Children’s development and learning


The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by The Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2012). Our provision reflects the four guiding themes and principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage.


A Unique Child – Every   child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient,   capable, confident and self assured.
Positive Relationships – Children   learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments – Children   learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences   respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between   practitioners, parents and carers.
Learning and Development – Children   develop and learn in different ways. the framework covers the education and   care of all children in early years provision including children with special   educational needs and disabilities.


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 setting 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.


The Areas of Development and Learning  comprise the following prime areas:- personal,

– social and emotional development;

– physical development;

– communication and language;

Specific Areas



understanding the world

expressive arts and design


For each area, the level of progress children should be expected to have attained by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage is defined by 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 ‘Development Matters’ guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the early learning goals. Our setting has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning.

Personal, social and emotional development

Our programme supports children to develop:

  • making relationships
  • self confidence and self awareness
  • managing feelings and behaviour
  • Physical development
  • Our programme supports children to develop:
  • moving and handling
  • health and self-care

Communication and language

Our programme supports children to develop:

  • listening and attention
  • understanding
  • speaking


Our programme supports children to develop:

  • reading
  • writing


Our programme supports children to develop:

  • numbers
  • shape space and measure

Understanding the world

Our programme supports children to develop:

  • people and communities
  • the world
  • technology

Expressive arts and design

Our programme supports children to develop:

  • exploring and using media and materials
  • being imaginative


Our approach to learning and development and assessment

Learning through play

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think.  Our setting uses the Early Years Foundation Stage ‘Development Matters guidance to plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. In all activities information from the Development Matters guidance to the Early Years Foundation Stage has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it.


Characteristics of effective learning

We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Development Matters guidance to the Early Years Foundation Stage as:

playing and exploring – engagement

active learning – motivation

creating and thinking critically – thinking


We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.



We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they as parents are supporting development.


We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.


The progress check at age two


The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that we supply parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime learning and development areas of the EYFS: personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language; when a child is aged between 24 – 36 months. The key person is responsible for completing the check using information from ongoing observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.


Records of development


We maintain a progress check for each child. Staff and parents working together on their children’s progress checks is one of the ways in which the key person and parents work in partnership. Your child’s progress check helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.


Your child’s key person will work with you to keep this record. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. You and the key person will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.

Working together for your children


In our setting we maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set through the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. We also have volunteer parent helpers where possible to complement these ratios. This helps us to:

give time and attention to each child;

talk with the children about their interests and activities;

help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide; and

allow the children to explore and be adventurous in safety.