At Millfields Primary school and Nursery we follow the principles of the EYFS in our Nursery and Reception class.
There are four themes in the EYFS.
1. A Unique Child: This theme is about how children develop: they are all different and their learning needs and styles are unique too. Positive relationships and good communication are vital so that we can plan for individual learning needs. Children do best when all their physical and emotional needs are met, and this is what we aim to do at Millfields. Staff understand and observe each child’s development and learning and assess their progress, planning for their next steps. Together we identify any areas which may need some additional support and arrange this if necessary.
The Unique Child relates to all the areas of learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and Exploring: Finding out and exploring, Playing with what they know, Being willing to ‘have a go’.
- Active Learning: Being involved and concentrating, keeping trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do.
- Creating and Thinking Critically: Having their own ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things.
Positive Relationships: This theme is about children learning to manage their feelings and build friendships. We respect all families and aim to develop a positive two-way relationship with parents and carers. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Staff are warm and friendly and help to foster a sense of belonging. We are sensitive and responsive to children’s feelings and support their efforts and encourage independence. Children need to learn about risks and safety, how to make good choices, and how to stick to boundaries.
2. Enabling Environments: This theme is about how we plan for and check on each child’s progress. Children learn and develop well in environments in which the adults provide experiences based on children’s individual needs and there is a strong partnership between staff and parents/carers. These environments value everyone’s learning and offer stimulating resources relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities. We offer rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching and support children to take risks and to explore.
3. Learning and Development: This theme is about how children develop and learn in different ways. The E.Y.F.S. framework covers the education and care of all children in Nursery and Reception, including children with additional needs. We teach children by providing challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. We aim to foster the characteristics of effective learning: Playing and exploring, Active learning, and Creating and thinking critically.
The E.Y.F.S is divided into two areas, Prime areas, which begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The Prime areas continue to be essential throughout the whole E.Y.F.S.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships, Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour.
- Communication and Language: Listening and attention, Understanding, Speaking.
- Physical Development: Moving and handling, Health and self-care.
The Specific Areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. They grow out of the Prime areas and provide important contexts for learning.
- Literacy: Reading, Writing.
- Mathematics: Numbers, Shape, space and measure.
- Understanding the World: People and communities, The world, Technology.
- Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative.
While your child is with us, we will record some of the things they do; we take photographs and make notes to show how your child is developing. These are included in the lovely Learning Journey Book which is given to you when your child leaves us in Nursery and through an electronic Learning Book in Reception. We actively encourage you to contribute towards your child’s Learning Book. Some things may seem trivial to you, but by providing snippets of information, it enables us to chat with your child and yourself and build a fuller picture of your child’s achievements. We believe that to be able to plan to meet your child’s needs successfully and provide them with enjoyable experiences we need to know as much as possible. We observe your child at Nursery and in school to get to know them, but we rely on you to give us information about what they like to do at home. You are the experts on your child!
Supporting the EYFS at home
- Spend lots of time talking with your child;
- Read plenty of books together;
- Encourage your child to take part in lots of activities – digging in the garden, visiting interesting places, taking part in sports.
- Play lots of games together – spending quality time with your child is the very best way to help them learn and develop.
- Let us know if your child does something new or interesting.
- Let us know if you have any problems or worries about your child, or if you need our help.