The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Nursery and Reception classes form the last two years of the Early Years Foundation Stage, which has its own special curriculum. The EYFS is a statutory framework that sets the standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five.
The children work towards Early Learning Goals, building on specific developmental steps on their way to those goals. Children develop and learn in different ways and our Early Years practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. They foster the characteristics of effective early learning:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
There are three Prime Areas of learning and development in the Early Years Foundation Stage. These areas are fundamental, work together, and support development in all other areas.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development. This area of learning forms the basis upon which the children’s success as future learners will depend. It focuses on the child’s attitude towards learning, and the way they work as a member of a group and build relationships. Children learn how to engage in daily routine, select and concentrate on activities. They learn how to help each other and build up confidence in themselves.
- Physical Development. The children develop fine motor skills such as holding and controlling a pen and cutting with scissors. They develop gross motor skills such as spatial awareness, jumping and climbing safely, using an outdoor play area and the PE apparatus. They learn the importance of a healthy diet and physical exercise for good health.
- Communication and Language. Children learn to listen attentively in a range of situations, responding to what they hear. They learn to follow instruction and ask questions. They learn to express themselves effectively, building on their language skills and vocabulary.
There are four Specific Areas of learning and development in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Literacy. They share books with the staff on a regular basis. They learn to love books and handle them with care. The children learn about the importance of reading in everyday life. They begin to learn the names and sounds of letters. They learn to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. The children will have the opportunity to “play” at writing in a range of real life contexts, such as writing lists, making books and jotting down messages.
- Mathematics. The children are introduced to basic mathematical concepts, such as sorting into sets, matching, pattern, measure and shape. They use and recognise numbers from zero to twenty, and develop an awareness of larger numbers in their everyday lives, such as their door number. They learn to solve problems and use mathematical language.
- Understanding the World. The children use their senses to explore the world around them, and to become familiar with their immediate environment. They learn how to use a computer and other technology. They learn about past and present events in their own and others lives. They begin to learn the similarities and differences between themselves and others.
- Expressive Arts and Design. The children will be given the opportunity to explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. They will be encouraged to be imaginative and express their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.