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Learning and Development

The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’

Active learning  – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements

Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are: 

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
• Literacy
• Mathematics
• Understanding the world
• Expressive arts and design

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical

Personal, Social and emotional development

Personal, social and emotional development is critical for very young children in all aspects of their lives and it gives the best opportunity for success in all areas of learning, we provide the children with experiences and support to enable children to develop a positive sense of themselves, develop respect for others, making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness and managing feelings and behaviours.

Communication and language

Listening and attention - these skills support language learning and include the ability to discriminate sounds and maintain and monitor attention in a shared context.

Understanding - young children gradually develop the ability to understand words in context, beginning with single words and building on this with phrases and more and more complex sentences.

Speaking - this allows children to express their feelings, needs and wants, their thoughts and ideas and be able to talk about what has happened and about creative or imaginative events.

The acquisition of language is the single most important and complex skill a child learns in their first five years. It is one of the biggest predictors of success for children as they move on to school and later in life.

Physical Development

We encourage physical development in the foundation stage to help improve skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. We help the children gain confidence in what they can do and enable them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active. Effective physical development will help your child to develop a positive sense of well-being.

Areas of learning – Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of World
  • Expressive arts & design


The term 'literacy' is used by some to simply describe reading and writing, but in fact literacy covers a much wider range of learning. Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Our children are given access to a wide range of materials to ignite their interest. Literacy in the early years includes talking about books, print in the environment, early mark making and writing, as well as sharing books and reading. The statutory frameworks emphasise the fundamental importance of literacy and sharing books. The development of literacy skills in the Early Years involves encouragement of children’s communication skills. Children can express themselves and communicate through a variety of ways including verbal communication and non-verbal communication.


At the Pre-School Centre, we believe children’s mathematical development arises out of daily experiences in a rich and interesting environment. Effective learning involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces and measures. Maths is one of the four specific areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Each specific area is divided into Early Learning Goals, for maths these are: Numbers, Shape, Space and Measure.

Understanding the world

Involves guiding our children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. This area offers children opportunities to explore and observe the environment, living things and objects. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships, parents’ and carers’ knowledge extend children’s experiences of the world. In Enabling Environments, open-ended questions like, “How can we..?” and “What would happen if…?” are used. Learning and Development is based on first-hand experiences to observe, predict, make decisions and discuss.

Expressive arts and design

Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology. This area supports children’s curiosity and play. They explore and share their thinking, ideas and feelings in music, in art, movement and dance, role play and technology. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships children value their own unique ideas and those of others rather than reproducing those of someone else. Enabling Environments are stimulating and originality and expressiveness are valued. Learning and Development experiences allow children to express themselves through various types of representation.
EAD is made up of these aspects:
• Exploring and Using Media and Materials
• Being Imaginative