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Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3513 words Published: 8th Aug 2018

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Within this essay I will produce TWO detailed activity/ lesson plans based upon the Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1

My written assignment will consist of:

  • The planning, implementation and evaluation of one science based activity/ lesson within one curriculum framework which will be observed and assessed by my mentor. This activity/ lesson plan must contain use of ICT.
  • The evaluation of this activity/lesson will contain a description of the value of ICT and Science within the curriculum.
  • A plan of one activity/lesson within the other curriculum frame work.

I will produce a reflective account for the activity/lesson which I have planned but have not implemented. (I will be expected to reflect upon the process of planning within this unfamiliar of strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum frame work I have planned within.

Introduction activity plan in reception

The chosen idea of this activity is light which is based on science enquiries in the early year’s foundation stage for children 4 to 5 years old.

Within this activity plan children should be able to understand and demonstrate the learning context, as play is fundamental to children in early year’s stage, I thought to plan and do the activity through a game, children would learn and maintain learning better through games.

Actual activity plan (Reception)

I will select 3 children whilst planning time and ask them what object would give us light, children would have background knowledge (within the science’s programme of study of my workplace, teachers did teach children about light, therefore children would feel comfortable to answer the questions and then draw the certain objects on the smart board. In addition I will provide the children with online science clip games about choosing the objects which give us light from the list and place or drag them in the centre of room, from the BBC website to play.

Evaluation of activity and lesson plan

After implementing the activity within children in reception class I realised that the information & communication technology and Science plays a significant part in children’s primary education and is important on the governments’ programme.

“Information and communication technology (ict) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology.” (QCDA, 1999)

Within the activity information & communication technology helped the children to communicate, explore, find, investigate and exchange correct information. In addition ICT provided the opportunity for children to be creative and enable them to access and share the ideas and experiences within communication , added to that it assisted children in being independent learners and being able to know and identify where and when to use ICT to get beneficial effects. However using ICT might be a disadvantage to the children and make them feel unhappy in some ways, for example in my activity connection errors, finding the smart note book icon on the desktop and loading the internet page were the problems which I have faced. In order to address that issue I thought it is best to plan or perform different activity with a different kind of usage of ICT.

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My weaknesses

Within the activity my weaknesses have become clear for me, upon the Assessor Observation Report sheet I needed to improve my organization skills and also prepared whatever programme which I need to use before the activity started, in my activity case it was smart note book programme. In order to address this weakness I needed to always ask for the help from other member of staffs to show me and help me to find the programme icon on desktop or to find the standard and suitable resources before the actual activity begins.

Unfortunately I was not able to provide the children with online science clip games due to technical issue; the school computers did not download the flash player software to play the clip. However this issue could be addressed in the future by checking the requirements of whatever online activity resources.

Develop children’s understanding about the activity and linking the certain topics to the natural world and participate boys and girls in the activity, are the areas which I needed to focus on more for the upcoming activities.

My strengths

  • Demonstrated a positive approach to children, encourage them to continue with activity by using morale boosting techniques like praising, e.g. Saying well done.
  • Communicated and treated children in a dignified way and considered their possible thoughts.
  • Managed and controlled children’s behaviours in a positive way, allowing them to cooperate more easily.

Importance of science as subject within curriculum

Science is also known as a core subject within curriculum, according to (DCSF, 1999) “Science is an integral part of modern culture. It stretches the imagination and creativity of young people. Its challenges are quite enormous”.

“Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them”. (QCDA, 1999) In addition it enable the children to understand and improve their quality of life, children learn to discuss science based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.

Science is mainly about asking questions and doing experiments to find the answer, this helps children in using their imagination, knowledge and skills to discover and experience the world around them. In the other hand ICT engage a method of learning that settled in old knowledge as well as learning new skills. Combination of science and ICT can make a considerable difference to children’s scientific learning as well as learning new ICT skills. In addition provide the opportunity for children to experience facts in science that they would’ve thought impossible, such as zoom-up scenes of the plants and their surface texture.

Use of ICT across the curriculum

Within the curriculum students and children must be provided chances to use and develop their ICT ability through the use of ICT devices to support their learning in all subjects however with the exception of physical education at key stages 1 and 2. According to the national curriculum:

“Pupils should be given opportunities to support their work by being taught to: a find things out from a variety of sources, selecting and synthesising the information to meet their needs and developing an ability to question its accuracy, bias and plausibility b develop their ideas using ICT tools to amend and refine their work and enhance its quality and accuracy exchange and share information, both directly and through electronic media review, modify and evaluate their work, reflecting critically on its quality, as it Progresses.” (QCDA, 1999)

Lesson plan introduction (key stage 1)

After researching and studying through the national curriculum and understanding the programme of study (science) and science enquiry, I am going to plan a science lesson for children whose position lies within in key stage 1.

Within the curriculum there are 3 scientific enquiries which are needed to be taught by teachers, these are: Life processes and living things, Materials and their properties and Physical processes.

Actual lesson plan (key stage 1)

The chosen concept to plan the lesson on is materials and their properties. I know from my own knowledge that students and children learn and maintain learning abilities through experiences and the use of their senses, I thought that its best to let them touch on subjects which are made up of different materials that are present in class such as rulers. Children’s own t-shirts, windows, chairs and other objects which children question in a way that they feel comfortable in, including:

How the materials feel like (softness, roughness, hardness, as well as the shininess, ability to float, whether they are magnetic or not), name the common types of material (metal, plastic, wood, wool, paper, rocks), about the uses of a variety of materials for example glass, woods, wool.

Using ICT is the best way to start my lesson after asking the children questions, I could buy, borrow software packages or use online resources which contain words and picture about different materials and subjects connected to the smart board where all the children can watch the board easily, in order to help children to learn the names of materials I will try to seek the software or online resource with the presence of sound.

I prefer to use resources which contain questions and answers within, picture and explanation of materials and their properties, for instance: what is an oven made from, why we use an oven; can we cook food with a plastic oven, why yes? Why not? And other kind of questions which are related to the use of materials and their properties, in addition I have to be very careful in meeting the science enquiry in key stage one.

Children can identify materials and their properties by listening or watching software or online resources and answer the questions in the meantime their watching or after they’ve watched the video, that helps me or teachers to make sure children have achieved what they need to achieve within curriculum.

Personal reflection

After planning, implementation and evaluation of reception’s activity as I know that the government has set two curriculums in order to meets children’s learning needs: the early year’s foundation Stage which to be taught to the children aged 3 to 5 and the national Curriculum design for children from 6-11. I need to plan a lesson which meets the children’s needs and requirement within national curriculum as well as using ICT, to support the lesson and assist the children to understand and maintain the learning in order to achieve what they are expected to achieve. Both curriculums aimed to help the children, parents and educators. However both curriculums have weaknesses within them as well as strengths.

The strengths of the national curriculum

Teachers could find weaknesses and strengths of students by assessing them through different tests such as S.A.T.S, ACT and Etc and keep record of their progress. In addition Post-Secondary Consistency provides another way to assess student outside of SAT, ACT and other standardized tests.

Assessing children’s learning of the National Curriculum is performed by teachers listening questioning, observing and marking the children’s work. When teachers assess children they write down their evidence, produce tables of results, add information to the student’s profile and write reports for the child’s parents.

Regulation of especial education and racing student, all standard and qualifications would be same across the world.

National curriculums provide exceptional opportunity for parents, communities and schools to discuss and reach agreement on what students expected to know and be able to do.

In addition help student to learn more by emphasise the best teaching and educational practices, challenging student ability and providing valuable methods to help students achieve high standards. National curriculum will Focus the education system on reasonable, objective, measurable, and well-defined goals to enable schools to work smarter and more effectively.

The weaknesses of National Curriculum

Disagreement between government and lawmaker (who deciding what is essential ,or what is not important is one of the weaknesses in national curriculum in addition other aspect of education such as staring date ,date of schools and salaries need to turn out to be same and standardised.

Availability of teachers is another weakness within national curriculum. As every person is unique teacher may need more training time to cover specific area that they want to cover or they not available at rural areas. High or low standards forced by state government are also challenging. They require content provisions without considering the different needs, opportunities to learn, and skills that may be suitable for specific regions or areas.

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The strengths of Early Years Foundation Stage

Emphasis on learning outside of the formal education and having freedom to play and explore the world around them and accepting and considers risk for themselves within inside or outside environment makes Early Years Foundation Stage unique. Play is seen as a fundamental part in children’s development in pre-schools curriculum. Throughout play children learn better, as well as socialise and interact with other children.

Assessment is very crucial for children’s learning. It informs the practitioners whether they have achieved or met all the early learning goals or what stage the child ability or progress is at. The practitioner makes records for each child and will then inform the parents of their child’s progress. In reception the assessment is baseline which happens in the first term of reception. At the end children will be assessed to see if they have achieved the early learning goals. However in nursery the assessment is continuously.

Practitioners observe children, and notice what they say and what they do and make a record of what they see. They use the document’s column ‘examples of what children do’ to help them assess.

The weaknesses of Early Years Foundation Stage

According to the survey which has been take place on Augusts 2009 about the performance of Early Years Foundation Stage in settings

“When questioned on parent’s reaction to Early Years Foundation Stage, respondents gave a variety of answer including anxiety about learning goals, expectations of formal and informal learning, general lack of awareness and disinterest.” (PRE-SCHOOL, 2003)

Adult anxiety about pushing children on in their development makes disadvantages of expecting too much of children in Early Years Foundation Stage and failing to notice and acknowledge how able they are already.

Compare and contrast national curriculum and early Years of foundation Stage

The National Curriculum is consisting of three core or saturated subjects: English, Mathematics and Science and seven non core subjects: Geography, Art, Music, History, Physical Education, IT, and Design and Technology, as well as additional desires such as Sex education and Religion Education and non statutory guidance such as citizenship, P.S.H.E and foreign language. All these subjects are prearranged into four key stages ‘For each key stage, programmes of study set out what pupils should be taught, and attainment targets set out the expected standards of pupils’ performance’. (DCSF, 1999)

In order for the student’s to achieve the attainment targets, the programmes of study specify what students must be educate in each subject at each key stage, and provide the foundation for planning schemas of work.

Attainment targets plan the accepted standards of students’ performance. They range from level 1 to level 6 and are a way of evaluating students’ achievement.

“Levels of descriptions provide the basis for making judgements about pupils’ performance at the end of key stages 1, 2 and 3. At key stage 4, national qualifications are the main means of assessing attainment in National Curriculum subjects”. (DCSF, 1999)

Within national curriculum teachers required to plan and prepare a lecture before they perform it. The purpose of planning is all staff are working as a team and planning together in order to assure the children, parents, Government and inspectors that all staff are distributing the National curriculum.

National curriculum contains of 3 kinds of terms: long term (year plans and key stage), medium term (half term plans or term plans) and short term (daily or weekly plans).

Within national curriculum children need to be assess by teachers. Children assessed by doing national tests at age seven to eleven ,and then S.A.T.S are made public in union tables and checked by Offset inspectors, that helps teachers to find out what children have learned and achieved, over specific period of time.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Government has set the early year’s foundation stage guide for children 3 to 5 years teachers. Within Early Years Foundation Stage there are 6 main areas of learning.

There are 6 areas of learning within the Foundation Stage:

  1. Personal, social and emotional development: is about children knowing who they are, what they like and dislike, where they can fit in as well as feeling safe and good about themselves, being able to make friendship, communicate and socialise with other children, learn to share and help each other and emotional welfare. It is also about developing respect for others, social skills and a positive attitude towards learning.
  2. Communication, language and literacy – includes speaking, communication and listening in different circumstances. The communication skills provide the ability to children to communicate and participate more fully within their society.
  3. Mathematical development – a child’s development can build up out of every day experiences in a vast and aesthetic atmosphere. Children’s developments could be through songs, stories, imaginative play games, so that children enjoy using and experimenting with numbers larger than 10.
  4. Knowledge and understanding of the world – children need to gain and develop the essential skills knowledge and understanding that help them understand the world.
  5. Physical development – helps the children to gain confidence in what they can do and enables them to feel active and healthy.
  6. Creative development – Being creative helps children to express emotions and feelings in different ways such as music, art, dance, imaginative play and role play.

Play is the key of children’s development in Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Through play children explore and experience the world around them they learn to share, socialise and interact with other children.

Practitioners must constantly be thinking how they can apply the methods of learning into every area of learning, so they must prepare a plan for every lesson.

Within Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum there are 3 ways of planning; long term (for whole year)medium term(half term, terms) and short term (week or each session).the practitioner are responsible to ensure that all 6 area of learning are fully covered by using documents such as observation or record of children’s progression. In addition they should make sure all the work is suitable to each individual needs.


Overall both Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum provide a wide variety of subject for children to learn and grasp, however due to the child ability children might find some subjects easier to understand than others. As long as the right teaching methods are implementing at appropriate times, children should be able to get a lot out of learning not just for educational reasons but also developmental. In conclusion, children’s should be entitled to a suitable curriculum and protected from discrimination in any case of social, gender, class, culture, ethnicity and disability.


1) DCSF, 1999. Progress in national curriculum levels [Online]. Available at: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/245463 [Accessed 10/04/2010].

2) PRE-SCHOOL, 2003. EYFS- what our members think [online]. Available at: http://www.pre-school.org.uk/practitioners/research/349/eyfs-what-our-members-think [Accessed 8/04/2010].

3) QCDA, 1999.Information and communication technology [online] available at: http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/key-stages-1-and-2/subjects/ict/keystage1/index.aspx [Accessed 10/04/2010].

4) QCDA,1999. Science [Online]. Available at: http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/uploads/Science%201999%20programme%20of%20study_tcm8-12062.pdf [Accessed 10/04/2010]

5) WARD, H.RODEN, J.HEWLETT, C, 2005.Teaching science in primary classroom: a practical guide. LONDON: SAGE Publications Ltd.


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