The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to age 5. The framework sets out the legal welfare requirements everyone registered to look after young children must follow to keep them safe and 7 areas of Learning and Development, which guide staff to ensure children reach their full potential.
Children learn through their play and exploration. We encourage them to become active learners, following and building on their individual interests and ideas.
The 3 prime areas of learning and development are:
- Communication and language - Children are given opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development - We provide opportunities for children to be active, interactive and develop their coordination, control and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity and personal hygiene and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development - We support children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
As your child grows and develops, the prime areas will help your child to develop skills in 4 specific areas which are:
- Literacy - We provide challenges for children to listen closely, to identify and make different sounds. We play games with rhymes and rhythm. We introduce letter sounds and show how these can blend together to make words. We love storytelling and use a wide range of reading materials (books, rhymes, comics, maps, puppets) to ignite children’s interest. We encourage children to choose a book to take home to share.
- Mathematics - We provide children with many opportunities to develop mathematical skills solving real life problems as they arise and through games. Eg. counting children to check the register, working out if we have enough plates, singing number songs, playing board games, keeping score for active games, counting for hide and seek, planning a construction, paying at a role-play shop, using a timer to take turns...
- Understanding the world - We provide children with opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. We look for similarities and differences and notice changes over time eg. We take photographs showing how pea seeds grow into plants, produce flowers and then peapods that we can pick and eat.
- Expressive arts and design - We support children to explore a wide range of media and materials, providing opportunities to share their thoughts and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement and dance.
As part of the revised EYFS staff are required to provide a written summary of 2 year olds progress in the prime areas. This forms part of the Norfolk Shared Review. We will explain this process more fully at the time if it applies to your child.