The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all childcare providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop and are kept healthy and safe. It covers the first stage of a child’s care, learning and development, from birth to 5 years old.
The Seven Areas of Learning
At Ducklings Pre-School we provide a wide range of fresh and engaging activities for the children to experience; designed to inspire and drive children's learning through play and develop their curiosity. There are seven areas of learning and development which shape children's play and experiences. Through our child-led approach to planning, we use the seven areas of learning to tailor learning experiences to children's individual interests.
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Most activities include an element of PSED whether it be group activities, playing in home corner, looking after animals or tending to the Ducklings allotment. We support the children to take on appropriate responsibilities and make choices independently. In everything we do we actively encourage the children to recognise, talk about and label their emotions. In doing so the children begin to understand and manage their own emotions and also recognise the emotions displayed by their peers which in turn builds empathy.
2. Communication and Language
We support all our future chatterboxes, creative commentators and active listeners with a broad range of activities to develop their listening & attention, understanding and speaking. A key time of day is story time when we engage the children with puppets from our story bags, encourage them to join in with repeated refrains, try to predict what might happen next and demonstrate their understanding by talking about what happened in the story.
For those who need it, we also have an excellent Speech and Language Therapist who comes to the setting once a week. Please speak with a member of staff if you think your child would benefit from these sessions.
3. Physical Development
At Ducklings we place a lot of emphasis on outdoor learning and as such spend much of our time outside. We have an incredible outdoor space with a fort, dens, nature garden, allotment, climbing equipment, grassy areas and playgrounds. With so much space and a variety of terrain the children have ample opportunity to use and refine their fine and big motor skills. Before heading outside the children change in to their outdoor shoes and put on their weather appropriate clothing - all of which they are encouraged, or shown, how to do independently. We talk to the children about making healthy choices and plan activities around important self care tasks to prepare them for the next steps on their learning journey.
In addition to reading and writing, literacy covers a much wider range of learning. At Ducklings we strive to ensure all children have a head start in learning these essential life skills and help to prepare them for when they begin school. We use phonics to encourage and extend the children's vocabulary. We support and praise the children on their mark making and provide opportunities to mark make in a variety of different and fun ways. The children have access to a library of books which they can self select from at any time and we also have group story time twice a day.
We believe we can make a real difference in ensuring every child at Ducklings has the opportunity to become a confident learner and user of mathematics. We constantly use and apply mathematics in our every day lives and therefore the opportunities to introduce and support mathematical learning are endless. In our dedicated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) room the children have daily access to learning resources targeted specifically in this area. We further enrich the children's learning by incorporating identifying numbers, shapes and problem solving in to all areas of the children's play.
6. Expressive Arts and Design
Developing the children's imaginations, creativity and ability to use media and materials is key to supporting the learning of arts and design. We incorporate this in to our daily activities in a range of ways including singing songs, making music, dancing and, in our dedicated Messy room we play with colours, textures and design.
7. Understanding the World
At Ducklings we aim to extend the children's knowledge of the world around them by guiding them to make sense of their physical world and their community. We create opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. This might involve trips out in to the local community (visiting the post office to send a letter for example) or taking part in activities in our STEM room (for example, looking at and exploring the inner workings of a video player).