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 grow up.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Our commitment at City Light is to take a child-friendly approach in providing young children with the finest surroundings for their first school experience. Our dedicated team in the EYFS aim to provide the highest quality care and education for all our children, giving them a strong foundation for their future learning. In a safe and happy environment, we create motivating and enjoyable learning experiences that enable children to become confident and independent.
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year (age 4). We follow the EYFS framework, which is statutory in the UK. In doing this, we are adopting a curriculum which entirely follows the British education system and provides children with the best possible start to their schooling. The EYFS Framework is adapted to meet the needs of each individual child and incorporates four themes. Each theme expresses important guiding principles underpinning effective practice in the care, development and learning of young children.
The four themes and principles are:
- 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: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.
A Unique Child
Young children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by our praise and encouragement; therefore, we aim to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning. We welcome pupils from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds and we teach all our pupils to explore, respect and appreciate the wide range of cultures that make up our School community.
At City Light we recognize that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend their learning.
The Early Years Foundation Stage area at our school is designed and organized to allow children to explore and learn within a secure and safe environment. Our facility is colourful and exciting with places where the children can be active, be creative or just be quiet and rest. Children should have ownership of their classroom and they are encouraged to find and locate equipment and resources independently. Labels include pictures and signs to help pre-readers, and everything they are allowed to use is within their reach. The EYFS area has its own enclosed outdoor play area and garden that is used every day. This has a positive effect on children’s development, as being outdoors offers opportunities for learning and doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors.
Observations of the children take place outdoors in the same way as they do indoors.
Learning and Development
At City Light we value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are inter-connected. Play is a very important part of the EYFS curriculum and your child will be taught through a balance of structured play and focused tasks. Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice and build up their ideas and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They learn to communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
‘Active learning’ occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As a child’s confidence develops they learn to make their own choices and decisions. This provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.
The Seven Areas of Learning
Our EYFS environment is designed to be interesting, attractive and accessible to every child so they can learn independently. We believe children should be given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning. EYFS teachers support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying and modeling ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning. We allow the same amount of time for child initiated activities as we do for adult led activities.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years’ settings. These are grouped into three ‘Prime Areas’ and four ‘Specific Areas’. The prime areas are considered the most essential for healthy development and future learning. As children grow, a secure grounding in the prime areas will help them to tackle the learning and challenges and develop skills in the specific areas.
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
These seven areas of Learning and Development together make up the skills, knowledge and experiences appropriate for children as they grow, learn and develop. Although these are presented as separate areas, it is important to remember that for children everything links and nothing is compartmentalised. None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others; they are equally important and depend on each other. Our EYFS teachers ensure that children’s learning and development occur as an outcome of their individual interests and abilities and that planning for learning and development takes account of these.