At ‘Little Explorers’ our preschool curriculum is an informal course of learning, working within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage is set out in a document published by the DfES and is the framework to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life, and support to fill their potential. The frame work divides children’s learning into 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning and development. Combined together, the seven areas of learning provide opportunities to address important aspects of children’s spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.
The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.
Click to download – EYFS framework – March 2021
The 3 prime areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The 4 specific area of learning are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Play, exploration, active learning, creative and thinking critically
The Early Years Foundation Stage states that children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development. Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.
In the Birth to Three room, we base our activities and experiences on the babies and young children’s current interests. We provide for each child’s learning journey and their interests through personalised activities and experiences, incorporating adding extra accessible resources to extend their play and adult support. These activities and experiences promote the prime areas of learning and development. For example if a child is interested in farms we provide activities like farm animals in the sand or soil play, tyre printing and welly boot painting.
In the Foundation Stage room there is a backdrop to learning which is changed each half term which incorporates children’s interests and surrounding environments i.e. seasons. The backdrop to learning includes a variety of planned activities – for indoors, outdoors, adult initiated and child initiated, to support all areas of learning and development.
Each child has an individual profile maintained on ‘Tapestry’. For more information see below…
Tapestry is an online journal which uses a highly secure UK web based server to ‘hold’ children’s profiles, this is monitored closely. E-Safety is extremely important to us at Little Explorers. Our team will use electronic tablets to record observations of children, upload photos and videos to Children’s own individual profile. Your child’s profile can only be accessed by the staff of Little Explorers and by yourselves at home via a computer, mobile phone, tablet or similar device on which the Tapestry application has been downloaded. You will need to provide an email address and we will send you an email activation link where you will be asked to set a password of your choice which will only be available to you. As a parent you will be able to contribute to Tapestry and your child’s online journal from home by uploading photos, videos, observations as well as reading and commenting on observations added by staff at Little Explorers.
For more information on Tapestry go to https://tapestry.info/
Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents/carers and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. Therefore we strive to work with parents and carers, this is achieved through the close relationships established via the key person approach. Key persons offer formal meetings each term to discuss children’s achievements. We encourage parents/carers to play an active part in the setting, contributing their skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the setting. Additionally we operate an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome to come and discuss any valuable ideas or concerns at any time.