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Our approach is underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development.  At Nicholas Hawksmoor, children in the Early Years will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

"Play is the work of childhood."  Jean Piaget

Prime Areas

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language: listening; attention; understanding and speaking.
  • Physical development: gross motor skills; fine motor skills.
  • Personal, social and emotional development: self-regulation; managing self; building relationships.

We recognise that these prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

Specific Areas

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy: comprehension; word reading; writing.
  • Mathematics: numbers; numerical patterns.
  • Understanding the world: past and present; people, culture and communities; the natural world.
  • Expressive arts and design: creating with materials; being imaginative and expressive.

These 7 areas; along with the children’s interests, are used to plan for children’s learning and activities. The Foundation Stage team will make sure that the activities are suited to each child’s unique needs and interests. In addition to our daily classroom activities our timetable enhancements will provide the children with extra opportunities to develop in these areas, for example, through weekly Dough Gym, Cooking, PE, Music, Book Talk and Outdoor Learning.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking. These are known as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ and will be used to gain information on the way in which each child learns.  Activities are then tailored to meet children’s needs.

The Early Years Curriculum involves a robustly planned mixture of whole class and small group formal teaching across basic skills; adult facilitated activities to maximize language and thinking and exploratory activities which are carefully planned to provide interactive, rich learning experiences.

Outdoor learning is a fundamental part of the curriculum experience and ‘Forest School’ activities with a trained leader take place each week.