Nursery & Reception (ages 3-5 years)

The acquisition of skills and knowledge in a vibrant learning environment is at the heart of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum in the Infant School.

Curriculum planning, delivery and assessment reflect all seven areas of learning and development. Within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, there is flexibility to respond to and encourage the children's interests and curiosity. The continuous provision approach sees the classrooms and shared areas of the units full of stimulating resources which engage the children from the moment they walk through the door in the morning.

Prime Areas of Learning

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Throughout the EYFS, the children’s learning focuses on developmental milestones that relate directly to social interactions and an awareness of self. The developmental statements that our highly skilled teaching staff base their curriculum on, focus on the children developing self-confidence and self-awareness, forming relationships with their peers and teachers and, of course, understanding how to manage their feelings and behaviours. Great emphasis is placed upon the children exploring the world around them and time is taken to give them the tools to verbalise and understand how they feel.

As the children’s sense of self develops, their knowledge of the wider community is enhanced. Junior School children visit as Nursery helpers, delighting in learning together with our youngest pupils. Relationships are forged across the school in assemblies and through special events, and visits from local school children allow our pupils to get to know children from across Singapore and to understand their place in our diverse and culturally rich locality.

Physical Development

EYFS students sports day

At Tanglin, we believe that physical development promotes a sense of wellbeing. Through physical activity using multi-sensory experiences in outdoor and indoor environments, links between cognitive development and movement are enhanced.

Highly skilled and experienced teachers allow opportunities for active play in a safe and challenging environment, using a range of resources. During focused physical development lessons, children develop fundamental motor skills to enhance agility, balance, coordination and strength. This may take place in a specialist sports hall, the swimming pool, an outdoor play area, or within EYFS learning environments.

Communication and Language

EYFS Student and Teacher

Communication and language is a prime area within the EYFS curriculum, its importance underpinning the other subject areas as children learn to share their thoughts and ideas in our nurturing environment.

With many varied opportunities for speaking and listening on a one-to-one basis and in larger groups, children begin to interact collaboratively with their peers and familiar adults. They begin to negotiate plans and develop talk through play, using language to recreate and imagine experiences.

Care is taken to ensure children can begin to reflect on their learning through supported whole class discussions where teachers model language use and extend vocabulary. Our vision is to enable children to express their ideas in a coherent and creative way, making them active learners not just in terms of their communication skills, but throughout all areas of the curriculum.

Specific Areas of Learning


The skills of reading and writing develop in the EYFS as children explore, enjoy, learn about, and use words and text in a broad range of contexts and experience a rich variety of books. Children engage in a hands-on experience in a vivid and creative setting which allows them to participate in their developmental journey towards becoming a reader and writer.

Working on specific early phonics skills through enriching play activities and creative teaching sessions builds a strong foundation in the building blocks of written English. Through thoughtful use of texts, both topically relevant stories and worldwide classics, teachers extend each child’s knowledge of language and enable them to become leaders of their own learning.


From day one, our skilled teachers foster a love of mathematics and encourage all children to be enthusiastic, curious and motivated about the subject. We aim to turn the abstract world of mathematics into an exciting place and we find ‘ways into mathematics’ for all children, developing a learning environment that supports mathematical thinking. Through individualised provision, children explore mathematical skills in areas that interest them, such as counting the number of blue cars on the track or measuring the length of Rapunzel’s hair.

Activities and hands-on experiences facilitate children exploring ‘real life’ mathematics. Role play has a vital role within the EYFS environment and enables our children to use and apply their mathematical thinking in a relevant way. For example, an imitation veterinary surgery encourages the children to measure bandages for the poorly pets, write labels for the medicine bottles suggesting how many spoonfuls are needed and how many times a day the medicine should be taken. A restaurant provides the children with an opportunity to share food equally between customers and to use money to pay for their meal.

We aim to equip the children with a love of mathematics and solid mathematical foundation upon which all subsequent learning will be built.

Understanding the World

The EYFS curriculum allows teachers to follow children’s interest in science as they explore the world around them. Children observe and compare, talk about patterns and changes they see, and speculate about why things happen and how things work.

Children learn how technology plays a large part in everyone's life. We all find ourselves surrounded by technology in our homes, work places and in the local environment. Children are also surrounded by these technologies in their everyday lives and learn to recognise the role technology plays. ICT can be used effectively across all seven areas of learning and development to engage the children and enhance their learning.

As our children begin to relate to the people and world around them, they are encouraged to develop the characteristics of an effective learner by engaging with the curriculum in a variety of ways. Supported, co-constructed play and exploration form a large part of their learning journey in the early years as they begin to develop creative and critical thinking skills through active learning.

Children’s understanding of the world develops in a rich and exciting environment based in an international setting, and this is reflected and developed in their play activities and teacher led sessions.

Expressive Art and Design

Within the EYFS curriculum children have an enriching experience to explore a wide and diverse range of visual media. Opportunity for exploration of 2D and 3D media includes excellent access to the outdoor environment as well as large and small scale art projects in the classroom and unit areas. Children are encouraged to express their ideas and creativity through individual and collaborative activities and to communicate their ideas.

Music and drama are essential elements of the EYFS curriculum. During focused music lessons, children are introduced to a rich variety of action songs and rhymes as well as simple rhythmic patterns. There is a strong emphasis on movement as well as a very practical approach to exploring the vast array of instruments. Additionally, children are encouraged to role play and use their creativity and imagination to explore ideas at every available opportunity.


Chinese at Tanglin is an introductory course for non-native Chinese children, offering a spiral, functional-based curriculum. Our topics are reinforced, broadened, deepened and enriched across every year level.

We aim to develop a love of language learning and provide a large amount of comprehensible input so that the children learn Chinese for everyday use. They are engaged in a fun learning environment with lots of paired work, group work and interaction with the teachers.

The ‘gesture response teaching’ method is one of the main features in the language classroom. This engages all children, as they have to ‘sign’ what they are saying as well as respond to the teacher and each other in short bursts of authentic language. This combination of visual, aural and kinaesthetic approaches is extremely effective in catering for different learning styles. Linguistically, this methodology focuses on developing knowledge of key verbs and enhancing their memorisation.

The children are also encouraged to explore Chinese traditions through various activities and we celebrate different Chinese festivals throughout the year to help connect the language and cultural learning with real life experiences.