Early Years Framework Stage (EYFS)

What is the EYFS Framework – Why Do We Have One?

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The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.

The framework has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.  It sets out:

  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow in order to keep your child safe and to promote their welfare.
  • The Seven areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS.
  • Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”.
  • There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.

We incorporate all seven areas of learning into our early years curriculum, ensuring the children have a well prepared and stimulating learning environment.

Your child will have an individual key person who will observe progress and development. The key person approach gives every child the reassurance to feel secure and cared for, helping them to become familiar with the Nursery environment and to feel confident and safe within it.

We recognise every child’s individuality, efforts and achievements and believe that relationships between adults and children are crucial for your child’s development.

The key person meets the needs of each child in their care and responds sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour. They offer security, reassurance and continuity and are usually the one to support and soothe their key children where needed. They are in the best position to understand their key child’s individual needs and to share information with parents about their child’s experiences in Nursery.

How We Monitor Your Child’s Progress

All early years providers are required to meet certain standards set out in the early years foundation stage (EYFS). One of the requirements is that members of staff use ongoing observations to monitor how your child is developing and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all areas of their learning and development.

Our method to help with planning and keeping track of progress is using an interactive Nursery software app called FAMLY and is available to all parents to download to their phone, tablet or computer. The Famly Child Development tracker is divided into each area of learning and development, setting out the child’s progress across the prime and specific areas of learning from birth to five years.

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At My Sunshine Day Nursery & Pre-School we use a specialist Nursery software programme called FAMLY to manage and monitor all children activities across the room settings.

As parents you can download the FAMLY app and with the unique login provided to you after your registration, you can access all the daily activities and Learning Journey progress of your child. FAMLY provide a secure platform for you to communicate with the Nursery staff 24/7.

What are prime and specific areas?

The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (DFE, 2017) focuses on how your child learns and what adults can do to encourage that learning. It identifies three prime areas, which are considered to be fundamental through the EYFS, and four specific areas which include essential skills and knowledge and provide important contexts for learning.

The three PRIME areas are:

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

This 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.

Physical Development

This 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.

Communication and Language

This 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.

The four SPECIFIC areas are:

Literacy Development

This 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

This 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 measures.

Understanding the World

This 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

This 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.

Ongoing assessment plays a very important part in recognising and understanding what a child needs. It involves practitioners observing your child to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and exploring – engagement
Finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation
Being involved and concentrating, keeping trying and enjoying achieving what they set out to do.

Creating and thinking critically – thinking
Having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.

For further information please see the Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

You can also find more information in the guidance to your child’s learning and development in the Early Year’s Foundation Stage document.

British Values
The promotion of British Values is reflected in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance and exemplified in an age-appropriate way through activities such as:

Democracy
Children are encouraged to listen to each other in small group games, waiting for another person to finish before speaking. They experience group decision making and expressing their own opinions when choosing snack items for the following week, and when using the mosaic approach to review activities which they liked/disliked.

The child’s voice is included in their termly summative observations and informs their key person of what to include for future planning activities.

Individual Liberty
The free-flow periods during the session enable children to choose which area of pre-school they would like to play in, and the wide range of activities promotes their ability to self-select according to their individual preferences and interests.

Mutual Respect
The staff team role model appropriate behaviour according to our behaviour policy which helps children to understand the feelings of others, be polite to each other and learn right from wrong. Stories, role-play games and small group activities are used to help explain this. Respectful behaviour is rewarded.

The Rule of Law
The pre-school rules are explained to children along with the reasons why, such as no running inside in case they slip over and hurt themselves on the hard floor. It is explained to the children that whilst they can enjoy playing with toys at pre-school it is also their responsibility to help to pack them away during tidy up time, so they do not become broken or lost.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Activities that celebrate British traditions such as Mothering Sunday, Father’s Day, Bonfire night and Easter, along with the learning of mutual respect and kind behaviour, help children develop a sense of national identity and British values. We also observe traditions such as Diwali and Chinese New Year, which help children respect other cultures and faiths.

Our Curriculum
At My Sunshine Day Nursery & Pre-School the Staff Team implement different themes and topics, based on the children’s interests and upcoming events and festivals. These themes are used to support the children as they work through the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Example Themes/ Festivals:

  • The circle of life (life cycles)
  • Children from around the world (Diversity)
  • Moving to School (school readiness)
  • Christmas and the north pole
  • Outings and Transport
  • Harvest / Easter
  • Fairy tales and rhymes
  • Diwali / Hanukkah
  • Space and Planets
  • Colours, Materials and Textiles (exploring their senses)

The children take part in a wide range of age adapted activities both indoors and in our garden linked to each monthly theme. These themes are always flexible, we encourage spontaneous discussions and ideas from the children as much as possible.

Key Person
Once each child has started to settle into the Nursery they will be allocated a Key Person. This is a member of our team who is responsible for;

  • Being that special person that knows the child best and who the child will form strong bonds with.
  • Ensuring the child’s individual developmental needs are met.
  • Being the point of contact for the parents if they have any questions.
  • Recording achievements and reflected upon them.
  • Reviewing and producing progress summative reports.
  • Setting challenging activities in different areas so each child makes meaningful steady progress through their time at My Sunshine Day Nursery.
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