Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years foundation stage is divided into three PRIME and four SPECIFIC areas of learning and development.
Prime: Communication & Language:
This key area of learning and development provides opportunities for your child to develop as a confident communicator; to learn songs & rhymes, enjoy & retell favourite stories and speak in small and large groups. The ability to communicate with others through a variety of means – signing or using another language, for example, is valued and supported.
Prime: Physical Development:
This area of learning and development supports the acquisition of balance skills, co-ordination, control and movement on a small and large scale. There are many opportunities to develop fine motor skills in preparation for writing and gross motor skills on a larger scale, moving over, under and through apparatus. Children are encouraged to make informed healthy choices in food, indoor/outdoor physical activity and rest.
Prime: Personal, Social & Emotional Development:
Your child will develop an awareness of their own and other’s needs and cultures through a balance of adult-led and self selected activities in an encouraging and non-judgemental learning environment. Positive relationships are supported and nurtured by providing opportunities for children to work together co-operatively, learning how to manage their feelings and to respect the feelings of others.
Your child will learn about sounds and letters through songs, stories and rhymes in small and large groups. The written word is explored in a broad range of play based activities, such as role play. The setting uses synthetic phonics – exploring the sounds of letters and their place within words.
The Pre-School environment provides many opportunities for your child to develop and consolidate understanding of number, pattern and shape and space. Experiential learning activities support the development of the language of comparison of quantity, capacity, size and volume.
Specific: Understanding the World:
This area of learning and development supports the emergence of critical thinking through planning, building, creating and meeting self-set challenges, predicting the results of actions and solving problems, based upon their experiences. We provide opportunities for children to make sense of their environment and community through exploration and observation of people, places, technology and the environment; exploring other’s lifestyles holistically, through celebrations, food, music and language.
Specific: Expressive Arts & Design:
There are opportunities for your child to explore and experiment with a variety of tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function; using knowledge gained to express their own ideas, thoughts and feelings.
Children are encouraged to express themselves through creative arts, movement, music, song and dance and stories.
In addition to your child’s Learning Journey, there are two mandatory assessment points in the early Years foundation Stage.
Two Year Assessment
At some point during your child’s third year [before 3rd birthday] your Key Person will make an assessment of your child’s stage of development in the three PRIME areas of learning and development. The Key Person will invite you to contribute to this assessment and together you will form a snapshot of your child at a particular age, what plans are to be made for further learning and development and if any individual needs are to be supported.
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage – usually in the Foundation Class in School – the Foundation Teacher will make an assessment of all areas of learning and development, inviting you to contribute. This forms the basis of your child’s entry to the statutory education system in the term following their fifth birthday.