The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS curriculum is for children from birth to five and applies until the end of their first school year (Reception).
We have put together this guide to the EYFS to provide some information for you about the curriculum which underpins what we do at pre-school to support each child’s learning and development.
If you are interested in seeing the EYFS framework in its entirety there is a copy available at Busy Bees or it can be accessed via www.foundationyears.org.uk and click on the link “EYFS 2012”. This website is a very useful website for both professionals and parents and there is a dedicated Parents Area.
What is the EYFS?
- The EYFS describes how early years practitioners, such as nursery staff, child-minders and Reception class teachers, must work with children and their families to support their development and learning. It has to be used by all Ofsted registered settings.
- The EYFS defines how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how all concerned can make sure that your child achieves the most that they can.
- Because the EYFS applies through to the end of Reception, it eases your child’s transition between Busy Bees and their primary school.
Why do I need to know about the EYFS?
- Children do best when parents and professionals work together.
- It is important to remember that you know your child better than anyone else so we need to share information to make sure that we are doing the best we can to support your child’s learning and development.
- Understanding what your child is doing at Busy Bees will help you to notice how they are developing and learning. The part you play in their learning and the choices you make will affect their future.
The EYFS is split into two areas of learning, the Prime Areas and the Specific Areas.
The Prime Areas are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: This area covers things such as building confidence and self-esteem, concentration, independence, respect and building friendships. It also covers things like understanding rules and boundaries and valuing their own achievements.
- Communication and Language: This area is about developing a child’s understanding, speaking and listening skills and building their vocabulary.
- Physical Development: This area is about developing control over large movements such as running, jumping, hopping and climbing, and small movements using arms wrists and hands. It also covers the importance of how to look after their bodies for example hand washing before meals and drinking when thirsty.
The Specific Areas are:
- Literacy: This area covers things such as how to use books, recognising letters and sounds and beginning to make their own attempts at writing.
- Maths: This area includes number work, knowledge of shapes, size and positioning (e.g. under, over, behind) and understanding patterns.
- Understanding the World: This area develops children’s knowledge about the world around them, use of ICT, how to choose appropriate tools for a task and learning about their own and other cultures.
- Expressive Arts and Design: This area supports the development of your child’s imagination and use of resources to express themselves such as paint, music, dance, stories or role play.
Research has shown that a good foundation in the Prime Areas will lead to better development in the Specific areas.
How does Busy Bees provide for development and learning?
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by Busy Bees helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.
Every child at Busy Bees has their own online Learning Journey which will contain all the developmental observations (or their learning journey) that we are required to keep as well as photos of their time at nursery. The system we use is called Tapestry and you will be given further information about how to access this when your child starts at Busy Bees.
If you would like to contribute photos or notes to the Learning Journey then please do. The idea of the Learning Journey is that it is a shared record and your input and the children’s input is very important to its success. If you are unsure about adding your own contributions then your Key Person will be happy to help. We are interested in anything your child does at home that has been significant to them and this can be anything from being dry at night, eating a new vegetable they haven’t tried before, laying the table for tea or what they did on holiday. It all counts and we are always interested.
The children are also encouraged to take time to look at their Learning Journey whilst at Busy Bees and they particularly enjoy the photos.
In addition, for children looked after on a regular basis by a child minder, grandparent or other carer, we are encouraged to allow that carer access to the child’s Learning Journey. We also encourage those carers to contribute in the same way. This is to allow a sharing of information that will contribute to the Learning Journey. If you are unhappy about this arrangement then please speak to Janet.
Progress Check for Two Year Olds
A requirement of the EYFS is that we conduct a progress check on all children between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. At Busy Bees we feel the progress check is a summary of observations that we would take anyway, and is not something that should cause you worry or anxiety. It is designed to ensure that children are progressing as they should. Whilst it may highlight areas of concern we feel that this is a good thing as early intervention is key in supporting children in their development. The check may also highlight areas where your child may be ahead of their expected stage and this will enable us to ensure they continue to progress well. Further information will be provided within the first few weeks of your child starting at Busy Bees.