How our children learn


Purpose of the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a play-based curriculum for children from birth to five years, which allows children to explore and learn in an environment that is secure and safe, yet challenging. 

Research into early child development shows that children learn more rapidly during their first five years and at Shadwell Childcare we strive to give all children firm foundations which they can use as they develop and grow.  We aim to ignite children's curiosity and enthusiasm for the world around them, building their capacity to take in knowledge and enable them to be self-motivated learners who are confident to succeed.

We follow the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) programme which ensures that your child's learning and development is fully supported and encourages them to reach their potential. The EYFS is underpinned by 4 themes

1. The unique child
2. Positive relationships
3. Enabling environments
4. Learning and development 

Underpinning these themes the EYFS Framework practitioners provide activities and make assessment judgements based on the seven areas of learning:

The Three Prime Areas of Learning

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

The Four Specific Areas of Learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Our highly experienced staff constantly support the learning and development of the children on an individual level. Through adult and child led experiences we ensure that your child is achieving their potential.

More details can be found on the link below to the Parents Guide 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..

Download this document here»

Our EYFS Forum


We recently invited all parents and carers to an EFYS forum. We are pleased to say this was a huge success and incredibly well received.

The evening explained the Early Years Foundation Stage which is the guidance we use to support your child's learning and development.

We shared how your key person and staff plan activities to support the children's needs and learning and, conscious that due to Covid visits have been limited, we invited you to look around the nursery room whilst we demonstrated activities that your child takes part in daily.

In addition to sharing the guidance we use, the evening was also to share with parents the importance of play including how children play, why they play and how children should be encouraged to try with no fear of failure.  We discussed how parents can play with your child through lots of methods including role play, counting, schemas, singing and bringing stories to 'life'.  The staff demonstrated lots of different methods of how to play including various ways to read a story and singing a song; this captivated the entire audience demonstrating the point perfectly.

Our aim was to explain the 7 different areas of learning and how our staff incorporate these into every day play, following the children's interests and extending their learning whilst the children have fun and are happy and secure. Ultimately how all of these continue to work together to give our children the confidence, self-belief and resilience they need to become 'school ready'

Parent partnership is extremely important to us and your feedback helps guide our setting.  We would like to thank everyone who attended the EYFS forum and who has taken the time to complete the feedback survey.  The responses reflect that the forum was useful and you were able to take lots of useful ideas with you for extending your child’s learning at home, as well as understanding how important play is to learning and development of children in the early years.


Questionnaire responses from EYFS forum 2021


Parent Feedback: 


I just wanted to say how useful I found the information evening.


C has loved making shopping lists at home, making marks whilst saying each item. We'd never have thought of this ourselves!


Whilst reading tonight's story I took the ladybird out of the book to stroke and C began talking about his ladybird on his head. That the ladybird had sharp teeth so I had to be careful stroking him and then said he's ill and put him to rest on the wall! Again I'd never have thought of this but he is really engaging with it and it's lovely to see his imagination at work.


Please pass on my thanks to your wonderful team, one very inspired mum here.




I just wanted to send a quick email, to thank you all for tonight.


I found tonight really interesting and came away even more confident.


I think the way you work with the children, building their confidence is amazing, and the most important thing is you all obviously care, a lot.


Your passion was obvious tonight as always, and that I can't thank you enough for.




Dear Paula, (and everyone else)


Thank you for giving up your time on Monday night to talk to us about the Early Years Foundation Stage and about Sunflower room. We loved hearing your ideas to share at home and we'll certainly be trying the frog and the tea idea, amongst others.


We were so pleased to have the opportunity to see the Sunflower room. We know how much you do with them all from the weekly updates and personal updates, so we have never felt that we've missed out by not going into the rooms but it was really great to see your current activity corners and we certainly enjoyed looking around!


We are sure you are all extremely proud of the wonderful setting you have created and it was clear to us what a close team you are, how well you all work together and the passion you share for the setting and the children.




Many thanks for this evening's presentation, very informative and also very interesting.



How do we achieve this?

At Shadwell Childcare all activities are planned around the child's interests which practitioners are aware of through close key person bonds and regular observations. By planning around the children's interests we ensure that the right resources are in place to support individual learning and development needs and allows us to have a flexible approach. By following an organic planning method we are able to tailor activities to each child's individual ability, create next steps specific to each child and their progress reviewed regularly.

We believe that the organic planning method we use helps stimulate each child's desire to learn as we follow their interests and engage them in learning whilst having lots of fun!

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