The Early Years Foundation Stage is from birth up until the age of 5. The guiding principles are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes which are then broken down into certain objectives, which explain how these principles can be put into practice:
Enabling Environments – explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
The commitments are focused around observation, assessment and planning, support for every child, the learning environment, and the wider context – transitions and continuity.
Learning and Development – 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.
Seven Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS curriculum is based around seven main areas of learning and development:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development;
Communication and Language;
Mathematics (problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy);
Understanding the World;
Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas of learning and development can be delivered in isolation from one another – they are all equally important and dependent. We believe in a well-rounded approach to child development and cover all these areas through planned, purposeful play with a balance of adult-led, and child-initiated activities. We have a philosophy of “no lids on kids” – we always aim to extend and challenge our children.
Foundation Stage 1
In FS1, play is the main vehicle of delivery of the six areas of learning. It is a natural activity for children and it is through well-planned play that children learn with enjoyment and challenge. By providing opportunities for all children to explore and learn in a secure environment we extend children’s learning and experiences. Through play, we intend that children will:
-Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world and understand their own and other cultures.
Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;
-Develop fine motor skills using a range of materials;
-Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules;
-Play alone, alongside others or cooperate as they talk or rehearse their feelings, developing their social skills and making relationships.
-Engage in activities which promote curiosity, imagination and creativity.
-Develop their communication skills with others as they investigate or solve problems; speaking, listening, reading and writing.
-Develop a good understanding of sounds, in order to provide them with a foundation to phonics.
-Express fears and relive experiences in controlled and safe situations.
-Develop confidence and self-esteem.
Foundation Stage 2
In FS2 the children begin the more specific activities involving reading, writing and mathematics. Play and exploration remain an important part of the curriculum and, where appropriate, the children learn about new topics in these ways. All of the knowledge, skills and understanding in the seven areas are taught in a holistic manner, through interesting topics that capture a child’s imagination.
The children build upon their problem-solving skills answering and asking open-ended questions. They also continue to use outdoor learning opportunities.