At Mereside Farm we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
We strongly believe in the four guiding principles that shape practice in early year’s settings. These are:
There are seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS that we use to shape educational programmes at Mereside Farm and this is done through a wide range of play opportunities with a balance between child and adult led activities being crucial. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected, however the three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. These are especially important with children under the age of 3 but form a strong basis for future learning for all children. This is because happy, secure children who are able to socialise and communicate with peers will find other learning much easier moving to school. These Prime areas are:
Involves children being provided with the opportunity to experience a language rich environment; develop confidence in expressing their wants, needs and feelings and being able to speak and listen in a variety of contexts
Involves children being encouraged to be interactive and active in their learning and develop control, coordination and movement. They are supported in understanding the importance of physical activity and how to make informed healthy choices at meal times.
Involves supporting children in developing a strong, positive sense of themselves, and of others; form strong attachments and relationships and develop respect for others to develop their social skills and learn how to effectively manage their feelings. This area also supports the children in understanding appropriate behaviour and develops confidence in their own abilities.
As children grow, the progress in the prime areas will then help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
These 7 areas are used alongside your own child’s needs and interests to plan the experiences and activities we offer on a day to basis. Working in this way ensures that we help children to develop and progress at the rates that are right for them as an individual whilst also providing challenge to help them to reach their full potential.
The EYFS continues to the end of the reception year at school so our role is to support the transition from nursery to school when children reach that milestone in their lives, enabling us to help them to prepare for this exciting new adventure and the change to a more formalised way of teaching and learning.
In planning and guiding children’s activities, we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. These characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
Supports children`s investigating, exploring and experiencing things through being willing to `have a go`
Aids the children’s motivation to learn by helping develop their concentration, and their ability to persevere when they encounter difficult situations / challenges, and to enjoy achievements celebrating the completion of tasks.
Supports independent thinking and creation of their own idea’s, making links between differing ideas and developing strategies for completing tasks.
Records of children progress are kept and shared with parents regularly and our parent portal is used to share observations of children as they play and learn at nursery. There is also the facility for parents to send photographs and exciting moments in children’s life to us, keeping the two way communication strong.