A Unique Child
Every child is unique, 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 where their experiences respond to their individual needs, and practitioners, parents, and carers have a strong partnership.
Learning and Development
Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in their early years, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Seven Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS is divided into seven areas of Learning and Development.
Personal, Social & Emotional (PSED)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) focuses on children’s mental and physical well-being. Children work on long-term skills and awarenesses to build a healthy foundation they can take forward. It’s divided into these topics:
- Managing Self
- Building Relationships
- Personal, social and emotional development (PSED) provides children with many social opportunities. Children can learn to form healthy bonds and make stable, lasting friendships. For example, they’ll learn the right and wrong things to do, alongside respect, compassion, morals, and many more socio-emotional skills.
- The subject also opens children up to discuss their thoughts and feelings. This can help them to form a level of ownership, independence, and self-esteem.
Communication and Language (CL)
- Communication and Language (C+L) encourages conversations and spoken language skills. Underpinning all skills, it’s foundational for children to interact with their peers and learning environment. It’s split into the following distinct areas:
- Listening, Attention and Understanding
- There’s much more to language development and communication than simply ‘talking’. It refers to the variety of ways that children take in information and communicate information – only a part of this is used with spoken words.
- Words and image association is one of the best forms of initiating language and communication development. This is why reading books to young children is an excellent way of bringing this out since they’ll be able to connect with the pictures in the book and the text you’re reading out.
Personal Development (PD)
- Physical Development (PD) is vital for healthy lives and learning. Both gross and fine motor skills are developed over Early Years in activities like writing and cutting. Practitioners plan by looking at these specific areas:
- Gross Motor Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
- As children move around, they explore the world by handling objects.
- Children at Maple Grove are exposed to healthy eating and leading an active lifestyle; they’re likely to continue those positive habits as time goes on.
- By children having regular physical activity in their lives, it’ll promote healthy development, growth, composition, and cardiovascular fitness. Physical development activities help children control and manage their body movements. It also improves brain development, such as critical thinking and concentration, since physical fitness ensures heightened brain function.
- Literacy (L) skills will form a strong foundation for children’s school careers and are split simply into:
- Word Reading
- With literacy, children will begin to build connections between spoken sounds and the letters in writing.
- They must start forming experience levels with letters and words, pictures and objects, and sounds to achieve this.
- Communicating through written language is essential for many areas of daily living.
- Mathematics (M) learning focuses on simple concepts foundational to higher maths topics in KS1 and up. In EYFS, children focus on the maths areas of:
- Numerical Patterns
- Learning maths can help with life skills such as spatial awareness, shapes and measurement, and problem-solving.
- Maths also serve for other uses like handling and managing money, telling the time so they’re not late for any commitments they have in place, or working out distance and time together so that they can travel.
Understanding the world (UTW)
- Understanding the World (UTW) supports children’s learning about the surrounding environment. In this learning area, children can explore new cultures and better understand basics that we often take for granted.
- Past and Present
- People, Culture, and Communities
- The Natural World
- Children will discover similarities and differences, what world and what doesn’t, what they can and cannot change, and why certain things happen within the world around them. There are lots of opportunities to experiment and investigate.
- As well as learning about societies and communities, cultures, people, and places, there are elements of science within this type of learning, too. For example, children will learn about the environment, such as weather conditions, plants, and wildlife.
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
- Expressive Arts and Design (EAD) supports children’s creative development and expression. It helps children create artwork and encourages them to value their thoughts, opinions and skills. The two areas in this area of learning are:
- Creating with Materials
- Being Imaginative and Expressive
- Children will use various materials and activities to express themselves through imaginative play. This is also for communication since verbal communication can be limited at a young age. These activities include design and technology, dance, movement, music, art, and role-play.
At Maple Grove, we plan activities to cover these seven Areas of Learning. Throughout the day or session, children can complete activities covering many aspects of EYFS Seven, the Areas of Learning and Development.
The EYFS Curriculum aims to provide -
- Quality and consistency in all early years classes
- A secure foundation through learning opportunities tailored to the needs of pupils of this age group
- Partnership working between parents and practitioners
- Equality of opportunity to support children of all backgrounds
EYFS has Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning, which are vital characteristics children develop in play. These characteristics of effective teaching and learning ensure that children gain the skills which underpin their learning and development across all the prime and specific areas of learning.
Having these required characteristics of teaching and learning in mind helps to support practitioners’ abilities to support ongoing development and underpin their holistic knowledge of the EYFS.
- Playing and Exploring shows how the child engages as they investigate and experience things first-hand.
- Active learning shows how a child is motivated to keep trying when encountering difficulties or enjoying achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically shows the process of thinking behind learning, developing ideas and creating strategies for carrying these out.
Play in the Early Years Foundation Stage is essential to young children. Through play, children will learn and develop in all seven areas of EYFS. Children can engage creativity and team-building skills with solo and group play, which can benefit their Communication and Language development.
By deviating between indoor and outdoor play, it can help children with their learning outcomes on Understanding the World and allow them to explore new ideas and engage in problem-solving skills. Equally, by using play to teach children about a range of events and the necessity of proper safety precautions, you can relate it to their History and Personal, Social and Emotional Development outcomes.
Adult-led learning forms critical elements of the EYFS curriculum, particularly when helping children to develop specific skills. Having an insight and knowledge of the EYFS curriculum helps practitioners differentiate their approach and know when to apply adult-led learning and when children may benefit from a child-led approach. Children, particularly in reception, will also use more ‘formal’ learning techniques.
For example, children will often be involved in carpet sessions with a specific focus. Sometimes this focus may be around phonics or maths; on other occasions, it may be based on Understanding the World or Personal, Social and Emotional Development.