In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn best when they experience learning first hand, through meaningful interactions with other children and supportive adults, through physical activity and through play-based learning.
Within the Early Years Curriculum there are four key themes, which underpin the seven areas of learning:
- A Unique Child – Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of caring and secure relationships with parent and staff.
- Enabling Environment – The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Development – Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.
The characteristics of effective teaching and learning describe the behaviours children use to learn. The three behaviours are:
Playing and Exploring – Having high levels of engagement and being willing to ‘have a go’.
Active Learning – Being motivated and demonstrating resilience.
Creating and Thinking Critically – Developing own ideas, strategies and making connections.
The 2021 EYFS Curriculum identifies three prime areas of learning, which are the vital foundation for developing appropriate learning behaviours, forming relationships, being able to listen and respond to others and thriving. These areas underpin all development in EYFS. These three prime areas are:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The curriculum breaks down into four further specific areas of learning, through these areas the prime areas are strengthened and put into practice. These four specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
Effective learning must be meaningful to our children so that they can use what they have learned and apply it to a range of situations. This will allow for our children to make good progress across all seven areas of learning and development.