Early Years Foundation Stage
A Unique Child + Positive Relationships + Enabling Environments = Learning and Development.
Schools and early years providers have to follow a structure of learning, development and care for children from birth to five years old called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS ensures that children learn through play and that providers work closely with parents to keep them up to date on their child’s progress.
Nursery and Reception are known as the Foundation Stage, and they are based in purpose-built buildings on the school site. The children work towards Early Learning Goals as laid out in the Department for Education’s statutory framework as follows:
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These ‘prime’ areas are fundamental and underpin learning in all areas:
Communication and language
Listening and attention
Moving and handling
Health and self-care
Personal, social and emotional development
Self-confidence and self-awareness
Managing feelings and behaviour
Providers must also support children in four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas include the essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society:
Shape, space and measures
Understanding the world
People and communities
Expressive arts and design
Exploring and using media and materials
So how do children learn through play?
There are three characteristics of effective learning:
1. Playing and exploring - Children are finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and are willing to have a go at new things.
2. Active learning - Children are involved in what they are doing and concentrating, they keep trying and enjoy achieving what they set out to do.
3. Creating and thinking critically - Children have their own ideas, make links and choose ways to do things.
Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning process and important to help parents, carers and staff to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs and to plan activities and support.
It begins with an accurate baseline assessment when a child joins us, along with a progress check between the ages of two and three and an assessment at the end of the EYFS. These will be shared with parents, in addition to an individual Learning Journal that documents a child's achievements during their time with us.
Year 1 teachers will then support and extend each child's learning as they make the transition to the National Curriculum.
British values in the EYFS
Children who are given playful learning opportunities will develop positive diverse and communal identities. Our EYFS concentrates on ensuring children's well-being and building their empathy and emotional literacy, all of which fosters pro-social behaviours, responsible citizenship and real belonging. Please see our British values page for more information.
Our Reception learning environment...