Early Years Foundation Stage


Ellwood Nursery endeavour to ensure that all areas of pre-school education are met by following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) set out by the Department of Education. This became the statutory framework for all early years’ settings to follow in 2008, with a revised version being implemented in September 2012. For more information please click here (External site - page opens in new window).

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. Fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs are implicitly embedded in the EYFS. The EYFS also promotes teaching and learning to ensure children's 'school readiness' and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. Four guiding principles shape our practice. These are:

The provision for children's development and learning is guided by The Early Years Foundation Stage. Click here to download the Parents' Guide to EYFS.

Our play-based curriculum is based upon the four themes of the EYFS which are:

A Unique Child

  • Child Development: Skilful communicator, competent learner.
  • Inclusive Practice: Equality and diversity, children's entitlements, early support.
  • Keeping Safe: Being safe and protected, discovering boundaries, making choices.
  • Health and Well-being: Growth and developing, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Positive Relationships

  • Respecting Each Other: Understanding feelings, friendship, professional relationships.
  • Parents as Partners: Respecting diversity, communication, learning together.
  • Supporting Learning: Positive interactions, listening to children, effective teaching.
  • Key Person: Secure attachment, shared care, independence.

Enabling Environments

  • Observation, Assessment and Planning: Starting with the child, planning, assessment.
  • Supporting Every Child: Children's needs, the learning journey, working together.
  • The Learning Environment: The emotional environment, the outdoor environment, the indoor environment.
  • The Wider Context: Transitions and continuity, multi-agency working, the community.

Learning and Development

  • Play and Exploration: Learning through experience, adult involvement, contexts for learning.
  • Active Learning: Mental and physical involvement, decision making, personalised learning.
  • Creativity and Physical Thinking: Making connections, transforming and understanding, sustained shared thinking.
  • Areas of Development and Learning.
How we provide for development and learning

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our pre-school helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes in our pre school. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas, the prime areas, are:

  • personal, social and emotional development;
  • physical development; and
  • communication and language.

There are an additional four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world; and
  • expressive arts and design.

For each area, the practice guidance sets out the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know and be able to do by the end of the reception year of their education.

The practice guidance also sets out in 'Development Matters' the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the early learning goals. Our pre-school has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning.