EYFS Curriculum Statement
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the phase of education from birth to five, with the Reception year representing the final year of the EYFS. Children join our Nursery provision at the age of 2, 3 or 4 with the aim of giving them the knowledge, experiences and skills they need to successfully move into a Reception class. As they move through their Reception year children develop as independent and resilient learners, ready for both Year 1 and the rest of their time at our school.
We use our extensive knowledge and experience to plan activities which enable children to learn and develop. We aim to provide children with appropriate challenge to create happy, critical thinkers and independent young people.
The curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development;
- Personal, social and emotional development;
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
The Prime Areas of learning
Communication and language
This area of learning and development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their skills and confidence in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
This area of learning and development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children will also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development
This area of learning and development involves providing opportunities for 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.
The Specific Areas of Learning
This area of learning and development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
This area of learning and development 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
This area of learning and development involves guiding the 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
This area of learning and development 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.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance shifts towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.
Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success. We are committed to help our children develop a wide vocabulary as well as experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning.
A Principled Approach
We understand that every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Each individual child’s needs are catered for by a highly qualified staff team who aim to provide an inclusive and nurturing atmosphere. We encourage children of all ages to become independent and inquisitive learners, giving them the confidence to have a go, explore and do things for themselves.
Children learn to be strong and independent though strong relationships with the significant adults in their lives. Before your child starts with us you will know who their key person is and have opportunities to meet with them. The key person will be their main caregiver and will monitor their planning, observations and assessments throughout nursery. We take an individualised approach to settling in with each child having the amount of visits they need to get to know us and to be happy for you to leave. We have a carefully planned and seamless transition process to our Reception class, when the class teacher takes on the key person role.
At Little Acorns we aim to provide a homely atmosphere and provide the bridge between home and school life. The intimacy of the setting allows families to settle in quickly. We have a range of stimulating resources indoors and outside which are organized appropriately for different age groups. Throughout the day we follow a detailed routine to provide a wealth of exciting, educational activities to facilitate children’s learning through play. Moving into Reception the level of challenge in the child initiated activity increases and resources are adapted to meet the needs of the older children.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning describe factors that play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. They are vital elements of support for the transition process from EYFS to Year 1. The characteristics of effective learning run through and underpin all 7 areas of learning and development. They highlight the importance of playing and learning, active learning and thinking critically. All the learning experiences we plan for the children allow them to utilise and develop these skills.