At Westwood Farm Pre-Schol we adhere to the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS)
We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and we strive to enable them to fulfil their potential.
The EYFS seeks to provide:
• quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
• a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly
• partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
• equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
The EYFS has four guiding principles which shape our practice here at Westwood Farm Pre-School.
• every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
• children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
• children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The areas of development and learning.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape our educational programmes. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
• 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
• 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
• 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
The specific areas are:
• literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest
• 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 measure
• 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
• 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.
How do we support your child in these areas of learning?
Personal, Social and Emotional development:
Within a nurturing environment children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity as appropriate to take responsibility for themselves and also for the group, its members and its property.
Communication and Language:
In both small and large groups children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency talking and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written text holds meaning, and when they are ready, they are encouraged to use drawing and written symbols for themselves.
A range of equipment and opportunities both indoors and out allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in developing their own skills. Adult supervision enables children to safely create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time children are helped to develop the fine motor skills they will need to use tools, different writing materials and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision. They will be encouraged to develop awareness of their own bodies and of what keeps them healthy.
A well-stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, and to be able to handle them with care. They will learn from stories and pictures, as well as how to use books as a source of reference.
By means of adult supported practical experience, children become familiar with sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities that form the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences when they are ready, and to use simple mathematical operations such as addition and subtraction.
Understanding of the world:
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to observe and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to recognise differences, patterns and similarities and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the group and also in their wider community. They learn to respect other people and expect to be respected themselves. A range of safe and well maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and to solve problems.
Expressive arts and design:
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings and to construct their individual response to experiences in two and three dimensions. Art equipment including paint, glue, crayons and pencils, as well as natural and recycled resources provide for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with and respond to music and stories and there are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of a group.