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Early Years Foundation Stage

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere

Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

We have seven areas of learning:



Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

  • Communication and Language (CL)

  • Physical Development (PD)

Specific Areas

  • Literacy (L)

  • Mathematics (M)

  • Understanding the World (UW)

  • Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)

We see each individual child as A Unique Child and we promote positive relationships.  We provide a stimulating environment for learning, with resources that are led by the child's play and the adults taking their learning further.  We observe each child's development through observations and interaction which enables us to monitor and plan for every child.  We spend quality time with each individual child so we can learn all about them and their unique needs.  We also believe that sharing with our parents and carers is paramount to make each child's journey at Pre-School fulfilled and educational.  To do this we share news with our parents on a daily basis and have our weekly newsletter which highlights the things we have done.  We have parental update sessions every term where we share our observations and Trackers and review each child's progress with the parents. 



The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the prime and specific Areas of Learning and Development are all interconnected.


From observation, we know that children develop and learn in different ways and the way a child interacts with other people and their environment is at the centre of their learning and development. Through the Characteristics of Effective Learning we support each Unique Child in their learning and ensure they are engaged and motivated by playing & exploring, active learning and critical thinking. The Characteristics of Effective Learning, underpin all areas of learning and supports the development of the Unique Child in the process of learning, rather than the outcome.


Playing and Exploring – Engagement

  • Finding out and exploring

  • Playing with what they know

  • Being willing to ‘have a go’


Finding out and exploring is about allowing the child to engage in open-ended, hands-on activities. Their experiences allow the child to build concepts and test ideas as they investigate and learn about the world around them. Playing with what they know refers to how a child represents their experiences to explore their surroundings through imaginative play. For example the child may pretend objects are things from their experiences, act out experiences with other people or take a role in their imaginative play. Being willing to have a go looks at how the child initiates or engages in activities and new experiences, their thought processes and focus when faced with a challenge and showing a ‘can-do’ attitude.



Active Learning - Motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating

  • Keeping trying

  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do


Children engage in Active learning  when they are involved in activities that require them to use their mental abilities. When a child is engaged in activity, they can show a great deal of focus and concentration, especially when it is an activity that interests them. Even when  challenges occur, the child may investigate (keep trying) a different approach to achieve their goal. By providing the child with an environment that is led by their interests, they are encouraged to be active learners, enjoy meeting the challenges of what they set out to do and show pride in their achievements.


Creating and Thinking Critically

  • Having their own ideas

  • Making links

  • Choosing ways to do things


Creating and thinking critically is about developing problem solving skills, by providing the child with lots of opportunities to come up with their own ideas and work things out on their own or with their peers through trial and error and thinking of new ways of doing things. Making links, is about developing an understanding of cause and effect, noticing patterns in their experience and making predictions, such as how a character in a book might be feeling based on the story context or picture in the book. Choosing ways to do things involves children in goal-directed activities and approaching these in organised ways.  As the child becomes engaged in an activity they start to ask questions and wonder about how things work and can begin to plan and make decisions on how to approach activities as well as change strategies as needed and review their approach and well it worked.

Monitoring Growth and Development

All children have an individual profile.  We take photographic evidence of each child as they begin a new chapter in their growth and development.  They learn through play and experiences in a secure environment.  They need to explore their surroundings and develop their language as well as social, emotional and physical needs.  We monitor this development with a Tracker and observations. The Summative Assessment (as recommended by Cambridgeshire County Council) is a document that assesses your child's development whilst at Pre-School.  This information is passed onto their reception teacher at the transition to Primary School, to use as a guide to continue your child's development. We value the parents/carers input with this too and you will review and sign the document before it is passed on.

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