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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is from birth to the end of the academic year in which a child has their fifth birthday (normally known as the Reception Year).

The four principles of the EYFS are:


1. A Unique Child: This recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.


2. Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.


3. Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children‟s development and learning.


4. Learning and Development: Children develop & learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.





Our pre-school curriculum will be planned in line with the Early Learning Goals.

There are seven areas of learning and development.


Children mostly develop the three Prime Areas first.

These are:


1. Communication and Language        


2. Physical Development         


3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development


These prime areas help them to develop skills in four specific areas.

These are:


1. Literacy (Reading & Writing)


2. Mathematics (Numbers/calculating/Shape & Measuring)


3. Understanding the World


4. Expressive Arts and Design


In order to learn, a child needs to develop a sense of being secure and valued. Ladybird Forest Pre-school works to ensure that each child has a positive image of him/herself as a valued member of the Pre-School.

Self-esteem and a positive self-image are promoted and nurtured. Children should also learn to develop respect for others needs, cultures and beliefs.

When children feel valued and secure, they are far more likely to have the confidence in their abilities to be a successful learner with an enthusiasm to acquire knowledge.


Ladybird examples


Children learn to co-operate and work with each other, to listen and respond to others, developing social skills during play and small group work.


In many activities children will work and play together cooperatively, whether it be working together on a project such as model making or playing in the role play area.


This focuses on the children developing skills in communications, speaking and listening.

Each day children have the opportunity to speak and listen to each other and adults in 'talk circles', and class discussion. They will have opportunities to use language to imagine & recreate roles & experiences in play situations such as role play and small world activities.

They will listen to songs, stories, rhymes & poems and will make up their own.


Children will explore, enjoy, learn and use words and text in many varying contexts and will experience a wide variety of books.



Children are encouraged to write freely for a variety of purposes and handwriting practice and letter formation are taught.


This covers understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in a broad range of contexts.


The children will develop an understanding of number, measurement, shape and pattern, through many different activities. Many activities will be practical in nature at this stage and much of their learning will be oral and practical.


Mathematical understanding will be developed through stories, song, games and play.


The children use mathematical language eg. circle, in front of, bigger than etc. to describe shape, position and size.

Work is done in pattern (recognition and copying pattern).


Number rhymes, songs, stories, games and activities are enjoyed by the children.


The children learn to recognise and use numbers, and through practical activities, they begin to encounter number tasks such as addition and subtraction.


This focuses on how children's imagination develops and their ability to communicate and to express their ideas and feelings in creative ways.


Opportunities are given to allow the children to explore and play and to satisfy their natural curiosity.


Ladybird examples

Children will explore and discuss their ideas and feelings through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role play activities, mathematics and design & technology.


Children use a range of materials and tools to explore sound, colour, texture, form and space.

They are encouraged to express ideas and communicate feelings through art, music, dance, imaginative play and stories, using all their senses.


This focuses on children developing and improving their skills of coordination, control, manipulation & movement. They should be supported in developing an understanding of the importance of physical activity & making healthy food choices.


Ladybird examples                       

Opportunities are given for all the children to develop and practise fine and gross motor skills, through dance, games and gym lessons and activities designed to increase manual dexterity eg threading, Lego, control of the mouse using the computer etc.


Pencil control and correct posture / grip are taught.


Children have the opportunity to use a variety of both large and small apparatus.


We have the benefit of a large field within the school playing grounds.


The children learn about healthy food choices. Water is available throughout the day and all children are encouraged to drink regularly.


This focuses on children developing knowledge and understanding of their world. They should encounter creatures, plants and objects in their natural environment and in real life situations.


This forms the foundation for later work in Science, Design & Technology, History, Geography & ICT.

The children are given opportunities to solve problems, make decisions and experiment, predict, plan and question.

They work with a range of materials and are given the opportunity to use a range of tools safely.


Ladybird examples:

The children explore the school environment and beyond (during school trips).


They look closely at many aspects of their world:

* the changing seasons / growing bulbs

* exploring materials (sand, water etc.)

* cooking

* looking at 'ourselves' and using our senses

* finding out about the jobs of people in the locality.


The children take part in Forest School sessions throughout the year, where they can experience the natural environment in all weathers and seasons.


They build and construct with a wide range of objects.


They find out about and use ICT to support their learning eg computer, programmable toys, digital cameras etc.

The children find out about past and present events in their own lives and those of others. Using stories, artefacts, photos etc they begin to have an understanding of others lives and cultures.

All children progress at different rates and individual achievement varies.

CHILDREN WITH ADDITIONAL NEEDS                                                                         

Some children's achievements in the Early Years may exceed the 'Early Goals', whereas others may need continuing support to achieve all or some of the goals.


Ladybird Forest Pre-School acknowledges this and works to provide for each child's individual needs.

Children work mainly in groups with differentiation in activities.

An experienced qualified SEN Coordinator works with the child to help them to achieve this.



The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is a Statutory Assessment.

It is designed to sum up each child’s development and learning achievement at the end of the EYFS.

It is a picture of what a child has achieved, knows and can do.

No tests or tasks are involved and assessment is through practitioner’s observations along with their detailed knowledge of each child’s attitudes and abilities during their time a pre-school.

All children development profiles are completed half-termly throughout the year. We consider and assess all areas - social skills, motor control, numerical and language skills etc.

These Profiles form a baseline assessment of each child's abilities from which we may consider their areas of strength and need. The profile will be used to inform planning and support each child’s learning, considering their particular strengths and needs.

The profile is discussed with parents throughout the year and parent's input is valued and recorded.

Foundation Stage Assessment is ongoing throughout the year. Their learning needs are carried forward into Reception.





When parents/carers and the pre-school work together to support children's learning, the results have a positive effect upon children's achievements. To be successful, the partnership needs to be a two-way process with opportunities for knowledge, expertise and information to flow both ways.


Great importance is attached to our pre-school visits and we hope that parents/carers and children feel secure in their new setting and feel able to discuss any relevant information before children start Ladybirds.


Besides our termly parent discussions, parents/carers are welcome to speak to practitioners more informally as and when they wish, before or after pre-school.


Parents/carers are asked to provide some opportunities to continue learning at home, such as shared reading, practising flash cards, WOW moments etc.