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Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage was introduced in September 2008 and reformed in May 2012 to ensure better outcomes for children aged between birth and 5 years of age.  The EYFS identifies that children are born ready, able and eager to learn and emphasise that for this to be successful each unique child needs opportunities to interact through positive relationships and an enabling environment.  The four themes and the principles that underpin the guidance set out in the EYFS and are as follows:-

A UNIQUE CHILD   +    POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP    +    ENABLING ENVIRONMENT    +    LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT

We implement these themes to shape our practice through planning and providing opportunities and experiences through the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning.  The PRIME areas are important for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive, which will support children in the four SPECIFIC AREAS.

PRIME AREAS

1  PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

These aspects are an important part of all other areas of learning.  We aim to help children build confidence, self respect and a positive sense of themselves, and others.  Children learn to form positive relationships, as well as developing respect for others.  We encourage children to work both as part of a group and independently, which allows them to develop important social skills and understand appropriate behaviours.  Through the environment, interactions and group times children learn how to manage their feelings, as well as expressing them appropriately.

2  COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE

We provide children with the opportunity to experience a rich language environment.  This will enable them to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves effectively through a range of situations, as well as developing an awareness of listeners’ needs.  We plan opportunities and activities that engage children in story time, songs and rhymes, symbolic play and news time.

3. PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

We encourage children to be active and interactive by providing them with opportunities that will develop their co-ordination, control and movement on a large and small scale.  We provide opportunities for threading, sewing, painting, cutting, mark-making, construction and musical instruments.  Our garden offers a sand pit, a variety of bikes, bats and balls and a large natural garden with trees and a climbing frame so children can climb, balance and move confidently, freely and safely.  We also demonstrate and model the importance of good health by teaching children the importance of physical activity and how to make healthy choices in relation to food.

SPECIFIC AREAS

1  LITERACY:  We provide children with a range of reading materials such as books, poems and a rich language environment, which will support their early writing skills.  With the older children we play games such as eye spy and rhythmic activities that encourage them to link sounds to letters.

2  MATHEMATICS:  Our aim is to develop children’s basic mathematical concepts and language through engaging them in experiences that allow them to problem solve in everyday situations.  We provide opportunities to develop and improve counting skills, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, as well as describing shapes, space and measures.

3  UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD:  We stimulate childrens’ curiosity by providing them with opportunities and experiences that encourage them to explore, observe, investigate and question the world in which they live.  Our fantastic garden provides children with the opportunity to discover the physical world and through children having opportunities to talk about past and present events in their own lives and listening to others they get to understand how families and communities are similar and different.

4 EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND DESIGN:  We provide opportunities to enable children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.