Early Years Foundation Stage

At Littleham, we run a Foundation Stage Unit. This means that children can come to our setting from the age of 2 years. They will remain in the Foundation Stage Unit until the end of their Reception Year.

We believe that every child enters the Foundation Stage with different needs and a Foundation Stage Unit means that every child can be supported from where they are developmentally in a fun and exciting environment.

Nursery and Reception children have access to separate areas of the school throughout the day, although the children have times when they share the same bases at specific times.

Our mission statement

Personal, social and emotional development is at the heart of our FSU. We believe that it is when a child feels safe, happy and secure that they can learn most effectively. It is therefore very important to us that every child in our FSU has good, positive relationships with the adults and their peers, so that they learn and play alongside each day.

In our FSU you will see adults actively engaged in pupils play and talk. However, you will also see us watching and listening to what children think and say. We love to listen to children’s ideas and thoughts, they are very important to us.

Once a child is happy and secure in their relationships and environment, they are more likely to take risks and have a go at things that they might not be so certain about.

Play is the fundamental way in which young children learn. It is where they make sense of the world. We believe that children learn by ‘doing’ and so our FSU is set up for children to have a variety of activities for them to investigate and play with. These are a mixture of adult and child–led. Throughout the day children are also able to access resources that they chose for their own play.

Talk is also a very important part of our FSU. We encourage and support children to speak confidently to each other and adults in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Every child in our FSU is seen as an individual and we work hard to ensure that we support every child from where they are developmentally and through and exciting, fun environment support their further development.

We want our children to be excited about every day in school, wondering what they might investigate and find out about. Taking risks, asking questions, being excited about what they have discovered and wanting to share it with others.

We want our FSU to be full of FUN! Why not come and see if it is?

What can parents and carers do?

Parents and carers are their children’s first teachers. When they are with you learning can happen at any time and anywhere, for example through:

  • Being generous with praise and cuddles
  • Reading things together
  • Playing games, singing nursery rhymes
  • Talking about what you can see in the park or on the street
  • Counting the stairs as you go up or down
Why are the years from birth to five so special?

The years from birth to five see the greatest growth and learning for all children.

  • Good health
  • To be happy
  • To feel safe
  • To be successful
Early learning is the key to your child’s future and families make the greatest difference at this stage.

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The EYFS is the stage of learning is when your child attends a setting or childminders home between birth and the age of five. They remain in this stage of learning until the end of the Reception Year in school.

The EYFS Framework describes how Early Years Practitioners should work with children and their families to support their development and learning.

What are the EYFS principles?

Children develop quickly in the early years, and early years practitioners aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life. Children have a right to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender. The EYFS guidance helps adults to understand and support each individual child’s development pathway.

The EYFS Curriculum is based on four important principles:

A Unique Child
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling Environments
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents/carers.

Learning & Development
Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

What is in the EYFS Curriculum?

Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. These areas are separated into different aspects. The Areas are:

Through these areas, Early Years Practitioners foster the characteristics of effective early learning which support children throughout the learning life.

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically
Children with in the Early Years Foundation Stage are the most successful when parents and practitioners work together. It is important to remember that you know more about your child than anyone else. Practitioners should be asking you about your child and sharing information with you about your child’s progress.

Assessment in EYFS

On-going formative assessment is at the heart of effective early years practice. The EYFS requires early years practitioners to review children’s progress and share a summary with parents at two points:

  • in the prime areas between the ages of 24 and 36 months
  • and at the end of the EYFS in the EYFS Profile. (Summer Term of the Reception Year)
Practitioners will be watching and supporting your child in their development throughout their time in Early Years. They will use this assessment to help plan activities which are relevant to your child’s own growth and development. These assessments will be shared with you a various key points.