‘Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.’ Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
There are seven areas of learning that shape the EYFS curriculum and all these areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected. The main three areas of learning are the prime areas, which are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The remaining four are called the specific areas. They are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. It is through these areas the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
At Lindens each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and to relate to others. Most children play spontaneously, and it is through this that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally. Providing well-planned experiences based on children’s spontaneous play, both indoors and outdoors, is an important way to help young children to learn with enjoyment and challenge and we believe that this gives children the best possible start in life.
On-going assessments are an important part of the learning and development process. Regular informal observations help us to understand each child’s achievement, interests and learning styles and to plan future learning experiences. At the end of the reception year, each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals, saying whether they are meeting expected levels of development, if they are exceeding expected levels, or are not yet reaching expected levels (emerging).
It must be remembered every child is a unique child and that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. They have different personalities, talents and abilities, which are catered for and valued in our foundation stage, and throughout the rest of the school, so that each child will reach their maximum potential.