Learning and Development
There are 7 areas of learning and development in the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’, these shape the educational programme delivered. All of these areas are important, and are interconnected, however 3 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 3 areas are known as prime areas, and are:
- Communication and Language – this involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical Development – this involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – this involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings, to understand appropriate behaviour in groups, and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The other 4 areas, which strengthen the prime areas, are known as specific areas, these are:
- Literacy – children are encouraged to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics – children are provided with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
- Understanding the world – children are guided to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design – children are enabled to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, design and technology.
Staff use these areas to observe and monitor their key children’s individual development and to provide activities and experiences to support future learning and development.