Early Years Foundation Stage
Here at Millstone Day Nursery your child’s development is important to us and we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life. It is a known fact that children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. As a nursery we offer a safe and secure environment for children to learn at their own individual pace while providing the foundations children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. To help us achieve this, we follow The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework which sets the standards that all early years providers must meet. This is to ensure that children can learn and develop through active, exciting and fun activities that support their learning needs, so they can reach their full potential. To help your child develop we have to look at four guiding principles that shape practices in all early years settings and these are: each other. We look at the relationships they make, ways in which they initiate their learning and how our qualified staff can support them. We accomplish this through both child led and adult led activities whilst covering all 7 areas of learning and development, which are divided into 2 sections detailed below.
Prime areas of learning: These areas of development are most essential for your child’s health and future learning capacity. They enable them to ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, whilst building relationships and allowing them to thrive. The areas of development included here are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and language
Specific areas of learning: These include essential skills and knowledge to ensure that children have the best possible start in their learning journey and provide important context for learning. The areas of development included here are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive Arts and Design
Although these are split into two sections they are both equally important as they interconnect with each other. It is expected that the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas. The prime areas are therefore used as the structure and scaffolding of each individual child’s learning.
As a nursery, we believe that learning through play is essential for all individual children’s development as it allows them to explore and think about problems while relating and interacting with others. They learn through leading their own play and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. We do this by offering creative activities, a large outdoor play area and soft indoor play area, construction toys and computers to name a few… alongside organised activities. Through the activities children undertake at our setting we reflect on the different ways children learn, these are known as characteristics of effective learning and focus on looking at:
- Playing and exploration: Looking at how children investigate and experience things through being willing to ‘have a go’
- Active Learning: How children concentrate on activities and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, whilst also looking at enjoying achievements that they set out to make.
- Creating and thinking critically: How children use and develop their own ideas, making links between ideas, and developing strategies to do this.
Whilst playing and interacting with the children we observe their development by looking and listening to what they can do to help us analyse their progress. This helps us to identify what stage each child may be at in their own development pathway and implement new ideas into planning for their next steps. Your child will be allocated a keyworker to ensure that their learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. Alongside this they will use information from parents as well as observations taken, to complete a base line assessment of their current abilities within the first few weeks of attendance. By using such information, it helps us to consider ways to strengthen and support your child with their individual learning and development. We also continue this partnership with parents throughout their child’s time at the nursery, encouraging them to take part in their two-year development check and EYFS profile assessment, if a child is five years old and has not yet started school. These checks will help us to highlight areas where your child is progressing well in and where they may need extra help or support. This information can then be shared with other professionals if necessary.