March 2015- Our school has been awarded the Early Years Quality Mark. We are very proud of our EYFS provision and are so fortunate to have such dedicated staff and who are so committed to ensuring the very best start for our children.
Achieving a Quality Mark offers valuable public recognition for the day-to-day work of all practitioners in the setting. It celebrates the work of everyone involved with the setting in its provision for the young children in its care and the standards they achieve. It represents an external validation and acknowledgement of good provision, practice, progress and performance and is an award recognised by Ofsted.
Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was launched September 2012. This is the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5.
This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
All nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
What is the EYFS Framework- why do we have one?
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with experts and parents.
In 2012 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. The new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
It sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements are that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
- Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year. These expectations are called the ‘Early Learning Goals’ ( ELG’s)
There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.
What does it mean for me as a parent?
Ensuring my child’s safety
Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a pre-school or nursery, how many children a childminder can look after, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.
You can find out about the quality of an early years provider (pre-school, nursery, registered childminder) in relation to the EYFS Framework by checking what the Government official inspection body for early years- Ofsted, have to say about it. You can find this information at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report
How will my child be learning?
The EFYS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language
- listening and attention
- Physical development
- moving and handling
- health and self care
- Personal, social and emotional development
- making relationships
- self confidence and self awareness
- managing feelings and behaviour
These prime areas are the most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in another
4 specific areas. These are:
- shape, space and measure
- Understanding the world
- people and communities
- the world
- Expressive arts and design
- exploring and using media and materials
- being imaginative
All these 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors.
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
- Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about.
- Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines.
- Cook/bake together
- Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch.
- Use the weather- shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun- to extend your child’s vocabulary.
- Explore the park at different times of the year- go off the beaten track
- Share a book
- Talk to your child at every opportunity e.g. what you are doing that day.
- On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes.
- Sing and tell nursery rhymes
- Value their “marks” (drawing, writing) on paper at whatever stage they are at.
How can I find out how my child is getting on?
It is important that you and the professionals caring for your child, work together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child.
You can get information about your child’s development at any time, and in our setting we will report to you verbally from time to time and also towards the end of each term when we share with you written records of their development.
When your child is 5
At the end of the EYFS- in the summer term of reception year in school- teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they and other staff caring for your child have observed over a period of time.
Another important part of the EYFS profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you, such as how confident your child is at writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not familiar with or their understanding of numbers.
All the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in all 7 areas of learning and development. Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher that your child has in the next school year- year 1, will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it.
The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from their EYFS Profile.
Where can I go for further information?
You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at http://www.foundationyears.org.uk./