The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the curriculum / educational plan for all children from birth to the end of reception class at school. The EFYS came into effect from September 2008.
The main reason for the EYFS is that there is a singular curriculum for all children nationwide.
The main emphasis of the curriculum is that children will learn from their own experiences, things that they are mainly interested in and playing. These experiences are to be mainly child led that follows their own individual interests.
Children learn much better this way than sitting down and writing etc.. Some children will learn better sitting down, but that is what we are here for - to judge each child's learning abilities and to use these different ways of leaning with each child.
The development files that we do will contain children's work, photos and observations. The files are kept in your child's room and are available to look at anytime you wish - please ask your child's key person.
Staff will plan certain activities but the children will choose the activities on things of interest to them or maybe on something that has happened that day either at nursery or home i.e: it's snowed, new baby arriving, finding a spider outside etc...
All the children will have a key person whilst at nursery, (the staff will let you know who your child's is). Your child's key person will be the person that you talk to about your child and the one who will talk to you about your child. These may be slightly different from morning to evening depending on the staff shifts but if there is any important information that needs sharing either way it will always be your child's key person. The key person system will help you, your child and the staff looking after your child gain a better bond together that may be a lot more helpful if problems arise. Your child's key person will be the person they will go to if upset, had an accident or just needs some reassurance.
The children will split into their key groups through out the day to do different activities together in smaller groups. This also helps the quieter / shyer children to be heard and join in more, and the more boisterous / louder children to take a little bit of a back seat.
As we know many parents will ask their child "what have you done at nursery today?" and if they don't take home some kind of picture they don't know what they have been doing all day! We know all children are different and some do not like creative activities so really would not gain anything from these types of activities where as others will stand and paint picture after picture until the paper runs out!! If your child doesn't like the creative side of nursery and never comes home with pictures and painting they have still been kept very busy - exploring in the sand, building with the bricks, dancing, singing, looking for bugs outside and the list goes on.
One of the main points of the EYFS is that it is from birth to the end of reception class, these first years of a child's life is what makes them into the adult they become and we do this by giving them experiences and learning opportunities for them to thrive and learn for themselves.
Children start the sitting down learning in Year 1 at school and then they are in that same situation for the next 11 years!!