Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS, the Early Years Foundation Stage, is the curriculum and legal framework covering the first five years of children’s childcare and education.
At Day Care at Saint Martin's, we have a team of highly trained and qualified practitioners who are specialists in delivering the EYFS to the children in our nursery. The children are assigned a Key Worker who forms close relationships with their key children to observe, and develop the children to reach their next steps. We have high expectations of your children but help them to develop through play, in a calm, nurturing and secure environment.
The children in the Cubs group (0-2 years) focus on the PRIME areas of the EYFS;
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT: helping children to move confidently and with ease, and to develop their health and self care skills. For example, learning to recognise when they are thirsty or teaching them to self-regulate risk factors such as climbing stairs.
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE: In the aspect of ‘Speaking” we help develop the children’s early verbal and non-verbal communication skills, encouraging gesturing, using prompts such as Makaton sign language, and giving babies lots of opportunities to verbalise through singing, and actively encouraging sound making.
We develop the babies listening and attention skills during circle time and using props such as puppets to hold their attention and interest. Skilled practitioners will develop a child’s understanding by making eye contact and talking in simple sentences supported by actions.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: One of the most important jobs of a nursery is to help the children settle in, and ensure they feel well cared for, happy and secure, and have close bonds with their key workers. Once they develop this strong foundation from which they can go on to learn other key skills. We develop the children’s social skills in the aspects of ‘Making Relationships’ by supporting them to play alongside others in small groups, learning to turn take and share, and develop early friendship forming skills. Children develop self-confidence and self-awareness through praise, positive playful interactions and encouraging them to ‘have a go’ at activities such as messy play.
It is important that young children learn how to manage their feelings and behaviours and recognise emotions in themselves and others. We gently teach them to have ‘kind hands,’ understand yes and no boundaries, and respect the feelings of others.
Once we have helped establish these firm foundations, we bring in the SPECIFIC areas of the EYFS from the age of two years as follows:
LITERACY: Encouraging an early interest in books and reading, and supporting the children through phonics, to recognise letters and sounds. Practitioners also support the children’s emerging writing skills through opportunities to make marks in different media and materials, and then progressing to holding a range of tools such as pencils, chalks and paint brushes to make marks.
MATHEMATICS: Children start by developing an awareness of numbers, noticing when things change and that things exist even when they are out of sight. We use mathematical language in every aspect of the nursery day such as ‘lots,’’few,’ and rote count starting with 1-3, and then extending this as the children’s knowledge grows. By the time the children leave the Lions pre-school room we aim to have developed them to the level of reciting numbers in sequence, counting small numbers of objects, comparing groups of objects and recognising numbers in the environment.
We also support children to develop an early understanding of space, shape and measures. Children recognise nursery routines, and learn the mathematical language of sequencing such as ‘later’ and ‘next.’ Equipment such as jigsaws, construction blocks and train tracks develops the children’s ability to fit shapes together, build towers, and begin to understand the concepts of size and ordering. Children will begin to learn the names of different 2D and 3D shapes, and recognise them in the environment.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD: We aim to develop the children’s awareness of their immediate world, and similarities and differences between themselves and other people in their families and communities. We encourage tolerance and respect through celebrating festivals such as Eid, Diwali, Halloween and Christmas, and the children dress up in traditional costumes, taste foods from around the world and look at books that explore how different families are made up. In the aspect of People and Communities, children also learn about people who help us and different occupations.
Children are also encouraged to start exploring the world around them, through forest schools, looking at mini beasts and the environment and talking about how things change, and why things happen. We encourage this through nature walks, splashing in muddy puddles, using magnifying glasses to study insects and plants, and talking about the weather. We also develop the children’s understanding of technology, helping them to use simple programmes on the touch screen computer, and using equipment such as torches, keyboards and magnets.
EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND DESIGN: Children explore and experiment with a range of sensory media and develop their confidence to touch, play and manipulate materials such as play dough, gloop, sand, water and paints. We support their development to be creative and grow in self-confidence with singing, dancing and use of musical instruments. At Day Care at Saint Martin’s we have regular Zumbini sessions, along with Stage Coach Theatre school and professional story tellers to allow the children to be imaginative and extend and enhance their creative experiences.
Below, we have posters highlighting some of the different sections of The EYFS throughout the 3 different sections of our nursery.
For more information about EYFS go to any of the following links...