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The Early Years Foundation Stage

Now that your child is attending our setting they will be introduced to the Early Years Foundation Stage which is the first step in their formal education.  We aim to do this in a very gentle and non-threatening way and always through play based experiences.  Children will be provided with a variety of activities and opportunities to explore and investigate, and consequently to develop in the following areas -

Personal Social and Emotional Development
Children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-esteem.  They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part with others in the group, sharing and co-operating with children and adults.  Through activities, conversation and practical example they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others.  All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and also for others in the group.

Physical Development
A range of equipment and opportunities allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their bodily skills.  They are able to create and meet physical challenges and develop skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing.  Also they are helped in the development of their fine motor skills which are required to use tools, including pencils and pens, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.

Communication and Language
In both small and large groups, children are encouraged to develop their vocabulary and fluency by learning and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes.  Staff are experienced in offering commentary, modelling good use of language and helping children to extend their sentences.

Literacy Development
Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purpose of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves.  A well stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and be aware of their uses.

Mathematical Development
By means of practical experiences, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities which form the basis for early mathematics.  As they use their developing understanding to solve problems, children will learn to use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number.  Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding.

Understanding the World
A safe and stimulating environment allows the children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials.  They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising differences, patterns and similarities, and to share and record their findings.  Children are assisted to explore and understand their environment, both within the group and the wider community.  A range of safe and well maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and solve problems.

Expressive Arts and Design
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings, and to construct their individual response to experiences in two and three dimensions.  Art equipment including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources provide for open ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage.  Children are able to join in with and respond to music and stories, and there are many opportunities for imaginative role play, both individually and as part of a group.

Working together
To enable you and your child to get the very best out of these early years we communicate with you as much as possible, this will be done verbally and sometimes by way of a small diary which we will from time to time send home with your child.  This diary will give you information about some of the things that your child has been doing whilst with us and will give you the opportunity to tell us about some of the things they do at home. From time to time we also encourage you to complete ‘All about me’ sheets with your child. We use these, where possible to help us plan activities using the current interests of your child..

In order to enable us to record and encourage the children’s development they are allocated their own key person, one of our senior members of staff, who will work with your child and record and keep information which can then be used to lead them through the Early Years Foundation Stage at their own pace, and which can be discussed with you at a mutually convenient time.

Special educational needs
We work especially closely with parents when children are identified as having special educational needs, and with parental permission we will liaise regularly with outside agencies to ensure we are able to give them the very best support.

Please remember you can come and speak with your childs key person at any time or make an appointment with them to share information.