The Early Years Foundation Stage

Provision for the development and learning of children from birth to 5 years is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Wigwam Day Nursery reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2014):

A typical day

There probably is no typical day at Wigwam Nursery as every day is a new adventure. However here are some of the opportunities.

The Wigwam nursery operates a very family feel within our beautifully converted house.

When children arrive, they are offered a family breakfast in either the Tiny Turtles or Dancing Deers. When they have finished children will often return to their base room and take part in an activity of their choice. During the day, their key group will be able to move freely between either the under twos or other twos unit and garden area. This allows our team to offer areas of learning according to the needs of the children, for example, a larger construction area or to take part in a creative work project over a longer period.

Allowing the children this freedom to move around the nursery helps to embed the family and relaxed feel we endeavour to create. The Norwegians and Danish have a word for this it is Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) it is a  word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

The EYFS at The Wigwam Day Nursery:

A Unique Child
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.


Positive Relationships
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.


Enabling Environments
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.


Learning and Development
Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.


Within the framework of the four principles, seven stages of development and learning determine how we monitor and measure a child’s progression.


The Seven Areas of Development and Learning comprise:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, social and emotional development.
  • Physical development.
  • Communication and language.


Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


Early Learning Goals
For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to attain by the end of the EYFS is defined by the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know, and be able to do, by the end of the reception year of their education.


The Early Years Outcomes (DfE 2013) guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child will make along their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. The Wigwam Day Nursery has regard to these when we assess children and plan for their learning. Our programme supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need across the seven areas of development and learning:-


Personal, social and emotional development

  • making relationships;
  • self-confidence;
  • self-awareness; and
  • managing feelings and behaviour

Read about our approach to personal, social and emotional development here


Physical development

  • moving and handling; and
  • health and self-care

Read about our approach to physical development here


Communication and language

  • listening and attention;
  • understanding; and
  • speaking

Read about our approach to communication and language here



  • reading;
  • and writing

Read about our approach to literacy here



  • numbers; and
  • shape, space, measure.

Read about our approach to mathematics here


Understanding the world

  • people and communities;
  • the world; and
  • technology.

Read about our approach to understanding the world here


Expressive arts & design

  • exploring and using media and materials; and
  • being imaginative

Read about our approach to expressive arts and design here


Our approach to learning and development and assessment
Learning through play
Being active and playing supports young children’s learning and development through doing and talking. This is how children learn to think about and understand the world around them. We use the EYFS statutory guidance on education programmes to plan and provide opportunities which will help children to make progress in all areas of learning. This programme is made up of a mixture of activities that children plan and organise for themselves as well as activities planned and led by practitioners at The Wigwam Day Nursery.


Characteristics of effective learning
We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the EYFS as:

  • playing and exploring – engagement;
  • active learning – motivation;
  • creating and thinking critically – thinking.


We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to develop as an effective and motivated learner.


We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently, mostly through our play and interaction with them. Our observations are informal and part of our daily routine with the children; please don’t worry that your child is going to be formally observed and assessed in an exam style situation!


We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we will ask you to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you, as parents, are supporting development.


We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s Learning Diaries. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.


The progress check at age two
The EYFS requires that we supply parents and carers with a written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development – personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language – when a child is aged between 24 – 36 months. Your child’s key person is responsible for completing the check using information from on-going observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.


Records of achievement
We keep a Learning Dairy for each child. Your child’s Learning Diaries helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.


Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you both collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. Together, we will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.


Working together for your children
We maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.

Under two 1:3 staff: child ratio
Aged two 1:4 staff: child ratio
Aged three & over 1:8 staff: child ratio


There are other requirements about the number of staff and qualifications to which use adhere. More information can be found in the EYFS.