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Henry Allen Nursery School

‘Learn to Play… Play to Learn.’

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Areas of Learning and Development

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.– Fred Rogers

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework – Learning through Play

We celebrate the fact that when children join Henry Allen Nursery they have already had many experiences at home which support their learning and development. We also know that research tells us that children learn best when they have long periods of uninterrupted play. In partnership with families staff plan a wide range of learning experiences which build on what children already know and can do. The nursery is well resourced to ensure that children have a broad range of play opportunities both inside and outside. We are flexible in what we provide and regularly adapt our planning to follow the interests of the children. 

Staff use the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework as a tool to measure the development stages of each child.
The Early Years Foundation Stage covers the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning:


The 3 Prime Areas of Learning


– Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Making relationships: Henry Allen Nursery School provides a happy, safe and secure environment where children feel valued and respected. Children form positive relationships with staff and peers, and learn to work and play together cooperatively.


Self-confidence and self awareness: Henry Allen Nursery provides an environment where children grow in independence and are excited about learning. They will learn to speak in a group, to express their ideas and to make choices.


Managing feelings and behaviour: Children learn about their emotions and the feelings of others. They will learn to use appropriate behaviour, turn take and share.


– Physical Development {PD}

Moving and Handling: learning and improving skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement in large and small movements e.g. climbing, jumping and using pencils and scissors.


Health and self-care: Children learn about the importance of good health, physical exercise and healthy diet. They enjoy the outdoor environment every day including a wide range of play activities and welly walks. They will learn to manage their own hygiene and personal needs, e.g. hand washing and healthy snacks, caring for their teeth etc.


– Communication and Language {CL}

Listening and Attention: Children learn to listen to each other and adults individually and in small and large groups. They listen and join in with stories and rhymes every day with enjoyment and relevant responses.


Understanding: Children develop an understanding of language through their play and exploration. They respond to questions, they explore, predict, explain, describe. They learn to follow instructions to extend their learning.


Speaking: Children are given a rich range of real experiences and activities to talk about. They take part in planning and recall activities enabling them to talk about past experiences and plan the future.


The 4 Specific Areas of Learning


– Mathematics

In the EYFS children’s mathematical understanding develops through active learning, play and exploration. They will use indoor and outdoor environments, stories, songs, cooking and games.


Number: Children will learn to count reliably, order numbers, calculate, problem solve and use mathematical language.


Shape, space and measure: Children will learn about weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. They will explore, recognise, create and describe patterns and shapes.


– Literacy

For both reading and writing children will develop phonic knowledge that will enable them to decode, read and write words. Phonics will take place through a range of learning experiences e.g. listening activities, songs, rhymes and playing with language throughout the EYFS.


Reading: Children will learn the skills they need to be a reader and to love books, they will borrow books to be read to them at home and enjoy daily stories at school. They will become familiar with print and talk about their reading.


Writing: All attempts at mark making will be encouraged, whether using pens, paints, chalks or something different! Children will have varied opportunities to explore mark making both inside and out, and on a small and large scale.


– Understanding the World

This includes People and Communities, The World and Technology. In a rich active learning environment children are challenged to learn about themselves and others and the world in which they live.


– Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials; children will sing, make music and dance. They will have daily opportunities to use a wide range of tools, techniques and materials creatively, and safely. Under the heading "Being Imaginative", children will be encouraged and supported to express themselves imaginatively through a wide range of media.

Children have access to a wide range of activities and resources both indoors and out, including: – sand and water play, creative areas, painting and drawing, modeling with dough, clay and recycled materials, role-play areas with dressing-up clothes and puppets, construction equipment both small and large, small world play, musical instruments, puzzles and mathematical equipment, computers, book areas with comfortable chairs, writing areas with a wide range of resources for the encouragement of early writing and regular cooking sessions.

We make full use of our outside environment (including Woodside Junior School) all year and in all weathers. Children are able to develop their physical skills as they ride on bikes and trikes, climb, play with balls and hoops and enjoy being close to nature.
For more information about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Please follow the link below: