From the age of nought to five your child changes so much, it’s a joy to watch. As they grow, you might consider enrolling them in a nursery. And, of course, you want the very best for your child. So trusting other people with being a part of their development is a big step, how do you make sure they’re receiving only the best care and pre-school education? Fortunately, the Department for Education created an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework to make sure your child receives only the best care. The most recent EYFS Framework outlines 7 key areas which must be developed in nursery care (the full statutory framework can be found here) and we’ve outlined them below with examples of activities that your child can take part in when in nursery.
The EYFS framework breaks down the 7 key skills into two groups: the Prime areas and Specific areas. The Prime Areas cover the 3 core areas which your child will develop before they formally start education, and includes their development as a person. These 3 areas are vital for igniting children’s curiosity for learning, and for developing their ability to learn and develop relationships and just to thrive generally. The areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The Specific areas provide opportunities for the Prime areas to be strengthened and applied, with all EYFS providers also supporting children to learn in four key areas which will supplement their personal development. These are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and Language
Going beyond simple vocabulary building, this Area is about giving children the opportunity to experience a rich language environment. Doing this helps them to develop their confidence and skill level when expressing themselves. This helps them thrive in a variety of situations, and equally teaches them how to listen to others.
In just 5 years children go from being entirely dependent upon their parents to being little people who possess many of the generalised skills they’ll need throughout their lives. So, this Area is focussed on helping children to become active and interactive, aiding the development of their coordination, control and movement abilities. This area also includes teaching children about food and its relationship to health, as well as the importance of physical activity for a healthy life.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This area is concerned with helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. This includes helping them to: have confidence in their own abilities and form positive relationships and developing respect for others. It also covers learning to manage their feelings and aiding them in understanding appropriate behaviour in groups. By providing them with a good grounding in all of these areas children are able to adapt to the wider world as they enter it, and make the most of the education that is to come.
This starts with the earliest stages of literacy – learning to link sounds and letters, and moves through to beginning to learn to read and write. To ignite their passion for reading and writing children are provided with a wide range of reading materials; including books, poems and other materials.
Literacy activities can include language and literature in pretty much any written format. This includes: word and sound matching, matching words to images or playing with poetry games which help children naturally learn language skills and grammar rules.
Mathematics is explored in a number of ways and involves providing children with the opportunity to develop their counting skills. It also provides the foundation for understanding and using numbers. This can include calculating simple addition and subtraction problems. But, mathematics is more than just learning to count. As such, the introduction to mathematics includes learning to name different, basic shapes and some of their properties.
There are a number of math based activities for EYFS stage, these can include matching the written number (eg “2”) to a picture with that quantity of any item. Alternatively, there are games which help your child learn how to order numbers and build a sequence. With most of these activities, the focus is placed upon bringing conceptual mathematics into your child’s physical world. Finding a way to make it fun as well as informative!
Understanding the world
Here, children explore not only their sense of the physical world but also their community, including learning about people, places, technology and the environment. This skill particularly ties in with the area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and gives your child the opportunity to learn about the world around them and how it all works together.
This specific area has possibly the widest varieties of available activity options, because it covers so much! The earliest stages in this area are learning about things like cause and effect through all five senses – by asking questions like,”What will happen if I push this button?” or “What does a lemon taste like?”. As they grow and develop, children learn more about how different families and backgrounds create different people. At the highest levels, children develop the understanding of how one action affects the wider world around them, through sequences such as traffic lights and engagement with technology.
Expressive Arts and Design
This skill includes facilitating children as they learn to explore and play with a variety of medias and materials. All of this is done in an environment which encourages children to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas through activities such as: art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.
Activities for this skill are numerous, and can be done with many materials or none at all! It could be sculpting with dough to recreate themselves or someone else. Or maybe dancing around to safely recreate emotions… the options are truly endless. To find games you can play at home, just put “EYFS games” into a search engine and you’ll find thousands of activities you can do with your child. Or for more details about the kinds of activities we use at our nurseries, just get in touch and ask! We’d love to hear from you.
Enrolling your child in nursery is a big step, but it can also help spur on their development. Both in the EYFS areas and more! For more information about Shine Childcare and how we can help your child grow and develop in their pre-school years, get in touch today.