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The Early Years Foundation Stage
Provision for the development and learning of children from birth to 5 years is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2012):
- A Unique Child
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Enabling Environments
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, parents and carers.
- Learning and Development
Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
How we provide for development and learning
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.
The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- Physical development.
- Communication and language.
- Understanding the world.
- Expressive arts and design.
For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to have attained by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage is defined by the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know, and be able to do, by the end of the reception year of their education.
The Early Years Outcomes (DfE 2013) guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child makes along their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. Our setting has regard to these when we assess children and plan for their learning. Our programme supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need for:
Personal, social and emotional development
- making relationships;
- self-confidence and self-awareness; and
- managing feelings and behaviour.
- moving and handling; and
- health and self-care.
Communication and language
- listening and attention;
- understanding; and
- reading; and
- numbers; and
- shape, space and measure.
Understanding the world
- people and communities;
- the world; and
Expressive arts and design
- exploring and using media and materials; and
- being imaginative.
Our approach to learning and development and assessment
Learning through play
Being active and playing supports young children’s learning and development through doing and talking. This is how children learn to think about and understand the world around them. We use the EYFS statutory guidance on education programmes to plan and provide opportunities which will help children to make progress in all areas of learning. This programme is made up of a mixture of activities that children plan and organise for themselves and activities planned and led by practitioners.
Characteristics of effective learning
We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Early Years Foundation Stage as:
- playing and exploring – engagement;
- active learning – motivation; and
- creating and thinking critically – thinking.
We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.
We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we will ask you to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you, as parents, are supporting development.
We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.
Records of achievement
We keep a record of achievement for each child. Your child’s record of achievement helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.
Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you and she will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. Together, we will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.
Working together for your children
We maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. We also have volunteer parent helpers, where possible, to complement these ratios. This helps us to:
- give time and attention to each child;
- talk with the children about their interests and activities;
- help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide; and
- allow the children to explore and be adventurous in safety.