26th February 2024 All Posts

Understanding the ‘Three I’s’ of the Curriculum

The Ofsted Early Years Inspection Handbook highlights the ways in which Ofsted aim to carry out regular inspections, evaluating the overall quality and standard of its early years provision in line with the EYFS framework. Early years leaders build on the framework depending on what they intend children to learn and develop, the handbook further includes the requirements all providers must follow ini facilitating children to thrive while maintaining a healthy and safe environment.

On the day of inspection, the Ofsted inspector will use the early years inspection framework to measure and report their judgements on the early years setting they’re visiting. In our latest guide ‘preparing for Ofsted’, we uncover the three areas of the education inspection framework (EIF). 

The three areas of the education inspection framework (EIF)

The framework sets out the principles and judgements of an inspection, providing an independent, external evaluation identifying improvements for the provision to be good or better. The framework is set out to ensure the inspectors make a coherent set of judgements, all of which are underpinned by consistent and researched criteria.  


Ofsted refers to intention surpassing the early learning goals outlined in the EYFS frameworking, suggesting a much broader vision. Considering the learning needs of all children, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs (SEND). 

Providers benefit by ensuring their curriculum is coherently planned and defined and is achieved by determining the skills and knowledge you aim children to obtain during their time in your setting. 

Top Tip: Ask yourself, what impact does it have on the childrens’ learning?

Providers in the early years sector have the intention to create an impact on young children’s lives and are likely to carry the same academic ambitions for most learners. In some instances where this is not practical, for example, a child with high levels of SEND. Providers are required to utilise ambition and meet their needs in other ways, ‘specialising’ in subjects when necessary.


Implementing a successful learning environment relies on the teachers knowledge of the subjects they teach. If a teacher is working outside their main area of expertise, it is vital for the leader to provide support, ensuring the subject is presented clearly and seamlessly to promote effective learning. 

A key element listed in the EYFS curriculum is ‘characteristics of effective teaching and learning’, creating an environment that is well-focused and promotes exploration, facilitating effective learning when implemented successfully.


Ofsted measures how much impact your setting has on children progressing to the next stage of education. This is determined by observing an individual’s knowledge and skills acquired during their time enrolled. 

Children learn and develop at a faster rate from birth to five years old than at any other age in their lives, the experiences they encounter within your setting have a huge impact on their future. It is important to ensure your setting provides high-quality early, building on the foundation for fulfilling a child’s potential. 

Download ‘Preparing for Ofsted – A guide for early years professionals’, a free resource uncovering how the Ofsted methodology is used during an inspection, in collaboration with Julia Maynard, Childcare Director at Happy Orkids.

Preparing for Ofsted with Connect Childcare

Each chapter in this guide, provides valuable insights, practical tips, and actionable strategies to assist nursery managers and childcare providers in successfully navigating the Ofsted inspection process.
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Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare