The Early Years Foundation Stage follows a specific curriculum based around skills that children need to learn at different ages and stages of their life.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.
Your child will mostly be taught through games and play.
The areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Their class teacher will assess them at the end of the school year when they turn 5.
The assessment is based on classroom observation - your child will not be tested. It uses the early learning goals, which can be found in the early years framework.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas, the prime areas, are: Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional development.
Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Communication and language development involves giving children 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 involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping 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.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Development Matters sets out the Areas of Learning and the skills that children are taught at various ages and stages in their development leading to the Early Learning Goals which children need to achieve by the end of Foundation 2.
Learning Means the World
In the Early Years Foundation Stage we use Learning Means the World topic themes to enhance our curriculum. Each half term, our children, our Explorers, engage in a topic theme that enables them to engage in a range of activities and challenges across the seven areas of learning.
The topic themes are: -
Happy to be Me!
Tell us a Story!
Come Fly With Me! Asia
Under the Sea
Help is at Hand
No Place Like Home
What on Earth....?
In Foundation One, our children engage with the Explorers topic themes through a range of continuous provision activities.
In Foundation Two, our children access each theme through a range of adult directed and continuous provision activities.
Both Foundation One and Foundation Two children engage with activities across the seven areas of learning.
The topic themes are built around four world issues and our School Values are linked within each theme:
Communication- confidence, truthfulness, resilience, empathy
Conflict-courage, peace, kindness, responsibility
Conservation-hope, gratitude, optimism, determination
Culture-respect, tolerance, openness, fairness
The learning pathways promote our children to be: curious, experimental, confident and co-operative.
In the EYFS, our Explorers, begin their Learning Means the World learning journey. Within the thematic topics they are introduced to a progressive range of concepts, knowledge and skills which support them to have a greater understanding of the world and its issues through a global curriculum.
The curriculum's progressive thematic approach supports our Explorers natural curiosity, stimulates their creativity and promotes an appetite for, and love of, learning. This underpins and prepares our Explorers for their journey as a Pathfinder in Key Stage One.
Please see the Foundation Two Topic Theme Overviews below for the range of activities within each theme.