Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum is the phase of education from birth to five, with the Reception year representing the final year of the EYFS. Our pre-school provision gives children the experiences and skills they need to successfully move into a Reception class and beyond.
There is a strong emphasis on learning through play, being both child-initiated and supported by adults. We believe that children learn best from practical experiences and ensure the curriculum is delivered in this way as much as possible as well as being linked to the needs and interests of the children.
At Little Acorns we understand that every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Each individual child’s needs are catered for by a highly qualified staff team who aim to provide an inclusive and nurturing atmosphere. We encourage children of all ages to become independent and inquisitive learners, giving them the confidence to have a go, explore and do things for themselves.
Children learn to be strong and independent though strong relationships with the significant adults in their lives. Before your child starts with us you will know who their key person is and have opportunities to meet with them. The key person will be their main caregiver and will monitor their planning, observations and assessments throughout nursery. We take an individualised approach to settling in with each child having the amount of visits they need to get to know us and to be happy for you to leave. Having a small experienced team is a huge strength as every child quickly gets to know all the play leaders which helps them to feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Little Acorns aims to provide a homely atmosphere and provide the bridge between home and school life. The intimacy of the setting allows families to settle in quickly. We have a range of stimulating resources indoors and outside which are organized appropriately for different age groups. Throughout the day we follow a detailed routine to provide a wealth of exciting, educational activities to facilitate children’s learning through play.
Learning and Development
We use our extensive knowledge and experience to plan activities which enable children to learn and develop. We aim to provide children with appropriate challenge to create happy, critical thinkers and independent young people.
The curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development;
- Personal, social and emotional development;
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
Communication and language
This area of learning and development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their skills and confidence in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
This area of learning and development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children will also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development
This area of learning and development involves providing opportunities for children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
This area of learning and development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
This area of learning and development involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
Understanding the world
This area of learning and development involves guiding the children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design
This area of learning and development involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings.
What are Development Matters and Early Learning Goals?
Development matters are small steps of learning that lead to the early learning goals which set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the Foundation Stage (end of Reception year) and helps everyone who work with children aged 2 – 5 to focus on what children need to learn.
Will these goals put pressure on my child and lead to anxiety?
No! Most of the time the children will be choosing what they want to do and the adults will sensitively support them to learn new skills or increase their understanding.
How do you record my child’s progress?
Staff are always on the lookout for new achievements and will write notes or take photographs to record them. These will go into your child’s online learning journey, along with examples of their creations, to give a wonderful picture of their development. You will be able to access this system, called Tapestry, from home. We love to find out more about your child and so encourage you to upload and share events from home.