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01787 277367 Learning and Development
  The Pre-school is located in the Old School Community Centre, which boasts a range of facilities including a large hall, an activity room, kitchen, full disabled access and a courtyard garden.


Early Years Development- A guide for parents

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5.

This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is made up of 4 themes:



These themes are important as they all combine to ensure young children make good, strong progress in their earliest years. This Stage in life is the most important as children’s minds and bodies grow and develop most from birth to age 5.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) areas of learning and development have beenproduced by the government and early years professionals for use by all early years providers including child minders.

We use the areas of learning and development when we are observing, assessing and planning for your child’s individual needs. The areas of learning and development make sure that we are constantly challenging your child and helping them to develop and succeed.


There are 7 areas of learning and they are split into 2 parts

A. The 3 prime areas – which are for all children and will always be the main focus of our planning and activities for children under 3

B. The 4 specific areas – which are mostly used for the older children (over 3s) but are also relevant for younger children



If you want to find out more about the EYFS or the areas of learning and development see: www.foundationyears.org.uk

If you have any questions about any part of the EYFS, please do not hesitate to ask!



Monitoring your child’s development  (Back to top)

Staff at Clare Bears assess how the children are learning and developing through ongoing observations. Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom they are particularly responsible. Your child's key worker will ensure that the care and education we provide is right for your child's particular needs and interests. When your child first starts, she will help your child to settle. Throughout your child's time at Clare Bears, she will help your child to benefit from the wide range of activities.

Records of achievement (Learning Journeys) are kept for each child. Your child's key person will keep this record with your input. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child's needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child's stage of progress. You and the key worker will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.

Parents meetings are usually held each term and provide an opportunity for you to discuss your child’s learning journey with their key person and share any information with staff that can enhance it further.


What is a learning journey?

The term learning journeys (sometimes referred to as learning journals) refers to a collection of different documents collected by early years practitioners that provide a picture of a child’s development under the areas of learning identified in the EYFS. They consist of photos, art-work, mark-making etc and should be interspersed with observations made by practitioners including notes of relevant conversations or comments made by the child. Practitioners should match any observations to the EYFS curriculum guidance. The aim is to build a unique picture of what each child knows, feels and can do as well as his / her particular interests and learning style. This picture can then be used to pinpoint learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences. Keeping track of when statements are achieved will help to identify evidence needs to be targeted in an observation.

Your child’s learning journey is kept in their named drawer for your reference before and after each session. Please feel free to add comments or ask staff any questions about their progress/ development. However, please do not remove these documents from the setting.




Learning journeys: in practice

Where possible observations are focused on children taking part in everyday activities. Evidence for achieving the EYFS statements will ideally be of things the children do always and naturally without prompting. Observations are analysed against the EYFS statements for all areas of learning and next steps identified. We provide a good balance between child-initiated and adult-led activities as well as between spontaneous and planned activities. Talking to children about what they are learning and what they need to learn next also helps to involve them in their own assessment.

*see our daily routine for how all these aspects are built into each session.




Formal Assessments

There are assessments when a child is aged between 2 and 3 years and at the end of the academic year when they turn 5. These are not tests for the child - the assessments are based on EYFS practitioners’ observations.

The progress check at Age 2
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requires that parents and carers must be supplied with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime learning and development areas of the EYFS: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Communication and Language; when the child is aged between 24-36 months

There is no formal assessment when a child moves from Clare Bears to Reception/Foundation Stage at primary school. They will continue to follow the EYFS. However your child’s learning journey will be passed to their new school for them to continue and use to plan for your child’s next steps.

Early years foundation stage profile
At the end of the academic year when a child turns 5 the completed learning journey assessment is known as the ‘early years foundation stage profile’.




Our Daily Routine  (Back to top)



Doors open, children and parents are welcomed and the register is taken.



Free play - includes creative activities, construction, role-play, drawing and mark making (pre-writing) materials, play dough, sand, water, puzzles, books and the use of the computer. In addition to the main play room, we also have access to the adjoining large hall which offers additional play space.




09:30 onwards

Outside playtime - including bikes, scooters, tricycles, space hoppers, stilts, hula-hoops, slide as well as a garden play house. We enjoy digging with compost and making potted flowers. Our main room and large hall also remain open at this time.





A rotating snack is available for 4 children at one time. The children will find their own place mat and cup. The snack menu consists of milk or water to drink and a selection of healthy snacks including fresh fruit, bread sticks, cereal or toast.




10:30 onwards

Adult directed activities. Through adult-led activities we can introduce children to new ideas, provide opportunities for them to develop their skills and ensure that they experience all seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage These activities are led by an adult to a child or group of children. They focus on the direct teaching of skills and knowledge with a specific objective taken from the children’s next steps identified in their learning journeys and/or from the EYFS curriculum.




Group time - a chance for children to sit on the carpet and listen to a story and sing nursery rhymes.





Morning session ends.



12:00 - 13.00

Lunch club - Parents are asked to provide lunch for their child if the child is booked to attend. We encourage parents to provide healthy lunches. We ensure that staff sit with the children to eat their lunch so that these times are a social occasion in which children and staff can participate. After lunch children can take part in a range of activities different to those on offer during the morning session.



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