The Early Years Foundation Stage
Our youngest children in Nursery and Reception build upon the experiences they have had at home and in pre-school settings. We provide a relevant curriculum that seeks to build upon the children’s own interests and, following the curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage, is planned for against seven areas of development.
The prime areas of learning are fundamental, work together and move through to support development in all other areas. They are:
·Personal, social and emotional development (making relationships, self confidence, self awareness, managing feelings and behaviour)
·Communication and language (listening and attention, understanding and speaking)
·Physical development (moving and handling, health and self care)
The specific areas of learning include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. They are:
·Literacy (reading and writing)
·Mathematics (numbers, shapes, space and measure)
·Understanding the world (people and communities, the world and technology)
·Expressive art and design (exploring and using media and materials and being imaginative)
The prime and specific areas make up the seven areas of development.
Children develop in the context of relationships and the environment around them. This is unique to each family and reflects individual communities and cultures. The child relates to people and things through the characteristics of effective learning, which are playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
The balance between child and adult-initiated activities
· There is an ongoing judgment to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults. Practitioners must respond to 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.
Ongoing assessments are made across the foundation stage. The aims are to:
·Review children’s development in the three prime areas of learning and the four specific areas
·Ensure that parents have a clear picture of their child’s development
·Enable practitioners to understand children’s needs and plan activities to meet them in the setting
·Enable parents to understand their child’s needs and, with support from practitioners, enhance development at home
·Note areas where a child is progressing well and identify any areas where progress is less than expected
·Describe actions the school intends to take to address any developmental concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate)
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete the EYFS Profile. This assessment is led by the reception teacher and is based on observations and assessments completed during the reception year. The EYFSP covers all EYFS seven areas of learning and supports transition for the child to year one.