EYFS Framework (Curriculum)
The following information aims to provide an overview of the content delivered throughout your child’s time here at HeadStart Foundation School, under the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS framework is the statutory framework in the UK and has been carefully adapted to suit the needs of our international community of children.
We recognise children learn best through play, experience and interests, much of their time will be spent immersed into language rich and age appropriate environments. Through continuous provision, children will be provided with everything they need to work towards the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception Year.
Learning does not begin and end at school. The EYFS framework can continue at home and in the wider environment. Encourage your children to play, explore and ask questions about the world around them. Ask them questions, encourage them to solve problems and to be independent in their learning, whilst showing an interest in their inquisitive minds.
You will have noticed on your child’s timetable that there are many periods that say ‘continuous provision’. This document aims to support a better understanding of what it is and why it is important. Under the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) teachers will provide activities and experiences that aim to support your child’s development in seven areas of learning;
- Physical Development
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The first three areas of development are known as the prime areas, meaning without sound development of these areas, children may find it difficult to develop in the remaining four areas. Through continuous provision, the teacher is able to cover most or all areas of development throughout the school day, enabling your child to develop the skills required to meet the Early Learning Goals.
Why is continuous provision important?
Effective continuous provision should provide children with the opportunity to demonstrate the characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the EYFS. For example, in the construction area, children may independently investigate how high they can build a tower by using wooden blocks. Trying to arrange the blocks in different ways, or testing if they can add any other construction materials to their tower to make it sturdier demonstrates aspects of both playing and exploring. Continuous provision also enables children to return to their explorations and consolidate their learning over the course of a day or a more extended period. When children do this, they can explore what happens to things as they change over time and make changes to explore new ideas. Continuous provision also allows children to make choices and initiate play without interaction with an adult.
What does effective continuous provision look like?
● All seven areas of Learning and Development can be developed through continuous provision.
● Dedicated areas of the room will have a specific area of learning in mind, such as Literacy, Maths, and Understanding the World.
● Each area has the necessary resources to encourage children to play and explore in a variety of ways.
● A range of resources are offered that will act as a good starting point for the children’s explorations.
● Open-ended questioning is used to engage the children in conversations and prompt their creative thinking.
● Children have time to revisit what they did yesterday, last week, or even a few weeks ago.
What do the teachers do?
The teacher’s role is crucial. Combined with a high-quality environment, teachers support your children’s ability to interact with the resources. When children engage with continuous provision, teachers take the opportunity to have quality interactions with the children and make observations, which are key to assessment and planning of next steps for children. Creating a continuous provision environment also means that teachers establish clear rules, boundaries and behavioural expectations. Once children are clear about the rules and what’s expected, they will then be able to carry out their explorations with independence and confidence. If children do not know their boundaries, then they will often return to ‘familiar’ play, which is less challenging.
In these instances, teachers, deputy teachers and nannies will help to encourage children to extend their play. Continuous provision supports language development. Through modelling and quality, interactions teachers are able to provide language-rich environments. Through this, strong relationships are made with the children. This communication gives children the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions, extending the children’s learning even further.
What do teachers look for in their observations?
Observing children within the areas of continuous provision is still a crucial part of understanding each child and assessing their development. Through observation, teachers are able to identify typical behaviours, interests and patterns of children’s learning and development, which will have a significant impact on what is planned next.
How is continuous provision planned?
Continuous provision is linked to the needs and interests of the children in the class. It provides familiar areas for children to explore; this is particularly important when children start a new school year, or new learning objectives are being introduced. The basics of continuous provision will stay the same and later enhanced as children’s learning progresses.
“The mind grows by self revelation. In play the child ascertains what he can do, discovers his possibilities of will and thought by exerting his power spontaneously. In work he follows a task prescribed for him by another, and doesn’t reveal his own proclivities and inclinations, but another’s. In play he reveals his own original power.” — Friedrich Froebel