We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.
Early Years Curriculum
Every child is unique and we respect this! We use the EYFS framework to take every child’s unique qualities into account when planning their day. The EYFS principles that guide the work of all practitioners are grouped as follows:
Recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. The commitments are focused around development, inclusion, safety and health and well-being.
Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person. The commitments are focused around respect, partnership with parents, supporting learning and the role of the key person.
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. The commitments are focused around observations, assessment and planning, support for every child, the learning environment and the wider context – transitions and continuity.
Recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
This approach ensures that the EYFS meets the overarching aim of improving outcomes and reflects that it is every child’s right to grow up safe, healthy, happy and achieving, making a position contribution and with economic well-being.
Within the learning and development section of the EYFS there are seven areas of learning and development which we use to shape the educational programmes in our Early Years department. Whilst all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected, the framework splits the areas of learning into ‘Prime’ and ‘Specific’ areas.
Prime Areas of Learning and Development
The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities that all children need to develop and learn effectively and become ready for school. These three areas are particularly crucial in flaring up children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
For our youngest children we focus strongly on the three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. As children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all prime and specific areas of learning.
Specific Areas of Learning and Development
We are also required to support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World;
- Expressive Arts and Design.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.
Play is essential for childrens development; building their confidence as they learn to explore, think about problems and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.
We recognise each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.
We believe that early childhood education provides the essential foundation for all future learning.