Early Years Foundation: A Statutory Play Curriculum

It is now a statutory obligation (laid out in law) that Early Years Settings follow the good practises that are laid out within the EYFS, which affects everything that we do, day-to-day, within settings that children aged from birth to five attend.

It sets out:

  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals' engagement with your child's play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child's progress through the EYFS

  • Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the "Early Learning Goals (ELGs)"

Source: Parent's Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework Sept, 2015

It isn't by accident that the word "foundation" is incorporated within title of The Early Years Foundation Stage, as we (everyone surrounding each child – parents/grandparents/friends/early years practitioners) are building foundations, like a house, on which children's future learning is built. Unlike school curriculums that children follow later in their educational careers, we are very much looking at the "whole child" and at each individual's "global skills".

Individuals never learn as fast or as much as they do within their foundation years. It is said that as much as 80% of your lifetimes learning is completed before the end of your fifth year!  Children learn best from first hand experiences in which they play an active part. When children are interested in what they are learning; when they are having fun; when they are animated and focused – they are LEARNING. Opportunities can be planned or unplanned.

It is recommended that children PLAY. Children learn at their fastest when they are enjoying themselves or enjoying the challenge of learning new skills - which is why we endeavour to provide children who attend The Kennford Playbox, with the best learning environment possible, and plan experiences that will be interesting or are based on, and extend, children's own interests.

Pre-school children often dip in and out of different areas and levels of the curriculum as they embed skills and frequently revisit areas that they are practicing or just enjoy.

We use observation techniques to identify possible opportunities for development for each child.   You can follow your child's learning observations via their online journal 'Tapestry' which the staff post onto daily.We also  feedback these possible target areas, during meetings with key-workers and open days/parent's evenings.

All our past parents have valued the children's learning journeys as a precious memento of their child's pre-school years. You are welcome to view your child's learning journey by appointment, or at parent's evenings that are planned 2 times per year, usually once in the summer term and once in the autumn term.

Michele Berry, Manager.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

  •     Playing & Exploring: Engagement
  •     Active Learning: Motivation
  •     Creating and Thinking Critically: Thinking

"The unique child reaches out to relate to people and things through The Characters of Effective Learning which move through all areas of learning!"

EYFS Guidance 2012

Prime Areas of Learning

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSE)
  •     Communication and Language Development (CL)
  •     Physical Development (PHY)

"Prime areas are fundamental, work together, and are moved through to support development in all other Areas."

EYFS Guidance 2012

Specific Areas of Learning

  •     Literacy (L)
  •     Mathematics (M)
  •     Understanding of the World (UW)
  •     Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)

"Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society."

EYFS Guidance 2012

Foundation Years

Details of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)