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Where Children Flourish


There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. 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
• Communication and Language
• Physical Development

Boy playing
Boy playing

Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:

• Literacy
• Mathematics
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design

Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.

Four Guiding Principles

These shape the practice in early years settings:

A Unique Child

- principle - every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships

- principle - children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/ or a key person.

Enabling Environments

- principle - the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.

Learning and Development

- principle - children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected. There are 16 commitments which practitioners use to put the principles into practice.

Boy playing
Boy playing

Examples of how we follow the EYFS at Stepping Stones

Your child's Key Worker will keep a learning journal for your child which you may access at any time. From daily observations and assessments undertaken by all staff, the Key Worker will help identify the next steps required to help your child learn and develop and our daily planning will be designed to help meet these next steps and ensure your child's needs are being met.

We have clearly defined areas for the children to access freely including role play, creative, mark making, ICT, book and quiet area, small world play, problem solving , numeracy and reasoning, scientific, construction, malleable and snack area. The children have a social area in the middle of the classroom where they come together for stories, music, exercises and dance. In the playground we have also placed zones, we have a limited number of bikes and scooters for safety reasons. Children are encouraged to share equipment through the use of sand timers.

We encourage all children to be independent as much as possible and allow them to take and assess (reasonable) risks in their play. They are all encouraged to conduct their own personal hygiene and put on/take off their own coats. The children regularly prepare their own snack and tidy away their things when they have finished. The children self register giving them a sense of belonging and importance. In choosing their own resources the children are making choices and we encourage them to tidy away when they have finished. We encourage all children to be confident and self-assured at all times, they are fully supported in activities if they require it by their Key Worker or another member of staff. We have boundaries within the setting and we have some golden rules. We explain to the children what is unacceptable behaviour and the importance of being kind to each other.

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2020 Stepping Stones Pre-School • Fordingbridge • Hampshire • SP6 1JF • Tel 01425 653517