Curriculum
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE

Our curriculum At Smartys our curriculum starts from each individual child, through their interests and starting points we create laughter, learning and lots of love. We encourage support, enhance and challenge children’s development in all seven areas of learning through a play, fun and hands-on approach. We consider carefully not only what we want the children to learn but how the children learn and we encourage the children to understand their own life-long learning skills. We offer the children in our care a wide range of experiences, opportunities and activities to be inspired, explore, create, discover, learn and grow every single day.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

At Smartys we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). The EYFS is a single curriculum framework that supports children’s learning and development from the ages of birth to 5 years (end of the child’s reception year). The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning and three characteristics of effective learning. The seven areas of learning are divided into prime areas and specific areas. At Smartys we place a huge emphasis on the prime areas (especially for our youngest children), as these areas support later development and learning in the specific areas.

Prime areas  Specific areas
Personal, Social and Emotional Development  Literacy
Communication and Language Mathematics
Physical Development Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design

The characteristics of effective learning support how children learn.  Through careful observation, we can see the ways in which the children explore, engage, play and think about their play and learning.

The three characteristics of effective learning are –

Playing and Exploring – Can I do this? – Engagement in play and learning.

Active Learning – Do I want to do this? – Motivation for play and learning.

Creating and Thinking Critically – How will I do this? – Thinking for play and learning.

Look out for our Clever Cats poster and books which help the children learn about their own characteristics of effective learning and how they learn.

Within all our settings we ensure that the children have access to a very broad and balanced curriculum where they can explore all seven areas of learning in a fun, stimulating and engaging environment.  This includes taking part in play both indoors and outdoors, a good balance of child-led play and adult-led play and activities, and opportunities for playing in small groups and spending time one to one with an adult.

All children when they join Smartys are given a Key person, this member of staff is responsible for your child’s overall development and education whilst with us, but most importantly they will form a bond and relationship with your child to ensure they settle, are happy and enjoy their time with us.

We monitor children’s development through observation and by engaging in their play and learning.  By doing this we can move their learning forward and plan appropriate next steps in their learning.  Some of these next steps will be achieved quickly, in the moment, through interaction with responsive adults or by new challenges being given through additional resources.  Some next steps will develop over time and staff will provide a range of activities, resources and experiences to support individual children’s learning.

We use Tapestry, which is a safe and secure online learning journal to record your child’s play, learning and development.  Each week observations and photographs will be added by your child’s key person, these are linked to the EYFS and the characteristics of effective learning.  This gives you as parent’s access to view your child’s journal anytime and anywhere, we also encourage you to add any special events and WOW moments on from home, which also forms part of their learning journal.