The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
The revised, simpler framework for the EYFS was published on 27 March 2012, for implementation from 1 September 2012.
In line with the EYFS we at South Acton Children’s Centre recognise that each child is unique and our provision aims to meet the individual needs, interests and learning styles of all children at the Centre. We place great emphasis on developing positive relationships between children, parents/carers, practitioners, other professionals and the wider community. We aim to provide stimulating and inviting environments in which children can play and develop, enabling them to reach their full potential. We use the EYFS guidance to help us provide for all aspects of the children’s learning and development. Equal value is given to the three prime areas within the Learning and Development programme which are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language and the four specifc areas of literacy, mathmatics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are provided with experiences and support helping them to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; respect for others; social skill; and a positive disposition to learn. This includes supporting children’s emotional well-being and helping them to know themselves and what they can do. For example, children are encouraged to feel free to express their ideas and feeling such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear making them more able to cope with new or stressful situations.
Communication, Language and Literacy
Children are provided with opportunities to develop their communication skills from the earliest utterances as babies to speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes. Language development is encouraged throughout the day including the use of signs and symbols. We provide opportunities for children to make their own marks using paint, chalk and other materials and encourage children to enjoy books. Children are supported to continually develop their skills leading to early reading and writing. A broad range of experiences are provided to help children’s communication, language and literacy for example, activities that engage all the senses, music, dance, rhymes and songs.
Children are supported to develop their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in many different play situations. Children are given the opportunity to explore, enjoy, learn practice and talk about their developing understanding and gain confidence in these skills. Babies and children’s mathematical development occurs as they seek patterns, make connections through finding out about and working with numbers and counting, sorting and matching and with shape, space and measures. For example, playing with Lego provides opportunities for children to experience and learn about shape and space and problem solving as children attempt to fit the pieces together.
Understanding of the World
Babies and children find out about the world through exploration using their senses and at South Acton Children’s Centre we support them in developing the knowledge skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Children are involved in the practical application of their knowledge and skills through opportunities for example to use a range of tools safely, encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments. Through giving children opportunities to make their own decisions about what to investigate and how to do it, this consequently promotes the growth of their self esteem and encourages them to find out more about their world.
As babies and children learn by being active we provide a range of opportunities for them to be active and interactive, to move with confidence, imagination and safety and to improve their skills of coordination, control and manipulation. Since growing with appropriate weight gain in the first years of life helps to guard against obesity in later life, at South Acton Children’s Centre we encourage children to develop healthy habits when they first learn about food and activity whilst at the same time recognising that being healthy and active promotes a positive sense of well-being for babies and children.
Expressive Arts and Design
Being creative is about children’s unique responses to what they see, hear, smell, touch or feel. Being creative enables babies and children to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings. In order to support and extend their curiosity, exploration and play at South Acton Children’s Centre we support children in taking risks, in making choices and decisions, and in making connections within their play through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics, and design and technology.