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Early Years Foundation Stage…

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and early years professionals

describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child

get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born

up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support

their development, care and learning needs. Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered

to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children. As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework gives mums and dads confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience. Having checked with the Department for Education (DfE) the statutory requirements for early years providers are now clear. The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage. EYFS How my child will be learning… The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are: Communication and language; Physical development; and Personal, social and emotional development. These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the world; and Expressive arts and design. These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning? All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.   If you're looking for new ideas for things to do then find out what is on offer at your local children’s centre. Many offer ‘messy play’ activities which you and your child can join in with, and many of the activities they provide are free. Staff can also give you advice about the kinds of books or other activities your child might enjoy at different ages. Characteristics of Effective Learning… Letters & Sounds… Playing and exploring – engagement Finding out and exploring Playing with what they know Being willing to ‘have a go’ Active learning – motivation Being involved and concentrating Keeping trying Enjoying achieving what they set out to do Creating and thinking critically – thinking Having their own ideas Making links Choosing ways to do things
Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about 
Sing and tell nursery rhymes
Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines
Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch
Cook / bake together
Use   the   weather   –   shadows,   rain   puddles,   snow,   wind,   mist and sun – to extend your child’s vocabulary
Explore the park at a different time of the year – go off the beaten track
Talk to your child at every opportunity – e.g. what you are doing that day
Share a book 
On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes  
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
WHAT IS BLAST? BLAST is Boosting Language Auditory Skills and Talking. BLAST 1 is designed for all children in nursery aged from 3-4. There are 30 consecutive sessions fully planned and resourced to deliver to a group of 4-8 children. All the setting needs is a trained BLAST user to run the group, a CD player and the pack! BLAST works on the underpinning skills for language, communication and literacy – turn taking, discrimination, listening, attention and social communication as well as developing basic language skills both receptively and expressively. All our practitioners are trained to deliver this programme at Cygnets Preschool.
At Cygnets we have several PLAYPACK activities, each child will have the opportunity to take home an activity to share with their family. These packs are designed to enhance the children’s development in all seven areas of learning and for parents or carers to share their child’s progress with us.
ECAT aims to improve the speech/language and communication skills of all children under 5.  ECAT was set up in response to a wealth of research, which found that upwards of 50% of children on school entry have some speech, language and communication needs. The overall aims of the ECAT programme are: To raise children’s achievement in early language development To increase practitioner knowledge and understanding of children’s early language development and how to support it. To increase parental understanding of and involvement in their children’s language development. Each child will have the opportunity to take a pack home to share with his or her family.