Learning and Assessment

Purpose and aims of the EYFS

The Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage states:

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.’

At Little Cranes Pre-School we follow the EYFS Framework. We use the document for essential advice and guidance to evaluate the practice and quality in our setting to ensure every child make age appropriate progress. We will work with you to carefully document the progress of your child through their home and Pre-School experiences. The EYFS Framework will also be used in your child’s Reception year at their Lower School and this personalised learning journey then forms part of the smooth transition to Year One.

Overarching Principles

The EYFS principles guide the work of all practitioners and are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes;

These are:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments;
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

The early learning goals and educational programme

The EYFS promotes effective practice through each of the seven areas of learning to support children through various stages of maturity and development. 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 prime areas are:

  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

The Four specific areas are:

  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Each of the seven areas of learning are seen by our practitioners as being equally important with each area being connected to each other and underpinned by all of the principles in the EYFS.

To view the DFE's 'What to expect and when' document for children from birth to five years, please click the image below.


Planning for Purposeful Play

Staff plan activities which enable your child to progress and experience all aspects of the EYFS curriculum. Children learn best when they are actively involved in something they enjoy. If you spend any time in our setting it will become obvious that the children spend a great deal of time “playing”. Play has a serious purpose for each child: it is his or her main learning tool. Play offers a child a means of exploring and understanding the world and his or her place in it. Our play activities are carefully structured and tailored to meet each child’s individual needs.

Assessment and Observations

During their time with us, observations are made on your child. We use an online system called 'Tapestry' to support the assessment of their progress against the Early Years Foundation Stage, which identifies expectations called ‘Early Learning Goals (ELGs)’. 

With Tapestry, you can:

  • View and comment on observations taken at school through the Tapestry Journal App
  • See how each observation is linked to the EYFS curriculum.
  • Give extended or overseas family access to view your child’s learning journey.
  • View your child’s overall progress throughout the early years curriculum.
  • Upload your own photos and video media from home activities to enhance your child’s learning record.
  • Have a greater confidence and understanding of the learning taking place each day.
  • Feel assured of your child’s progress and relationships with the Pre-School team members.

When you join our Pre-School, you will be given access to this online system! Should you require any support, please do not hesitate to ask! 

In accordance with the new Early Years Framework (September 2021) staff spend most of their time with your children, modelling play, guiding them to challenge themselves and, supporting them in their next steps. An observation will be recorded to document what we call ‘wow moments’ that showcase new learning. There won’t be a set number of observations uploaded it will depend on the child and their individual learning journey. This is where the Class Story on Class Dojo is really helpful as you can get a window into the daily life in Little Cranes; what are we enjoying, achieving and learning that day. Together with Tapestry these online platforms will showcase your child’s learning diet at Little Cranes and report successes and next steps in their learning. As ever if you do have queries regarding your child’s progress please contact their key worker or class teacher.