We are legally required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. We use the EYFS framework as a basis for planning carefully tailored provision that follows the children's interests and needs.
Within the learning and development section of the EYFS there are seven areas of learning and development which we use to shape the curriculum at Earlybirds. Whilst all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected, the framework splits the areas of learning into ‘Prime’ and ‘Specific’ areas.
PRIME AREAS OF LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities that all children need to develop and learn effectively, and become ready for school. These three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, are:
• Communication and Language;
• Physical development; and
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
For our youngest children we focus strongly on the three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. As children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all prime and specific areas of learning.
SPECIFIC AREAS OF LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
We are also required to support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
• Understanding the World; and
• Expressive Arts and Design.
Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.
We recognise each child’s emerging needs and interests and follow these as they play. Our curriculum is further enhanced by book led themes that support enhancement and enrichment and help children develop their communication and language through our Early Years talk for writing approach. The Talk for Writing approach is designed to develop children's imaginative and linguistic repertoires by internalising the language patterns of storytelling. This approach also helps build a love of reading and and stories.
We send home regular curriculum bulletins that explain to parents what we are planning for each theme. These can be found below.