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Downderry Primary School

Trying your Best Equals Success If you Believe you will Achieve

Trying your Best Equals Success
If you Believe you will Achieve

Early Years

Philosophy of EYFS

Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and support to achieve their full potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important, providing the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. Parents expect provision to keep their children safe and help them to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage is the framework that provides that assurance, within which British Values are implicitly embedded.





   Early Years              British Values

  Handbook                 in the EYFS



Early Years settings have responsibility to:

  • Provide staff with sufficient training to be able to recognise this vulnerability (Radicalisation) and be aware of what action to take in response
  • Understand when to make referrals to the Channel programme and where to get additional advice and support. (Report concerns to MASH for OCC settings)
  • Keep children safe and promote their welfare


Early Years settings will also have responsibility to:

  • Be alert to any safeguarding and child protection issues in the child’s life at home or elsewhere (paragraph 3.4 EYFS)
  • Take action to protect children from harm and be alert to harmful behaviour by other adults in the child’s life
  • Focus on children’s PSE development.


Early Years settings will also have responsibility to:

  • Ensure children learn right from wrong, mix and share with other children and value other’s views, know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes (in an age appropriate way)


To do this practitioners will:

  • Listen to children
  • Share appropriate information with parents
  • Listen to parents
  • Report concerns
  • Challenge negative behaviour
  • Focus on what children need
  • Support children’s personal, social and emotional development


Aims of the Foundation Stage

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS 2021), the statutory framework. Children join EYFS with many different experiences, skills and interests.  The Foundation Stage aims to develop a child’s learning from whatever their starting point. The curriculum in both Nursery and Reception classes is divided into 7 areas of learning.


Three prime areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSE)
  • Physical Development (P)
  • Communication and Language (C&L)


Specific areas:

  • Literacy (L)
  • Mathematics (M)
  • Understanding of the World (UW)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)


Development Matters (Nursery) and Early Learning Goals (Reception) define expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS.


Characteristics of Effective Learning

These 3 characteristics underpin and run through all 7 areas and show the process of learning:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and thinking critically


Forest School

Forest school encourages children to learn through positive outdoor experiences in a natural, safe woodland environment. It is a holistic approach which helps children to grow in confidence, encourages independence, stimulates senses and builds on learning experiences. Forest school improves communication, co-operation and social skills through child led activities and small achievable tasks. Through observation it supports social, emotional and physical development of children. It encourages the use of tools and the importance of boundaries and how to manage risks through offering choices and setting clear boundaries. Children take ownership of their own learning experiences.


Healthy School

In March 2020, Early Years were awarded their Bronze Certificate for 'Healthy Early Years London (HEYL).

This is an awards scheme funded by the Mayor of London which supports and recognises achievements in child health, wellbeing and development in early years settings. Building on the success of Healthy School London, HEYL will help to reduce health inequalities by supporting a healthy start to life across themes that include healthy eating, oral and physical health and early cognitive development. HEYL complements and enhances the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage framework, adding to the focus on children, families and staff health and wellbeing. Well Done Early Years!



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