The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. It incorporates four themes. Each theme expresses important principles underpinning effective practice in the care, development and learning of young children.
The four themes and principles are:
A Unique Child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning and Development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.
A Unique Child
At Avi-Cenna we recognise that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by our praise and encouragement. We aim to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning. We value the diversity of individuals within the school and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’. All children at Avi-Cenna are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued within our School.
At Avi-Cenna we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend their learning. The Early Years Foundation Stage area is organised to allow children to explore and learn within a secure and safe environment. There are places where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. Children are encouraged to find and locate equipment and resources independently. Labels include pictures to help pre-readers and everything they are allowed to use is within their reach. The EYFS area has its own enclosed outdoor area that is used every day. This has a positive effect on the children’s development as being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. Observations of the children take place outdoors in the same way as they do inside.
Learning and Development
At Avi-Cenna we value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are inter-connected. Play is a very important part of the EYFS curriculum. Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up their ideas and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They learn to communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
‘Active learning’ occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As a child’s confidence develops they learn to make their own choices and decisions. This provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As a child’s confidence develops they learn to make their own choices and decisions. This provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.
Six Areas of Learning
We ensure that the EYFS environment is interesting, attractive and accessible to every child so they can learn independently. We believe children should be given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning. EYFS teachers support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying and modeling ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning. We allow the same amount of time for child initiated activities as we do adult led activities.
These six areas of Learning and Development together make up the skills, knowledge and experiences appropriate for children as they grow, learn and develop. Although these are presented as separate areas, it is important to remember that for children everything links and nothing is compartmentalised. None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. EYFS teachers ensure that children’s learning and development occur as an outcome of their individual interests and abilities and that planning for learning and development takes account of these.