The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of learning and development from birth to the end of their first year in school (Reception). It is called the Early Years Foundation Stage because it gives children secure foundations to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The EYFS Framework describes how settings should work with children and their families to support their development and learning. It describes how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how all concerned can make sure that your child achieves the most that they can in their earliest years of life. This framework is based on four important principles:
A Unique Child– Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. This means we recognise that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. We are inclusive and ensure that no child or family is discriminated against, and that the health, well being and safety of the children in our care is paramount.
Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships. We see parents as partners - when parents & Nursery staff work together, it has a positive impact on children’s development and learning.
Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers. By giving the children a rich and varied learning environment, making use of both inside and outside areas, we support every child in their learning and development. Activities are planned by observing the children in order to understand their individual needs.
Learning and Development— Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. We recognise that play is a child’s work and that children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Playing is the child’s way of discovering the world around him/her and how it works. Play is a natural vehicle for learning because it motivates young children. Learning experiences with a variety of materials provide opportunities for exploration and experimentation, construction and representation, creation and imagination, learning skills and concepts, repetition, consolidation, socialisation and emotional security. Early experiences affect children’s attitudes to learning. They create the basis for later learning.
EYFS areas of learning
The Early Years Foundation Stage is a curriculum from birth to five years old, we follow the strands set by this curriculum and concentrate the learning opportunities on the seven areas of learning (3 Prime and 4 Specific) which are:
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Through play and practical experiences, children learn about the world and their place in it. They learn through first-hand experiences, talk, books and equipment. We set realistic yet challenging expectations that meet the needs of our children. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children with special educational needs, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.