What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage describes the time in a child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps children get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes.
From when a child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
Sunflower Seed follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. This framework has a greater emphasis on staff members role in helping children develop and planning for next steps.
Reading and Writing Literacy
Children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary by talking, listening and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing and, when ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. Sunflower Seed’s book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures.
All 3 & 4 year old children have “home books” which encourage learning from within the home to the setting.
Numbers, Shape, space and measures
Through a range of play based activities children are introduced to early mathematics. This includes counting, number recognition and understanding of basic number problems. Children are encouraged to solve number problems and develop categorising objects in different ways. Language and terminology referring to size and capacity is learnt through measuring and weighing objects. Children learn about shape recognition through the use of describing everyday objects using the correct mathematical terms.
Knowledge and Understanding
People and communities, The world, Technology
Within the nursery we embrace and celebrate all cultural festivals and children learn about a range of different faiths and religions.
We encourage the children to share some events and experiences with their friends, developing the concept of time as well as similarities and differences between families.
Children are given opportunities to explore the natural world through activities such as bug hunting within our garden area. They engage in talk about what living things need in order to survive.
We have a vast range of technology resources the children are taught how to use correctly. These pieces of equipment enhance the childrens learning further and help to develop much needed skills.
Exploring and using media and materials, Being imaginative
Children are encouraged to explore and create their own imaginative play. They have role play areas with access to props and dressing up items to enhance and embrace this further. Within circle time activities we sing songs with the children and introduce them to rhymes and alliteration. Accompanying the singing the children explore the sounds of various musical instruments. Dancing and movement to the music is also explored by the children and they learn how to move rhythmically and in different ways.
The exploration of different colours is demonstrated through various craft activities. Using a range of tools and techniques safely the children create their own work experimenting with a variety of media, materials and textures. We also have lots of colours, shapes and numbers displayed around the setting.
Communication and Language
Listening and attention, Understanding and Speaking
Throughout their time at Sunflower Seed, all the children will develop skills that will focus on their attention and concentration, enabling them to sit and listen and follow what is going on around them and concentrating on the speaker. Interactions between adults and children encourage them to develop an understanding of language, including asking and answering questions and following instructions.
Appropriate activities, songs, stories and positive role modelling encourages children’s communication and their speech and language development, gaining skills to express themselves and use appropriate language.
Moving and handling, Health and Self care
An extensive range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and out, allows all the children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use of their own bodily skills. A high level of adult supervision enables children safely to create and meet physical challenges developing their gross motor skills. The children are supported in the development of their fine motor skills using a variety of tools, and handling small objects to develop early mark making skills.
Sunflower Seed provide healthy meals and snacks, ensuring the children follow a healthy diet and develop an understanding of healthy eating and drinking. Nursery routines promote good hygiene skills such as hand washing and toileting, and keeping each other safe.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Making relationships, Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour
Within a nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the setting, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, children learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to respect the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and the nursery property.
We support the British values here at Sunflower Seed.
All children attending Sunflower Seed have a personal online Learning Journey which records photos, observations and comments in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage.
This enables us to build up a record of each child’s learning and achievements during their time with us. We use the Tapestry system, which is hosted on secure, dedicated servers based in the UK. You will have password protected access to your child’s online Learning Journey and we encourage you to contribute to it by uploading photos, videos and comments of their learning development and experiences at home. You are also able to comment on observations made by Sunflower’s staff.
Once you have signed and returned your permission slip and consent form your child’s learning journal will be set up as well as your parent accounts. You will be emailed, using the email addresses provided, with a link to the Tapestry log on page, your username (which is your email address) and your password. We strongly recommend that you change your password on your first visit.