The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a statutory framework, setting standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five.
The purpose and aims of the EYFS are based on the principles that “every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential.” It recognises that a child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. The main aim of the EYFS is to help children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of Staying Safe, Being Healthy, Enjoying & Achieving, Making a positive Contribution and Achieving Economic Well-being.
The EYFS principles are grouped into 4 complementary themes:-
A UNIQUE CHILD recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. The commitments are focussed around development; inclusion; safety and health and well-being.
POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS describes how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and a keyperson. The commitments are focussed around respect; partnership with parents; supporting learning and the role of the keyperson.
ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. The commitments are focussed around observation, assessment and planning; support for every child; the learning environment; and the wider context – transitions, continuity and multi-agency working.
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
There are 6 areas covered by the early learning goals and educational programmes, delivered through planned purposeful play with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities:
· Personal, Social & Emotional Development – helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others; respect for others; social skills and a positive disposition to learn. Support is also given for children’s emotional well-being to help them to know themselves and what they can do.
Communication, Language & Literacy – supporting competence in communicating, speaking & listening, being read to and beginning to read and write, extended by knowledgeable practitioners. Children are provided with opportunities and encouragement to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes, and are supported in developing the confidence and disposition to do so.
Problem Solving, Reasoning & Numeracy – children are supported in developing their understanding of this area in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. Children are given opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and gain confidence and competence in their use.
Knowledge & Understanding of the World – children are supported in developing their knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Learning is supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures,
people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations; undertake practical ‘experiments’ and work with a range of materials.
Physical Development – opportunities for development to improve skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. Children are supported in using all of their senses to learn about the world around them and to make connections between new information and what they already know. Children are supported in developing understanding the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food.
· Creative Development – creativity must be extended by the provision of support for their curiosity, exploration and play. Opportunities must be provided to explore and share thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example, through a variety of art, music, movement, dance imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics and design and technology.
(See also http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/eyfs/)
LEARNING JOURNIES – every child’s unique ways of learning and developing through support from parents and staff are observed and recorded using photographs, notes, pictures and quotes all assembled by their keyperson in their own ‘learning journey’ file. This will show children’s interests, thoughts and ideas and is an idea developed from curriculums in Italy (Reggio Emilia) here at Daisy-Chain – it has been promoted as an ideal way of showing the holistic development of a child rather than previous recording methods of a ‘tick-list’ style.
These records will be complied in partnership with parents whom we recognise as the primary educators of their children and who know them best.
WHAT IS A KEYPERSON?
Within the group, all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. Our Keyperson system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual child.
When starting at Daisy-Chain, your child will be allocated a specific member of staff to be your child’s keyperson. This keyperson will initially be responsible for the settling-in of your child, making sure they feel secure, reassured and familiar with the Pre-School’s activities and facilities.
Your child’s keyperson will get to know you and your child well, understanding their levels of development, interests and what motivates them.
Any concerns or queries you may have regarding your child’s stay at Daisy-Chain can be discussed with your child’s keyperson or our Playleader at any time.
Although each child is allocated a keyperson, please rest assured that all staff are always available for your child during the session.