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 reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2014):
A Unique Child
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
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:
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- Physical development.
- Communication and language.
- 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 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-awareness; and
- managing feelings and behaviour
- moving and handling; and
- health and self-care
Communication and language
- listening and attention;
- understanding; and
- and writing
- numbers; and
- shape, space, measure.
Understanding the world
- people and communities;
- the world; and
Expressive arts & design
- exploring and using media and materials; and
- being imaginative
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.
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.