"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
This framework is mandatory for all early years’ providers in England and it aims to support practitioners to give every child the best start in life. The EYFS specifies a set of standards that children need to learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. At Pippins we use this framework to tailor the needs of each individual child by means of planning developmentally appropriate play activities accompanied with adult scaffolding. We offer an environment that enables children to progress towards the skills they will need to achieve the next steps in their learning journey and support them with their transition to school. There are seven areas of learning and development that inform the way we plan for the children.
Prime Areas of Learning
The prime areas are the foundation to all other areas of learning - they initiate children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Once the children are showing good progress with these in their second year we will start to focus more on the specific areas. The prime areas of learning are made up of: Personal, social and emotional development, Communication and language, Physical development.
Communication and Language
In both small and large groups, children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are given ample opportunity to speak, talk about their news and act out narratives. Our outdoor spaces inspire the children to investigate new surroundings.
Consequently discovering new language and understanding, as this is an important part of their learning and development.
A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and outside, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment of their own physical skills. Children are encouraged to take physical challenges, develop increasing skills and control in moving, climbing and balancing within a safe and stimulating environment. At the same time, children are supported in the development of fine motor skills required to use tools, including pens and pencils, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.
Specific Areas of Learning
Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. A well-stocked book area gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures. We encourage the children to take a book home from our library to share with parents on a regular basis.
A balance of child initiated and adult-supported practical experiences, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities which 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 and when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding and subtracting.
Understanding the World
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising 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 the wider community. 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 experience in two or three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources, provides opportunity 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 play, both individually and as part of a group.