EYFS and the Curriculum
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
It is the start of a child’s educational journey, it’s the structure by which all children in England have a focus placed on their wellbeing and development as they begin growth and prepare for their entrance into compulsory education. The EYFS was introduced as part of the 2006 Childcare act.
It helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs. Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and child-minders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
It sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
- Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
How my child will be learning?
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
These 7 areas are used to plan for your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
How we monitor your child’s progress
All early years providers are required to meet certain standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). One of the requirements is that members of staff use ongoing observations to monitor how your child is developing and then use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all areas of their learning and development.
Our method to help with planning and keeping track of progress is using an individual progress tracker. The tracker is divided into each area of learning and development, setting out the child’s progress across the prime and specific areas of learning from birth to five years.
At Topsham House Day Nursery we operate a Key Person system. This approach gives every child the reassurance to feel secure and cared for, helping them to become familiar with the Nursery environment and to feel confident and safe within it.
We recognise every child’s individuality, efforts and achievements and believe that strong, secure relationships between adults and children are crucial for your child’s development.
The Key Person meets the needs of each child in their care and responds sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour. They are in the best position to understand children’s individual needs and to share information with parents about their child’s experiences in Nursery, throughout the year as well as at Parent’s Evenings, held twice a year.
All children have their progress and development recorded on an electronic Learning Journey. The EyLog is a secure system on a tablet device that is used by staff at the nursery and enables us to directly share a child’s development with parents.
EyLog allows us to observe and record on tablets within the group rooms, we are able to record audio, video and photographic evidence to support the observations. Once an observation has been completed parents are emailed a notification and they are able to access their child’s learning journey from their secure login. This enables parents to log on and look at their children’s learning journey any time of the day or night. Parents are also able to upload photos and observations making it a simple and effective way for nursery and parents to work in partnership.