At Charnwood we follow the Curriculum Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The EYFS is the Early Years Foundation Stage, the stage of a child’s development between birth and the age of 5. The child remains in this stage until the end of reception year at school. The EYFS framework has to be followed by all nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS. The framework supports those working with young children in providing high quality care and learning experiences and in working in partnership with families.
The EYFS was revised in 2012 and now identifies 3 Prime Areas of Learning for children in the Foundation Stage, and 4 Specific Areas.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
The prime areas are fundemental, generally develop first, and support development in all other areas. The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge to enable children to participate successfully in society. The experiences nursery provides will underpin the skills needed to work towards the Early Learning Goals which children are expected to reach by the end of their reception year.
The Importance of the Early Years
In recent years there has been a growing awareness of the crucial importance of our earliest experiences in shaping our values, attitudes and outlook on life. It is recognised that it is during the earliest years that attitudes and skills are developed which underpin all future learning experiences.
The importance of the early years is not a new idea. Over 2000 years ago the writer of the book of Proverbs in the Bible said:
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22 v 6
Because we recognise the importance of the early years, we want to make sure that, together with parents/carers, we lay the firmest possible foundations for your child’s future.
We seek, therefore, to provide a very broad and balanced curriculum that focuses not just on academic achievement but on developing the whole child. The deeper and broader the foundations we lay, the more secure all future learning will be.
Children Learn Through Play
At Charnwood we are committed to learning through play, through first-hand experiences that are fun and exciting. The EYFS framework supports this approach, emphasising that it is “by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking” that children learn. It is in their play that children are able to explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world around them. They are able to practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills, take risks, make mistakes, persevere, think creatively and imaginatively, investigate and solve problems, negotiate and communicate – all the skills needed for life.