Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age 5 have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grown up.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s “school readiness” and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
We aim to ensure that each child:
The Early Years Foundation Stage
The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2012).
Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
A Unique Child
Learning and Development
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 Pre-School helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.
Areas of Development and Learning comprise:
These are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and threive.
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 learning journey towards the Early Learning Goals. Our Pre-School has regard to these matters 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
Communication and language
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Our Approach to Learning, Development and Assessment
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 children plan and organise for themselves and activities planned and led by 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 Development Matters the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as:
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.
Key Persons and your child
Each key person has special responsibility for working with a small number of children, giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for, and building relationships with their parents/carers.
Each child in the Pre-School is assigned a key person, and the child and parents/carers are introduced to their key person during their first week at Pre-School.
Each key person ensures that the needs of their key children are recognised within the Pre-School by:
The work by the key worker is overseen by our Manager who also acts as a buddy should the key worker not be in the Pre-School.
We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they as parents are supporting development.
We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries three times per school year, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.
The progress check at age 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. The key person is responsible for completing the check using information from ongoing observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals who may be involved.
Records of achievement
Phase Five Pre-School keeps a record of achievement for each child, known as your child’s “All About Me” file. 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 with you to keep this record. To do this you and she 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 and decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.
Working together for your children
In Phase Five Pre-School we maintain the ratio of adults to children as a minimum and usually have more adults to children ratio in the Pre-School that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. We also have volunteer parent helpers where possible to complement these ratios. This helps us to: