Communication and Language
The development of children's spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children's back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development.
Listening, Attention and Understanding
Children will listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during discussions. They will develop the skills to be able to hold a conversation with their peers and teachers.
Children will participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas. They will develop the confidence and skills to be able to offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from a variety of sources.
Physical activity is vital in children's all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives.
Gross Motor Skills
Children will negotiate space and obstacles safely with consideration for themselves and others. Children will demonstrate strength, balance and coordination and move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
Fine Motor Skills
Children will develop the strength to hold a pencil effectively in preparation for accurate drawing and fluent writing and develop the ability to use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery.
Expressive Arts and Design
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role- play, and design and technology.
Creating with Materials
Children use and safely explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. They learn to make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories. They are encouraged to share their creations and explain the processes they have used.
Children invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with their peers and teachers. They will perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children's personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.
Children will develop the ability to show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly. They will be able to give focused attention on an activity and show the ability to follow instructions with several ideas.
Children will develop a confidence to try new activities, showing increasing independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenges. Children will develop an understanding of right and wrong and explain the reasons for rules that are in place. Children will understand the importance of healthy food choices and will be more independent in managing their own basic hygiene and personal needs.
Children will learn how to work and play cooperatively and take turns with others. They will begin to show sensitivity to the needs of themselves and others, allowing them to form positive relationships with children and adults alike.
Understanding the World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
People, Culture and Communities
Children will explore and foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically, and ecologically diverse world. They will know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. They will also explore similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
The Natural World
The children will explore the natural world around them and understand some important processes and changes in the natural world. They will look at similarities and differences between the natural world and contrasting environments.
Past and Present
Children will explore similarities and difference between things in the past and now, drawing on own experiences. They will be able to talk about the lives of people around them and their roles in society.
Literacy development is the process of learning words, sounds and language. Children are taught and encouraged to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. During the early years of a child's education, it is vital that they are given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books that they read with them. Successful comprehension of a text allows children to engage with it and understand what they are reading.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Reading is taught through the Read Write Inc Phonics programme by Ruth Miskin.
Writing consists of transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
Children learn to spell using their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They begin to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically.
Early mathematics consists of six key areas of learning:
- Cardinality and counting - understanding that the cardinal value of a number refers to the quantity of a number
- Comparison - understanding that comparing numbers involves knowing which is more or less
- Composition - understanding that numbers can be make of two or more smaller numbers
- Pattern - looking for and finding patterns helps children notice and understanding mathematical relationships
- Shape and space- understanding what happens when shapes move, or combine with other shapes, helps develop wider mathematical thinking
- Measures - Comparing different aspects such as length, weight and volume, as a preliminary to using units to compare later
Children should be able to count confidently and develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. Children will learn to subitise (recognise quantities without counting) and automatically recall number bonds to 10, without the use of rhyme or counting.
Children will learn to count beyond 20 and recognise the pattern of the counting system. They will learn to compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than or less than another. They will explore and represent patterns within 10, including odds, evens, double facts and distributing quantities equally.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
The EYFS is broken down into seven areas of learning and development, which are all important and interconnected.
There are three areas that are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are known as the prime areas:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
There are then four specific areas in which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
For more information, please click on the links below:
Development Matters - Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage (publishing.service.gov.uk)