The Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years, children embark on a journey of discovery and exploration. We create a happy and caring environment where all children feel valued and safe and where they will have the opportunity to develop positive relationships with all the adults and children within our setting.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is a unique curriculum where children often initiate their own learning through play as well as engaging in planned topic led learning. Throughout the school day children will take part in whole class, small group and adult directed activities as well as having lots of time to access the provision independently.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and interconnected.
The prime areas are:
· Communication and language
· Physical development
· Personal, social and emotional development
The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:
· Understanding the world
· Expressive arts and design
In early years we also promote the characteristics of effective learning:
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
The characteristics of effective learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all areas of learning and development.
In EYFS staff use their experience and knowledge to monitor whether a child’s learning and development is on track for their age. At the end of the Reception year, staff use their judgements to assess if the children have met the 'Early Learning Goals' and inform parents and carers. Children who meet the goals before the end of the year are challenged in order to have a greater depth and understanding of ideas.