The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (2012) is the legal document that all settings must work to when offering care to children before the September after their 5th birthday. It is divided into 4 principles of practice that we must meet.
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
We meet the requirements of these through the comprehensive planning of our setting, our policies and procedures and our daily routine. These principles very clearly communicates that learning and development do not happen to the child but with the child.
We always strive to be a truly child-centred service. In the EYFS the first principle is that of The Unique Child which identifies a child's individual development and progress, motivations, interests and experiences that support their interaction with the world and therefore their learning.
To understand the child we need to really focus on them as individuals in our assessments, planning and provision. Therefore each child chooses a Key person who they feel comfortable with and they will develop a supportive relationship with the child based on a clear understanding of who that child is and what is important to them.
The Key Person is an essential element of the second principle of the EYFS. Positive Relationships also focuses on all the relationships which surround the child. The collaborative relationship between the setting’s practitioners and the parents and the mutual respect this models for the child is vital for a child to understand effective communication and positive and respectful attitudes to others.
The child’s opportunities and support to develop relationships with other children develops social skills which will underpin their social understanding and their ability to effectively interact with others. The development of social skills is particularly rapid when the child is 2 and 3 years old and so these early experiences can impact their social abilities for the rest of their lives.
We have designed our setting as small workshop areas that offer resources for the children to choose themselves and that provide a useful space for the children to engage with the activities available.
The children can move as they wish between the different areas, activities rooms and even inside and outside as all areas are constantly supported by qualified practitioners. Our children are supported to be independent as everything in the setting is available for them to select themselves. Areas such as the continuous snack table enable the children to access fruit, drinks and snack whenever they want and children can even access dinner when they are ready.
Learning and Development
Learning and Development includes our curriculum document ‘Development Matters’. This includes our 7 Areas of Learning split into 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas over 6 overlapping age ranges.
The statements in these documents are a guide for our understanding and account for individuality in development. These form the basis of our Learning Journey on Baby’s Days.
The Prime areas are considered fundamental skills and will be the abilities your child naturally strives to develop in their first three years. Once these skills become more established, the child is ready to concentrate on more specific areas of development. While these areas are all developing from birth, they become of equal focus at this point and the child becomes more motivated to expand their interests.
The 3 principles of Unique Child, Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments are the basis for the Learning and Development opportunities and are our focus for planning and effective setting.