What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

At Preschool we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), a statutory framework that sets universal standards for learning, development and care for children from 0–5 years. At its core, it recognises that all children are unique and that learning and development must be planned around each child’s individual needs and interests.

“Educational programmes must involve activities and experiences for children, as follows:

  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling 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.

(EYFS Framework, Sept 2014)

How it works for us

Here at Preschool, we observe the children at play on a daily basis and their choices and ideas inform the following week’s planning. Our daily routines and planning are geared to embrace and enhance their individual interests, styles of learning and level of development.

We then use written observations, as well as photographs of the children, to document their progress. These are compiled in a Learning Journal, our way of ensuring that what we provide is tailored to their needs and stage of development.

However, we know that the best way to have a positive impact on their play and learning is by working closely with the people who know the children best – their parents and/or main carers. We ask you to keep us posted about their likes, dislikes, new skills and interests, so we can provide appropriate support and stimulation during our sessions. It is also helpful for us to know if your child attends any other nursery, or has a child minder, so that we can work in partnership with these other agencies when necessary.

Learning Journals are available for you to view and contribute to whenever you wish and they are sent home each half term.

More information? Try www.foundationyears.org.uk