Early years foundation stage
We provide an environment that is stimulating, warm and caring, in which pupils are encouraged to develop confidence through planned play and structured learning activities. We foster each child’s natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge with a varied curriculum including classroom learning, outdoor play, activities and field trips. These may include visits to local vets, churches, fire stations and wildlife centres.
The curriculum in the early years focuses on seven areas of learning and development:
- Personal, social and emotional
- Communication and language
- Understanding the World
- Physical development
- Expressive Arts and Design
We ensure that there is a balance of learning and playtime. The day is structured to encourage learning and flexibility through a calm atmosphere and a gentle routine. Children are encouraged to be inquisitive, enthusiastic and are always rewarded with praise and recognition for their achievements.
In September 2008 the Foundation Stage Curriculum was replaced by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), framework which covers ages from birth to five years of age. The EYFS is based on principles of inclusion, which means that early-years providers oppose discrimination and prejudice and welcome all families and children. They provide care and education for a wide range of children in environments that enable children to feel safe and supported and which extend their learning and development.
Throughout the EYFS stress is placed upon understanding each child and their family as unique, with different needs and concerns. Children’s development is presented under six overlapping phases. This overlap is intended to emphasise the fact that there can be big differences between the development of children of similar ages. At the same time age can be a cue, when taken with all other factors, to indicate that development may be atypical and that a child may need extra support.
All children are different and to reflect this, age ranges have been overlapped in the EYFS to create broad developmental phases. This emphasises that each child’s progress is individual to them and that different children develop at different rates. A child does not suddenly move from one phase to another, and they do not make progress in all areas at the same time. However, there are some important ‘steps’ for each child to take along their own developmental pathway.
There are six broad developmental phases: birth to 11 months, 8 to 20 months, 16 to 26 months, 22 to 36 months, 30 to 50 months and 40 to 60+ months. The following summaries highlight the more important aspects of child development in each of these stages. For the purpose of planning and observations for Class 1 the school will be using the 40 to 60+ months developmental phases.
During this period children are now building a stronger sense of their own identity and their place in a wider world. Children are learning the importance of social rules and customs, to show understanding and tolerance of others, and to learn how to be more controlled in their own behaviour. Learning and playing in small groups helps to foster the development of social skills. Children now become better able to plan and undertake more challenging activities with a wider range of materials for making and doing. In this phase children learn effectively in shared activities with more able peers and adults. Literacy and problem solving, reasoning and numeracy skills continue to develop. Children’s developing understanding of cause and effect is encouraged by the introduction of a wider variety of equipment, media and technologies.
Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS is made up of seven areas of Learning and Development. All areas of Learning and Development are connected to one another and are equally important. The seven areas of Learning and Development are Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Early help is all about supporting children, young people and families with problems they're experiencing at the earliest possible stage to prevent them from reaching crisis point and the need for statutory intervention. It's about local partners e.g. schools, children's centres, health services, youth support services, housing, voluntary and community organisations etc working in a joined-up and coordinated way to provide families with the support they need, when they need it. A link is included in our useful links section.
Information and advice. What to expect, when?
This provides guidance to your child's learning and development in the early years foundation stage. Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. This booklet has been written to help you as a parent to know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS.