Early Years Foundation

The Early Years Foundation Stage 

We work within ‘The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) framework which covers children from the ages of Birth to 5 years as set out by the Department for Education & Skills (DFES).

At our playgroup your child will be encouraged in their learning and developing through a variety of playing and activities both indoors and outdoors.  We take care to provide the appropriate toys and resources which provide the experiences children of all levels and abilities require to cover the seven areas of The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum as well as promoting their existing skills.  We aim to stimulate their interest, encourage investigation and acquire new skills, understanding and knowledge.  We believe children learn best through playing supported by guidance and various activities.  We recognise the importance of a parent’s involvement with their child’s pre-school experience and we are always keen for them to be a part of their child’s education and encourage and welcome input and ideas.

Learning journals

The Learning Journal is a record of your child’s progress within the Early Years Foundation Stage and shows observations we have recorded whilst your child has been at playgroup.  The Learning Journal also works alongside your child’s memory book which contains evidence in the form of photos and pictures/paintings/drawings that your child has participated in.  Other information is recorded in these such as interests from home and meetings with parents/carers.

Your childs key worker will share this record  with you and  talk about your child’s progress about once a term but you can look at this record  at any time.  At the end of your child’s time at playgroup the learning journal and memory book is presented to your child at our leaving ceremony.

Transition to school activities

Transition to school activities take place  for children in their last term. We practice changing for P.E.. We work closely with the local schools to support this next transition and make it as smooth as possible.

Lunch clubs are available every day so that children can learn how to deal with this before they start school.

Planning The Curriculum

The staff work together closely as a team, planning the sessions within the framework of The Early Years Foundation Stage using a selection of resources, games, puzzles and learning activities that cover the seven areas of learning.

Our planning is child-lead and operated on a week to week basis by listening to, and building on, the children’s interests and ideas.  We identify the children as individuals and put in place activities to support, encourage and challenge each child’s learning requirements.  Our weekly plans cover all the areas of learning and evolve throughout the week as we ascertain by observing the children what can be added to compliment end enhance their learning further.

Each day there is an adult led activity which focuses on a particular learning objective linked with the current interests.  This provides a valuable opportunity for one-to-one and group conversations, explanations and discussions about the topic and are designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the individual child.

We use our home corner, topic table, book corner display and display boards to reinforce our curriculum.

The Characteristics of effective learning are playing and learning, active learning and creating and thinking critically  and these are all  inter-connected with the 7  areas of learning and development.

 Learning and Development:

There are 7 areas of learning These are split into Prime areas and Specific areas.

Prime areas are :

1)  Personal, Social and Emotional Development

 Children learn how to be self-confident, work, play and co-operate with others and take an interest in things whilst knowing right from wrong and identifying their needs.

This is incorporated in our circle times, snack times, stories, songs & rhymes, outings and group activities.

2)  Communication  and Language

Children develop skills in talking, listening, reading and writing.  Hearing and saying sounds and linking them to the alphabet.

3)  Physical Development

Children will move confidently, find control in their bodies, manipulate and handle various types of equipment.  They will become aware of the space around them.

This is developed through music & movement, parachute games, outdoor climbing & slides, balls, hoops, ride-on toys, stepping stones, scooters and hobby horses.  Fine motor skills which are smaller and more controlled movements are encouraged through a variety of activities such as threading, puzzles, play dough, drawing, painting, small world construction (Lego, Brio, Duplo etc.), cutting & gluing.

The specific areas are :

4) Literacy

We will encourage mark making / early writing and reading.

Our mark making table, book corner, games, home corner and speaking and listening with the child encourages this.

 5)  Mathematics

 Children form a basis of understanding of math starting with language and simple concepts.  They will become comfortable with numbers and aware of basic weight (heavier, lighter), size (bigger, smaller) and shapes and space.

Encouraged by most areas of play including: puzzles, threading, sand & water, construction toys and books & rhymes with number themes.

 6) Understanding of the World

Children become aware about the world in which they live.  It includes their environment, everyday technology and what it is used for, past events in the lives of themselves and their families and different cultures and beliefs from home and around the world.

Our ‘topic table’ and home corner bring different settings to the children along with the celebration of various festivals and playgroup outings such as visits to the airport and library. Some of the toys that bring awareness include doll’s house, airport & garage, Duplo, trains, cars and our computer which has a touch-screen.

 

7)  Expressive arts and design

Children can expand their imagination by exploring colours & shapes, make things, tell stories, make music and dance, develop their ideas and express their feelings.

Examples of the many options available are painting, play dough, cutting, gluing, sewing, drawing, cooking, woodwork, dressing up, role play and musical instruments.