The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS – Dfe) is a curriculum based on the need for young children (0-5 years) to discover and learn through play, and their own interests and skills. The adult educators are there to evaluate each child’s development and to provide appropriate activities for the individual. The curriculum is provided holistically, but is divided into seven areas; three prime and four secondary. The prime areas are the ones most improtant for the under five’s:
- personal, social and emotional development
- physical development ( including health and personal care awareness).
- communication and language
- expressive arts and design
- knowledge and understanding of the world
The EYFS also emphasises the importance of: the unique child, of the family in a child’s education and the need for each child to become a responsible part of their society. All the activities provided at the nursery offer both the group and the individual the chance to learn and discover, in a nurturing, supportive and stimulating environment. Each child’s ‘key person’ is responsible for observing and evaluating each child’s development, and planning for them, forging close links with the child’s family and building a warm relationship with the child. Some of the day children work in their key groups with their adult, other times they mix and play with the whole room. The group in the younger room is very small (8 children and 2 staff ) in order to allow children to develop close relationships with each other, as their social development is crucial at this stage. Children need the space and freedom to play, re-discover and practice skills in a caring and positive environment. They also respond well to a routine and we therefore have a daily timetable. At Collingham we believe in a holistic approach to a young child’s education; they don’t learn in a compartmentalised way, and so our provision ensures that each activity provided suits many children for differing reasons e.g. one child’s experience of cooking will develop their mathematical concepts and language, for another child we are developing small motor skills and dexterity, for another the ability to play and learn within a group, having to wait and take turns. We recognise that formalised rote learning is not suited to this age group, and that our main aim is to instill a love of discovery and learning, alongside the development of the social and emotional skills needed to build self confidence, patience, and resilience leading to each child playing a successful part in society. Do not expect to see children learning their alphabet or numbers in a formal teaching environment, rather they will acquire those skills through their play and exposure to many varied activities. We support each child’s learning path, and value every skill equally, rather than an emphasis on numeracy and literacy. Click here for a selection of our regular activities at the nursery.