At Advantage, we promote the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, which ensures your child’s early years experience is fun, happy, active and secure.
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
Quite simply, it is an exciting learning journey your child goes through between birth and age five. Within EYFS, all early years professionals (nurseries, childminders, pre-schools) must ensure your child is kept healthy and safe and develops skills ready for school and the future. This is done by following 7 areas of learning, which we use to plan your child’s daily activities:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The first three areas are important for children to develop initially, as these will help them to develop skills in the remaining four specific areas as they grow.
Within the EYFS, your child will learn through playing, exploring and being active and creative, both indoors and outside. When they join Advantage, they will be assigned a ‘key person’ responsible for their care and learning, and you can ask them about your child’s progress at any time. You will also receive written information about their development at age 2 and again at age 5.
Personal, social and emotional development
This important stage is where your child learns to become social. From as early as 8 months, we use mirror play to help them become aware of themselves as separate from others. As they get older and self-confidence grows, they will talk to other children when playing and make friends. We’ll also teach them how to manage their feelings and behaviour (for instance, taking turns and learning what isn’t acceptable).
Communication and language
We help children learn to communicate in various different ways, whether that’s through speech, body language or facial expressions. They will show examples of paying attention, listening and understanding through taking part in various activities and games.
Between 16-26 months, regular circle time will help your child show an interest and recognition in stories, songs and rhymes. Later, they will work with shapes to help them develop an understanding of simple concepts such as big and small.
We like to use fun ways to develop children’s movement, handling and self-care. Pulling up on to climbing frames, drawing pictures and dancing to music all help to progress these key skills.
Your child will learn to coordinate large and small movements as they meet milestones such as walking, catching a ball and handling tools. Life skills such as washing hands before meals and putting on their coat are also practised day to day.
Expressive arts and design
This creative learning area stimulates the imagination and teaches children to explore and express themselves. Learning how to represent their thoughts, feelings and ideas through art, music and stories is fun and builds confidence.
At nursery, we teach them to safely use a variety of tools, materials and techniques so that they can experiment. Between 22-36 months, they’ll be combining materials to make collages, and from 2 upwards, they will see what happens when they mix different colours together.
As a precursor to learning how to read and write, children will demonstrate an understanding of simple sentences and will be able to discuss something they have just heard. We regularly take groups to the nursery library for story time, and we encourage children to select books they’d like to take home to read.
Daily art and craft activities help them to develop the co-ordination they will need to begin to write, whilst playing with clay and dough strengthens the muscles in their hands to enable them to control a pencil.
The world of numbers, shapes and space opens up a whole new level of understanding for your little one. We use simple games such as ‘Compare Bears’ from 22-36 months to help children understand differences in size.
As they begin to count and measure, they will learn to put numbers in order and work out which numbers are more or less than others. Later, we help them compare quantities and objects to solve problems.
Understanding the world
At nursery, we teach your child about the world around them – how to describe plants, animals and objects and understand differences between them. From the age of 2 and a quarter, we help them talk about events in their own lives and families, and we observe celebrations such as Diwali to develop awareness of the cultures and beliefs of others. Your child will also start to understand how technology is used, with hands-on experiences to stimulate their learning.
Forest School is a unique educational approach, which is designed with the children at its core. Forest School can increase a child’s confidence and self-esteem through exploration, problem solving and being encouraged to learn how to assess and take appropriate risks depending on their environment, as well as giving the children a deeper understanding of the natural world.
During our Forest School sessions we give children the opportunity to play and explore in the great outdoors. We believe strongly in the power of nature to not only offer endless learning opportunities but also provide a nurturing environment to support your child’s emotional development.
Our philosophy is to focus on the child as an individual and nurture their journey through Forest School, building a sense of independence and confidence in their own abilities and interests. We aim to offer children experiences they may not have the opportunity to do in everyday life, from looking for bugs, getting muddy in puddles to cooking food in the fire bowl.