Early Years Foundation Stage

Provision for the development and learning of children from birth to 5 years is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2014):

A Unique Child

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling Environments

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.

Learning and Development

Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

How we provide for development and learning

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue their learning by providing interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.

The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:

Prime Areas

Personal, social and emotional development | Physical development | Communication and language

Specific Areas

Literacy | Mathematics | Understanding the world | Expressive arts and design.

For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to have attained by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage is defined by the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know, and be able to do, by the end of the reception year of their education.

The Early Years Outcomes (DfE 2013) guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child makes along their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. Our setting has regard to these when we assess children and plan for their learning. Our programme supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need for:

Personal, social and emotional development

making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness; and managing feelings and behaviour.

Physical development

moving and handling, and health and self-care.

Communication and language

listening and attention, understanding, and speaking.


reading and writing.


numbers and shape, space and measure.

Understanding the world

people and communities, the world; and technology.

Expressive arts and design

exploring and using media and materials, and being imaginative.

Our approach to learning and development and assessment

Learning through play

Being active and playing supports young children’s learning and development through ‘doing’ and ‘talking’. This is how children learn to think about and understand the world around them.  We use the EYFS statutory guidance on education programmes to plan and provide opportunities which will help children to make progress in all areas of learning.  This programme is made up of a mixture of activities that are both child led and organised by our practitioners.

Characteristics of effective learning

We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Early Years Foundation Stage as:

playing and exploring – engagement;

active learning – motivation; and

creating and thinking critically – thinking.

We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.


We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently through an online system ‘Tapestry’.  We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and see where this may be leading them.  We believe that parents know their children best and we will ask you to contribute to their assessment by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you, as parents, are supporting their development.

We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records.  These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as at times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.

The progress check at aged ‘two’

The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that we supply parents and carers with a short-written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development – personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language – when a child is aged between 24 – 36 months. Your child’s key person is responsible for completing the check using information from on-going observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.

Records of achievement

We keep a record of achievement for each child. Your child’s record of achievement helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.

Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements.  This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. Together, we will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.

Special Educational needs coordinator (SENCO)

We have a legal duty to follow the SEND code of practice.  Early years practitioners face a challenging task in identifying very young children with further needs and simultaneously offering support and advice to concerned parents, which requires a high level of expertise.

This is important for early year’s settings in supporting early identification and intervention for children with special educational needs and will be a beneficial contact for parents if they were to have any concerns about their child’s development.

The responsibility of the SENCO involves ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEND code of practice.

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