Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS is a government document, it was revised in 2021 in an attempt to decrease paperwork and enable Early Years Professionals to focus on being with children teaching and supporting learning rather than spending time writing about it.

It hi-lights the importance of curriculum and a focus on learning and not just childcare. All nursery schools, nursery and reception classes in primary schools and private nursery settings follow the EYFS.

The EYFS contains two documents:

  1. Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage- this contains all the statutory requirements for early years settings.
  2. Development matters – this part of the document gives an over view of the learning and development of children between the ages of 0 to 5.

Children access the EYFS until the end of reception.it is only on entry to year 1 that children begin to access the National Curriculum.

All Nursery settings, including maintained nursery schools develop their own curriculum based on the needs and strengths of the children and the local context, the EYFS, development matters under pins these curriculums.

Staff support learning through the children’s own initiated play in our thoughtfully designed Core Experience areas inside and out, through adult planned playful activities and specific interventions where needed.

All planning for learning is under pinned by the EYFS and is designed to spark children’s interests and encourage their natural curiosity.

At first glance, especially by those whose early learning took place in a more formal setting, it can appear that the children are ‘only playing’! However, the best and most effective early education is based on the understanding that, while children are playing, they are learning.

The EYFS is divided into 7 areas of learning, our highly trained staff understand that children do not learn things in isolation, all learning experiences are planned to cover many, if not all, areas of learning:

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations. It requires skilled and interested adults to extend and enhance children’s communication and language. Communication and language underpins all areas of learning, in particular reading and writing.

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping 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.

Literacy development involves encouraging children to have a love of books, poems, songs and stories, this enables them to learn to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children who are read to daily and those who share stories at school and at home are better prepared for future learning.

Mathematics 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. Mathematicians are creative thinkers- using everyday opportunities to use their emerging mathematical knowledge is part of our every day curriculum.

Understanding the world involves guiding 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. At Vanessa Nursery School we place great importance on children learning about the natural environment and their role in maintaining and caring for the world around them.

Expressive arts and design 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 through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

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