Early Years Foundation Stage - September 2021

Supporting the adoption of the new EYFS Framework

From September, all maintained early years providers will implement and adopt the new EYFS Framework - spanning nursery and Reception settings.

The Lion Academy Trust is a proven outstanding provider of high quality Early Years Education and looks forward to showing you and your teams our live, fully operational EYFS settings alongside supporting you to develop your own tailored offering for your pupils. 

The new designed early years curriculum encompasses the areas of learning and development which must shape the activities and experiences that children have in your early years setting. All EYFS settings should use the educational programmes to decide the approach to curriculum that is right for your pupils.

The key changes are:

Communication and language: the development of spoken language underpins all seven areas and role of high-quality back-and-forth interactions and conversations in a language rich environment. It explains the many ways that children acquire new vocabulary, including adult modelling and commenting, conversation, storytelling and role play.

Personal, social and emotional development reinforces the importance of attachments, within strong, warm, supportive relationships, and the role of self-regulation. Self-care has now moved to this area from Physical Development.

Physical development focuses on the development of gross and fine motor skills and talks about the importance of physical development to children’s all-round health and development, including social and emotional well-being.

Literacy states that developing a lifelong love of reading is crucial. Reading is broken down into comprehension, which begins from birth, and word reading which comes later. Writing is divided into transcription and composition.

Mathematics: the importance of embedding a deep understanding of number to 10 is clear, including the patterns and relationships between these numbers and developing spatial reasoning skills. Children should be encouraged to develop a positive attitude to and interest in maths, not being afraid to make mistakes.

Understanding the world provides examples of ways in which children make sense of their physical world and their community, such as by visiting parks, libraries and museums, and meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. The importance of experiencing a broad selection of books and rhymes to foster the understanding of ‘our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse word’ and associated vocabulary is included.

Expressive arts and design now also includes providing regular opportunities for children to engage with the arts and develop a cultural awareness, as well as hands on creative experiences.

In addition to this, the curriculum objectives;

  • are longer, more depth, and they contain examples of things that you can do with children
  • have a much greater focus on early language and extending vocabulary, with more examples on how to embed and develop vocabulary skills across all 7 areas, because this improves child development in a broad curriculum.


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At the Lion Academy Trust, we were a pilot setting for the new curriculum have not only adopted the new framework into our outstanding early years provisions to demonstrate how these new changes can be implemented but have developed a range of strategies around:

  • A coherently planned curriculum that sequences learning and development;
  • Baselining and assessment tracking;
  • Timetabling activities and provision to match the demanding curriculum;
  • Planning each week to meet the needs of your pupils; and
  • Have a range of practical examples around differentiation, learning zone setups and how to best use the space and resources in your early years setting. 
  • Exemplification materials to make sure that there are clear visual references to show excellence in practice.

Our detailed Early Years Handbook is a definitive guide for all leaders and practitioners on how to achieve the best possible outcomes from your early years teams and is offered as part of the overall support programme from the Lion Academy Trust.

We have long been passionate advocates that children must get the very best start to their education - and success starts in early years. This has driven the development of the outstanding strategies and practice in our schools. The changes that form the new curriculum for this phase are demanding but achievable - with robust planning; clarity of what you are seeking to achieve and with proven support and expertise from leaders and schools who are already meeting and exceeding the standards defined by Ofsted

Hayden Tyers, Deputy CEO, Lion Academy Trust