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Pinvin Community Preschool

Nurturing hearts and minds on a path of possibilities

Child Development

Find out how children learn and what we can do to support them on this exciting learning journey


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The early years foundation stage (EYFS), sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

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Every child is unique and brings to the group a set of unique life experiences and fascinations of the world. Through positive relationships we really get to know and understand your child so we are able to connect with them and provide them with the very best learning opportunities.

Children develop holistically and at different rates. By really knowing each child we are able to adapt our environment to spark their curiosity and inquisitive nature. 

How Children Learn

Children learn in many ways from observing, practising, testing ideas, sensory exploration, asking questions, experimenting, and listening. When observing the way a child engages with the world we are given a glimpse of the world through the child lens. By taking account of how they learn we can then plan and support the child's learning. We believe for learning to be effective it must be meaningful for the child so they are able to then practice these skills independently and use in new situations. 

The characteristics of effective learning recognise children need to be engaged, motivated and have opportunities to think to be effective learners. We use the characteristics to plan for the unique child, and to help evaluate our practice, ensuring we are meeting the needs of all our learners.

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Playing and exploring

Finding out and exploring

Playing with what they know

Being willing to have a go

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Active learning

Being involved and concentrating

Keep trying

Enjoying and achieving what they set out to do

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Creative and critically thinking

Having their own ideas

Making links

Choosing ways to do things

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The 7 Areas of Learning

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. 

Personal social and emotional development

We believe this to be the most important area of development. When children form attachments and connect with others, they begin to understand who they are and express this through play. Such connections help them to experience a range of human emotions such as love, trust, joy, disappointment, frustration and anger. We support children to have the confidence to lead their own learning experiences, to be proud of who they are, to appreciate others and start to regulate their emotions in a safe environment free from judgement. If a child experiences connection, forms relationships, starts to recognise and manage feelings and has confidence in who they are, they are more ready to learn.

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Communication and language

As adults we naturally communicate with children as soon as they are born, and babies learn very quickly to send out signals about their needs through vocalisations, or facial expressions. As babies get older these reciprocal quality interactions between parent and baby are the key to early communication. Peek a boo games and mimicking games creating not just joy but a lovely way to teach the baby essential skills for their future development. In the early years we then progress these skills by focusing on opportunities for children to listen, to learn and understand an increasing vocabulary and to be a confident speaker. These are complex skills that form the core of all early years practice.

Physical development

Physical development is another essential part of early years practice. Developing core strength and physically exerting oneself has huge benefits to not only health but for self esteem and confidence levels. We encourage all children to experiment with movement throughout our curriculum, from long walks, climbing trees, using park equipment independently, to allowing them freedom to run, skip, jump, balance and so much more. Once a child can master these gross motor skills they are then more able to develop fine motor skills, such as managing clothing, holding a pencil and manipulating small objects. It is these skills which then allow a child to develop independence from an adult, and take the next big step of managing their own self-care and to start to manage their own risk. All of these opportunities allow children to experience first-hand what a healthy lifestyle might look like and experience the benefits of this.

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We feel very privileged to be able to ignite curiosity and interest into the wonderful world of literature. There is nothing more calming and enjoyable than sitting comfortably with a story. Children become absorbed in stories and this sparks the imagination, showing them that anything is possible. Storytelling teaches rhyme, alliteration and how to predict. We are very passionate about allowing children to tell their own stories, to experiment with language and bring to life their imaginations. Reading also allows children to see that print has meaning, we scribe their stories so they start to recognise how powerful writing can be to capture their ideas. We provide opportunities both inside and out for children to mark make and start early writing skills which are meaningful and purposeful to them.

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Early years is the perfect time to introduce mathematical concepts through play, stories and song. As adults we can become scared of 'maths', so our role as educators is to give children multiple opportunities to explore these concepts in a meaningful way. Maths is everywhere and includes counting, estimating, noticing patterns, the language of size, and the understanding of shape and measure. Our role is to support children in developing important reasoning skills and to demonstrate that maths is a natural part of their life.

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Understanding the world

Children need to feel they belong and it is our role to help them explore and make sense of their world. We start by really understanding the child's world, who they are individually but also as a family member. Role play is an opportunity for children to act out scenarios from home and explore this in a safe way. We then go further afield and explore the local communities, meeting local people from a variety of professions and backgrounds and teaching children about inclusivity and diversity. This builds children's self-confidence and opportunities to engage in new situations. Nature sits at the core of our curriculum and this allows children to really take notice of the natural world and start to understand our role in caring for this. It also offers many opportunities to just be free and a child in their unique right.

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Expressive arts and design

Creative expression really allows us to see the unique child and how they see the world. All our resources and materials are open ended for children to explore and use how they wish. This allows children to lead their learning and as educators we can then expertly extend this through sensitive interactions and following the child's lead. Expressive arts covers a range of activities and experiences from our art offering, to music exploration and opportunities to engage imaginations through play. 

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