At Saint Panteleimon Nursery School, our environment is organised around the Seven Areas of Learning and Development of the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and the Characteristics of Effective Teaching & Learning.
Prime Areas of the EYFS
Communication and Language
Developing this involves the child being provided with opportunities to experience a rich language environment in order to develop their vocabulary as much as possible. This includes adult modelling, storytelling, role play, exploring fiction, rhymes, non-fiction and poems. Practitioners can aid a great deal by introducing new words, allowing children to elaborate and using sensitive questioning.
This involves ensuring opportunities, both indoors and outdoors, are provided for young children to be physically active and to develop their core strength, co-ordination, stability, balance, spatial awareness, body control and agility. Fine motors skills, linked to higher literacy skills, should also be explored - these include small world activities, practicing small tools, puzzles, arts & crafts with guidance and feedback from practitioners.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This is extremely important in order to lead a happy and healthy life. Strong, stable and friendly relationships with adults will allow children to explore their own feelings and those of others. They should be supported to manage their emotions, look after their bodies, learn about healthy eating and learn how to develop friendships and manage conflicts.
Specific Areas of the EYFS
Development should involve encouraging children to link sounds to letters and beginning to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest and prepare them for a life-long love of reading.
Children should develop a deep understanding of the numbers up to ten and the relation and patterns between them. Frequent activities should allow exploration in different ways as well as involving shape, space and measurements. Children should be able to search for patterns and relationships, find connections, have a go and be unafraid of making mistakes.
Expressive Arts & Design
Development should involve guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe, interact and find out about people, places, technology, and the environment. This also aids their vocabulary by introducing new words.
Development should involve 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 the arts. This helps self-expression, vocabulary and their understanding of communication via the arts.
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
Playing and Exploring
Children investigate, experience things and "have a go".
Children concentrate and continue to try even when faced with difficulties and obstacles. They enjoy achievements.
Creating and Thinking Critically
Children develop and have their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.