Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a play-based curriculum for children from birth to five years, which allows children to explore and learn in an environment that is secure and safe, yet challenging.
At Beach House Nursery we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We strive for excellence in all areas of the curriculum thus providing a high quality learning environment. In addition, we teach children to communicate clearly and confidently, we foster their inquisitiveness and independent learning spirit and progressively help them develop high levels of concentration and focus. Our experienced and motivated staff ensure that an inspiring selection of varied educational resources are available to every child. Each child’s educational progress is carefully monitored and practitioners regularly communicate with parents to keep them fully informed about their child’s development. As a result, Beach House children develop into confident, polite, well rounded individuals who respect and cherish each other and the big world around them.
Research into early child development shows that children learn more rapidly during their first three years than in later life; whilst all areas of learning are important and inter-connected, the three Prime areas that are crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, building their capacity to learn and form relationships and thrive. The specific areas will enable them to be self-motivated learners who are confident to succeed.
The areas of learning and development
Beach House uses the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum to inform and assess the children’s learning and development. The environment and the activities we provide link to the Early Years Curriculum, and aim to make your child’s learning experiences both enjoyable and educational.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. 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.
These three areas, the prime areas, are:
• Communication and language
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development
At Beach House, we also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
• Understanding the world
• Expressive arts and design
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.
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.
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.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
When planning and guiding children’s activities, staff at Beach House reflect on the many different ways that children learn, and we strive to reflect these in our practice. As skilled and experienced practitioners, we ensure that children enjoy learning by promoting their Characteristics of Effective Learning to help them learn to the best of their ability and beyond.
The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
Playing and Exploring - Supports children's engagement and investigation and to experience things through being willing to 'have a go'. Children investigate and experience things and take risks.
Active Learning - Supports children's motivation to learn by helping develop their concentration, ability and will to keep trying when challenges occur and celebration of completing a task. children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
Creating and Thinking Critically - Supports children's thinking skills through developing ideas, making links between differing ideas and creating strategies for completing a task.
Child Initiated and Adult Guided Learning
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.
Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. There is an ongoing judgement to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults.
Staff at Beach House respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interactions.
At Beach House, our ‘continuous provision’ permeates all forms of planning, and focusses on providing children with an enabling environment. Continuous provision refers to the ways in which the environment and its organisation maximises opportunities for children to demonstrate learning throughout the entire Early Years Foundations stage, from the 7 areas of learning, to the characteristics of effective learning.
Continuous provision includes resources such as time, space, observation and simple objects, and the ways in which these are utilised to support children’s development. At Beach House, our continuous provision promotes opportunities for children to create, play, explore, amend, solve problems, develop new ideas, consolidate skills and share learning through a carefully evaluated environment. Our continuous provision also allows children to make choices and initiate play without interaction with an adult.
When preparing our learning environment for continuous provision, we:
Make sure that each area has the necessary resources to encourage children to play and explore in a variety of ways.
Offer a range of high-quality resources that will act as a good starting point for the children’s explorations.
Use open-ended questioning to engage the children in conversations and prompt their creative thinking.
Give children time to revisit what they did yesterday, last week, or even a few weeks ago to consolidate learning.