Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework for Early Years education in England. The framework sets the standards that all early year providers in England 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 foundations for good future progress through school and life (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2021).

The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

In line with the EYFS, Rainbow Pre-school’s practice is shaped by the following principles;

-> every child is unique, constantly learning and can be resilient, capable and confident
-> children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships with others
-> children learn and develop well through enabling environments – with teaching and support from adults
-> children learn and develop at different rates

The Areas of Learning and Development

There are 7 areas of development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. These areas are important and interlinked.

The Prime Areas are essential for building a foundation for curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, building meaningful relationships and thriving

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Physical Development

The Specific Areas help to strengthen and further encourage the Prime Areas.

Literacy
Mathematics
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design

At Rainbow our environment, routines and activities are planned and considered in relation to the EYFS. Our practitioners get to know children’s levels of achievements, their interests and needs and then mould the teaching and learning experiences for each individual child accordingly. They respond to their own daily observations of children’s progress through interactions as well as through observations that parents and carers have shared.

Ongoing assessment is integral to each child’s time at pre-school and plays an important part in helping parents and carers and practitioners to recognise progress, understand needs and to plan activities and support. Knowledge of the individual child and practitioners professional judgements are key in this process (EYFS, 2021).

We keep our families up to date with their child’s learning and development. Any needs are addressed in partnership with parents and carers and relevant professionals if appropriate.

Two Year Check

In accordance with the EYFS, children aged between 2 and 3 years will have their progress reviewed and parents and carers are provided with a summary of their child’s development in the Prime Areas.

The summary will include any identified strengths as well as any areas where it has been noted that the child’s progress is less than expected. Strategies and activities intended to be used to support any concerns will be detailed and discussed with parents and carers and support from relevant professionals may be sought if appropriate (and with parental consent).

Key Person

Each child must be assigned a key person. Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs … to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with their parents (Early Years Foundation Stage, 2021).

The key person will be a point of contact for parents/carers to discuss any updates or concerns regarding their child or family. Key persons will provide regular feedback to parents and carers verbally, in written observations and parent consultations.

Development Matters

Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage.

Development Matters offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn for all early years practitioners (Gov UK, 2020). We will use this tool, along with our professional judgements, to plan for, support and assess children’s learning and development. Observation checkpoints within Development Matters can help practitioners identify if a child is at risk of falling behind

Fundamental British Values

The fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the EYFS. We implement and promote these values through our practice, curriculum values and our community links.

Democracy
Making decisions together

We help children to see their role in the world as a positive contributor, encouraging them children to know that their views are valued and really count. We teach these skills by giving children choice, at snack time and with the activities and resources available to them. We encourage children to vote with a show of hands or tally charts, take turns and work together. Encouraging children to think for themselves and ask questions, where they know their voice will be valued.

Rule of Law
Understanding rules matter as cited in Personal Social and Emotional Development

We support children in understanding rules and expectations; ensuring children understand their own behaviour and the behaviour of others’ has consequences, supporting children to learn to distinguish between right from wrong.

Children help create ‘Golden Rules’ which are revisited on a regular basis to check they are still relevant and to act as a constant reminder to the behaviour expectations of the setting.

Individual Liberty
Freedom for all

We support children in developing a positive sense of self, self-knowledge, self-worth and provide opportunities to develop their confidence in their own abilities. We provide opportunities for children to take safe risks, and carry out their own risk assessments before playing outside.

We talk to children about their feelings, and equip them with the vocabulary needed to explore their feelings, reflect on their thoughts and to understand that’s others may have a different opinion.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Treat others as you want to be treated

We promote an inclusive atmosphere where tolerance of others views, faiths, cultures and religious beliefs are respected and valued.

Through our activities we encourage discussion on similarities and differences between ourselves and others. We incorporate festivals, celebrations and experiences through our curriculum planning. We challenge stereotypes through the activities and resources we provide on a daily basis.

We will not tolerate behaviours and comments that contradict the fundamental British Values and will actively challenge and educate such views.

EYFS Parent Guide
Development Matters
Every Child a Talker
ECaT Top Tips