Learning Through Play

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage is designed to shape the practice in early years settings. This government framework supports settings in ensuring they focus on their understanding that every child is a Unique Child, children learn through Positive Relationships, and they need Enabling Environments with strong partnerships between practitioners and parents and/ or carers.

The Early Years Foundation Stage focuses on children's individual development to ensure they have the very best start in life. It combines the best early years practice providing a cohesive approach to child development, care and learning.

Overarching Principles

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 and 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.

The Seven areas of learning

There are seven areas of learning which chart a child's development from Birth to 5 years old. The learning objectives for the adult led activities are taken from the development stages within each of the seven areas,so your child's development is charted through each area. The early learning goals will be achieved at the end of your child's first year at school.

The Seven areas of learning are divided up into prime and specific areas of development. The prime areas are fundamental areas to support all other areas of development.

Prime Areas

Personal, social and emotional development - Self-confidence and self-awareness, making relationships, managing feelings and behaviour

Communication and language - Listening and attention, understanding, speaking

Physical Development - Moving and handling, health and self-care

Specific Areas

Literacy - Reading and writing

Mathematics - Numbers, shape space and measure

Understanding the world - People and communities, the world, technology

Expressive arts and Design - Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and exploring

Finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and be willing to have a go

Active Learning

Being involved and concentrating, keeping trying and enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically

Having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things


Observations are an integral part of a child's development. The early years practitioners will record their observations, reflect on the information within the observation, track the observation into the Framework and then plan to further develop the childs learning through challenges, activities and opportunities.

In addition to this, our partnerships with parents help us to gain a full picture of your child. As your child's first educator, the information shared about your child informs us on how they are developing and how we can work together to further develop their learning.

From the observations made by practitioners, next steps are planned to take the learning forward for the individual child. This approach supports practitioners in ensuring the individual needs and interests of each child are met. Practitioners plan a balance of adult led and child initiated activities, and our observations support us in identifying children who may need some early intervention to support their development.

''Staff have a strong understanding of the learning and development requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. They plan an exciting range of motivating play activities to support children's learning.'' - Ofsted 2014

Up to date Training

We provide both in-house and external training for our staff. The training needs for the nursery are determined through our Appraisal and Continued Professional Development systems. We also focus on current educational thinking within Early Years to ensure our practice is current and of the highest quality. Recent training has included Safeguarding and Child Protection, Sustained Shared Thinking, Integrated Therapy, EAL and Peer Observations. Staff are on a rolling programme for both Paediatric Fist Aid and Food Safety.

Parents Guide

The what to expect when parent' guide can be downloaded here

The purpose of this booklet is to help you as a parent/carer find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS. Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. This booklet has been written to help you as a parent know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the EYFS.

The Parents' guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework can be downloaded here