The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) begins when children are born and continues until the end of the Reception year at school. Children are constantly encountering new experiences and want to make sense of the world around them. The EYFS outlines some early learning goals which children are working towards at nursery.
With effect from September 2012, the EYFS will be broken down into 2 main areas, Prime and Specific, which will be sub-divided into 3 and 4 areas of learning respectively.
The 3 Prime areas of learning are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The 4 Specific areas of learning are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
All areas of learning are important, but the 3 prime areas are crucial and are strengthened through the specific areas of learning, which are supported by practitioners.
Each child will have a progress check at the age of two, which will enable parents to understand their child’s needs and how best to support them at home. It will also enable practitioners to understand each individual child’s needs and plan activities to support them.
These areas of learning provide the basis for our long, medium and short term planning. These plans ensure that, alongside regular observations and detailed individual planning, all the children in our care have a range of experiences within the framework.
Our planning sheets are working documents, on display, and are adapted throughout the year according to the needs and interests of the children.
Each child in the nursery is assigned a Key Worker within their class. This will enable your child to develop a strong bond with a significant person whilst they are at the nursery and this person will get to know your child, their needs and interests extremely well.
Your child's curiosity and imagination are developed in a variety of ways at Freshfields. We encourage children to talk to us about what excites them and what captures their imagination, and we use this information to plan activities. Observations and close discussions with parents and/or carers ensure that the younger children are stimulated by the age appropriate, suitable and exciting experiences we have planned.
Our staff provide activities and experiences to help all children achieve the planned outcomes and learning intentions, always ensuring that they are appropriate for the age and stage of the children they are working with, and adapting them if necessary.
The value of play is well recognized amongst professionals but there can be a misconception amongst parents and/or carers that this is not "educating" children enough. If the children believe they are playing, they are also open to a range of learning experiences. The staff put a huge amount of thought into the types of activities and experiences which they provide on a daily basis in the form of play. Each activity / experience has been thought through and has at least one specific goal that the child will aim to achieve as they play, either with support and guidance from a staff member, with a peer or independently.
Developing the children's independence is vital. They are provided with a safe and secure environment in which they are supported to make choices and work towards independence.
At Freshfields we firmly believe that it is the process that a child undergoes during an activity, not the end product, which is important. A child can learn so much with the help and support of staff and even though they may not have a recognizable product at the end of the session, or week, they will have had valuable experiences and been exposed to plenty of language and new vocabulary.
The importance of play for a child's development cannot be under-estimated as this is how they learn best. Their confidence and independence is encouraged at all times and staff ensure that the experiences and activities provided are appropriate for the development of these attributes.