Our early years settings, across the Trust, follow the curriculum as outlined in the 2021 EYFS statutory framework. The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, three areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Staff plan activities and experiences for children that enable them to develop and learn effectively. In order to do this, staff working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the three prime areas. Staff also consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate. In planning and guiding children’s activities, staff reflect on the different ways that children learn and include these in their practice.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Staff respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1 and beyond.