Early Years Learning
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and Early Years Professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and the age of five.
This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of five, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
As a nursery registered to deliver the EYFS we must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
What is the EYFS Framework - why do we have one?
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.
It sets out:
o The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
o The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
o Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
o Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the ‘Early Learning Goals’
There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.
When your child starts in reception they will also be following the EYFS, we have built close links with local schools to help children making this transition.
Ensuring my child’s safety
Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.
How my child will be learning
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
Communication and language;
Physical development; and
Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
Understanding the World; and
Expressive Arts and Design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside
When your child is 2
We are required to provide you with written information of your child’s development at age two, however, at Toad hall you will receive a written individual plan for your child each term. We will also provide a written report when children move up to a new room or come to the end of their time at the setting.
When you are contacted for you 2 year old check, please let us know, as we will ensure that you have all your records, including your learning journey to share with your health visitor. We will ask you to feedback to us following your check with your health visitor and request to see your red book where information about the check is logged.
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
- Key aspects of the framework
- Learning Journeys
- Parents and families are central to the well-being of the child.
Relationships with other people (both children and adults) are of crucial importance in a child's life.
A relationship with a key person at home and in the setting is essential to young children's well-being.
Babies and young children are social beings; they are competent learners from birth.
Learning is a shared process and children learn most effectively when, with the support of a knowledgeable and trusted adult, they are actively involved and interested.
Caring adults count more than resources and equipment.
Schedules and routines must flow with the child's needs.
Children learn when they are given appropriate responsibility, allowed to make errors, decisions and choices, and respected as autonomous and competent learners.
Children learn by doing rather than being told.
Young children are vulnerable. They learn to be independent by having someone they can depend on.
Children's learning is observed and their individual needs identified and personal learning journeys created.
“The Learning Journey is a continuous journey through which children build on all the things they have already experienced and come across new and interesting challenges. Every child’s learning journey takes a personal path based on their own individual interests, experiences and the curriculum on offer” Taken from Principles into Practice Card 3.2 Enabling Environments: Supporting Every Child
We use an online learning journey which you have constant access to. Your child's learning journey is a collection of moments in their lives, these moments tell the story of their individual learning journey. Observations of key moments are uploaded by key staff, that know your child. These are then linked to the EYFS curriculum guidance. This helps to build up a unique picture of what each child knows, understands, feels and can do as well as their particular interests and learning style. We plan our learning experiences in the moment, our observations help us to make sure the experiences and learning environment we offer are relevant to the children's learning needs.
As parents, we ask that you too contribute to your child's learning journey which can be as often or as little as you wish, this can include activities you have carried out at home, a 'wow' moment, an achievement, caring for a pet etc. We can support you with this as you start out or even write up your statement if easier. All parents will receive a copy of a parents guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage as this will help to guide you when uploading key moments for your child's learning journey.