters.

11. Uses a pencil and holds it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.

Early Learning Goal

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Self confidence and self awareness:

40-60 months

1. Confident to speak to others about own needs, wants, interests and opinions.

2. Can describe self in positive terms and talk about abilities.

Early Learning Goal

Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.


 40-60 months

1. Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence.

2. Understands humour, e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.

3. Able to follow a story without pictures or props.

4.  Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.

Early Learning Goal

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.


Managing feelings and behaviour:

40-60 months

1. Understands that own actions affect other people, for example, becomes upset or tries to comfort another child when they realise they have upset them.

2. Aware of the boundaries set, and of behavioural expectations in the setting.

3. Beginning to be able to negotiate and solve problems without aggression, e.g. when someone has taken their toy.

Early Learning Goal

Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.


40-60 months

1. Extends vocabulary, especially by grouping and naming, exploring the meaning and sounds of new words.

2. Uses language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences in play situations.

3. Links statements and sticks to a main theme or intention.

4. Uses talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.

5. Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

Early Learning Goal

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


Health and self-care

40-60 months

1. Eats a healthy range of foodstuffs and understands need for variety in food.

2. Usually dry and clean during the day.

3. Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene can contribute to good health.

4. Shows understanding of the need for safety when tackling new challenges, and considers and manages some risks.

5. Shows understanding of how to transport and store equipment safely.

6. Practices some appropriate safety measures without direct supervision.

Early Learning Goal

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


Specific Areas of Learning



Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design


40-60 months

1. Continues a rhyming string.

2. Hears and says the initial sound in words.

3. Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together and knows which letters represent some of them.

4. Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.

5. Begins to read words and simple sentences.

6. Uses vocabulary and forms of speech that are increasingly influenced by their experiences of books.

7. Enjoys an increasing range of books.

8. Knows that information can be retrieved from books and computers.

Early Learning Goal

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.



40-60 months

1. Recognise some numerals of personal significance.

2. Recognises numerals 1 to 5.

3. Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item.

4. Counts actions or objects which cannot be moved.

5. Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10.

6. Counts out up to six objects from a larger group.

7. Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10 objects.

8. Counts an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects.

9. Estimates how many objects they can see and checks by counting them.

10. Uses the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets of objects.

11. Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all of them.

12. Says the number that is one more than a given number.

13. Finds one more or one less from a group of up to five objects, then ten objects.

14. In practical activities and discussion, beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting.

15. Records, using marks that they can interpret and explain.

16. Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own

interests and fascinations.


Early Learning Goal

Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.


People and communities:

40-60 months

1. Enjoys joining in with family customs and routines.

Early Learning Goal

Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.





The world:

40-60 months

1. Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.

Early Learning Goal

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.


Exploring and using media and materials:


40-60 months

1. Begins to build a repertoire of songs and dances.

2. Explores the different sounds of instruments.

3. Explores what happens when they mix colours.

4. Experiments to create different textures.

5. Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.

6. Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect.

7. Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.

8. Uses simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.

9. Selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary.

10. Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.

Early Learning Goal

Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.



40-60 months

1. Gives meaning to marks they make as they draw, write and paint.

2. Begins to break the flow of speech into words.

3. Continues a rhyming string.

4. Hears and says the initial sound in words.

5. Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together.

6. Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.

7. Uses some clearly identifiable letters to communicate meaning, representing some sounds correctly and in sequence.

8. Writes own name and other things such as labels, captions.

9. Attempts to write short sentences in meaningful contexts.

Early Learning Goal

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

Shape, space and measures:

40-60 months

1. Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘solid’ 3D shapes and ‘flat’ 2D shapes, and mathematical terms to describe shapes.

2. Selects a particular named shape.

3. Can describe their relative position such as ‘behind’ or ‘next to’.

4. Orders two or three items by length or height.

5. Orders two items by weight or capacity.

6. Uses familiar objects and common shapes to create and recreate patterns and build models.

7. Uses everyday language related to time.

8. Beginning to use everyday language related to money.

9. Orders and sequences familiar events.

10. Measures short periods of time in simple ways.

Early Learning Goal

Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.


40-60 months

1. Completes a simple program on a computer.

2. Uses ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software.

Early Learning Goal

Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.


Being imaginative:

40-60 months

1. Create simple representations of events, people and objects.

2. Initiates new combinations of movement and gesture in order to express and respond to feelings, ideas and experiences.

3. Chooses particular colours to use for a purpose.

4. Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

5. Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme.

6. Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative.

Early Learning Goal

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.