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Learning and Development

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

Playing and exploring

– children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’Child reading

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


Areas of learning – Prime Areas

  • Personal social and Emotional development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical development

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 them the best opportunity for success in all areas of learning, we provide the experiences and support to enable children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and develop respect for others.

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



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.


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 - children learn to count and the value of numbers, higher and lower. These skills support them to solve problems, use money and calculate more or less.
• Shape, Space and Measure - these skills support children to understand size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money and compare quantities, objects and solve problems.

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

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