“Play underpins the delivery of all of the Early Years Foundation Stage.  Children must have opportunities to play indoors and outdoors. Providing well planned experiences based on children’s spontaneous play both indoors and outdoors, is an important way in which practitioners support young children to learn with enjoyment and challenge.”
(The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance)

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

This is a very important stage as it helps your child establish the building blocks of their education.  The success of the Foundation Stage will enable a smooth transition through our school, into Class 2 where they will begin learning from the National Curriculum. We aim to give the children in Class 1 early years experiences that are happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum sets out:

  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
  • Expected levels that your child should reach at the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.  Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.

Prime Areas

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.  As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. I will be supporting your child to make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s individual needs.  It's designed to be skills based and flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing, exploring and investigating.  Open ended activities with the aid of continuous provision enable children to be active, creative and critical thinkers.  Learning will consistently take place both indoors and outside.

Encouraging Personal Growth

Alongside the EYFS skills we help and encourage personal growth by instilling that:

  • • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

The framework covers the education and care of all children in our early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

There is a strong emphasis on the characteristics of effective learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage:

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

You can find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at www.foundationyears.org.uk. The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.