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Understanding the World in the Foundation Stage

Understanding the World for the Early Years encompasses different areas of the curriculum that would be National Curriculum areas in KS1. These are history, geography, science and religious education. For children in the Early Years these all cross over and are threads that go throughout the curriculum.


Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage DfE.