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Our Learning

Early Years Foundation Stage 

At The Saplings Preschool we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is from birth to the end of the academic year in which a child has their fifth birthday (normally known as the Reception Year).

The four principles of the EYFS are:

  • A unique child - Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

  • Positive relationships - Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

  • Enabling environments with teaching and support from adults - Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

  • Learning and development - Children develop and learn in different ways. The statutory framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Within the EYFS there are three prime areas:

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

  • Personal, Social and Development


As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas, they are:

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive Arts and Design


The characteristics of effective teaching and learning weave through the above areas of learning. The characteristics develop as children grow and learn to do new things, acquire new skills, develop socially and emotionally and become better communicators. 

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’. 

  • Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements.

  • Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

We also follow ‘In the Moment Planning’ by Anna Ephgrave.

'In the Moment' Planning is an approach where early years settings plan a topic spontaneously based on what a child is interested in.

At The Saplings Pre-school we observe and interact with children as they pursue their own interests and also assess and move the learning on 'in that moment'.

“Let the children choose what to do, join them and support them in their pursuits.

Then write up what has happened.”

– Anna Ephgrave, author of Planning In the Moment with young children.