In the Early Years Foundation Stage, our philosophy is to nurture every child’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, developing both skills and confidence as they take their first steps on their own unique journey of lifelong learning. We are committed to giving the children at Carlyle the best possible start to their school life, teaching them the skills which will support their successes now and in the future.

Our EYFS Progressive Framework

Our curriculum encompasses seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships, and thriving. These are called the prime areas:

EYFS Curriculum.JPG

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

  • Communication and Language (C&L)

  • Physical Development (PD)

Four areas help children to strengthen and apply the prime areas. These are called the specific areas:

  • Literacy (L)

  • Mathematics (M)

  • Understanding the World (UW)

  • Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)

Our progression in learning framework is essentially an overarching map for each area of learning that identifies the sequential knowledge and skills that children need to acquire to give them the best chance of achieving the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception. It ensures that children are given the opportunities they need to acquire the foundation level knowledge that will enable them to build on their learning in the future.  

The characteristics of effective learning are included within our progression in learning framework because they underpin how children learn in the Early Years from their interaction with the environment, planned and spontaneous experiences and directed activities. Children will all be displaying the characteristics of effective learning every day.


At Carlyle Infant and Nursery Academy, our aim is to ensure that our children experience the best educational provision beginning with excellence in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding are carefully mapped out to ensure sequence and progression in learning.

The curriculum provides the cultural capital to ensure our pupils will be skilled communicators as active global citizens for today and tomorrow. We recognise and celebrate the culturally rich and diverse community of our Academy. As such, we embrace what each family brings to our Academy and we work hard to develop strong, mutually respectful relationships with all families and the wider community. Curriculum design ensures that children have a strong awareness of the local community and their place within it.

We strongly believe that learning starts with the child and our curriculum changes and develops to reflect this. Children’s motivations and interests are used to support curriculum development, ensuring learning is meaningful to every child. It is our intention that the curriculum will be distinctive to each cohort, engaging the children’s curiosity and igniting a lifelong passion for learning. 

INSPIRE - We offer a themed based approach to our curriculum. These themes have been carefully selected to provide the children with broad, rich and meaningful learning opportunities.

Curriculum Themes for the Reception year include: INSPIRE tree.JPG

  • I am special I am Me 

  • Light and Dark

  • Colourful Creatures

  • Happily Ever After

  • Old McDonald

  • In the Garden

All our themes start with a Wow Starter and a Fantastic Finish. These are designed to ignite curiosity at the beginning of a theme and showcase learning at the end of a theme.

There are planned Curriculum Enrichment opportunities throughout the year to bring the learning to life for the children. Examples of these include:

  • Animals in hands

  • Living Eggs

  • Farm Trip

  • Caterpillars


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we provide well-organised, high quality, continuous provision that is differentiated to meet the needs of our pupils. We know that children learn and develop well in enabling environments and so we offer stimulating resources, rich learning opportunities, support and challenge for all. ​The carefully planned, language rich learning environment also provides the context for developmentally appropriate direct teaching and adult initiated activities. High quality, sensitive and skilful adult–child interactions focus on modelling skills, extending language, broadening communication, and introducing challenge. Learning is engaging, and we strongly believe in providing the children with first hand experiences, valuing the importance of the outdoor environment to develop risk taking, well-being, problem solving skills and physical development.

Indoor Provision

Throughout EYFS in the indoor provision we have key areas such as:JPEG image 5.jpeg

  • Reading

  • Block Play and Small World

  • Home Corner

  • Malleable

  • Construction

  • Creative

  • Mark Making

Outdoor Provision

At Carlyle we have large outdoor spaces which are resourced with high quality provision. We encourage children to investigate and explore the world around them, find out why things happen, enjoy nature, take risks, try things out, think creatively and play imaginatively. The children have the space to be physically active in a range of ways, supporting their well-being. At Carlyle, we believe that children should experience the magic of nature and have access to the outdoor provision in all weathers and all year through.


Outdoor learning areas include:

  • Water

  • Blocks

  • Loose Parts

  • Den Building

  • Mud Kitchen

  • Role Play

  • Investigation

Carlyle Infant and Nursery Academy

Carlisle Avenue, Littleover, Derby DE23 3ES

Catherine Hitchcock

01332 760369