Learning and Development


"Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments."


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2012


We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), a structure of learning, development and care that all schools and early years providers follow from birth to five years old. Our practitioners carry out regular observations of your child, using the information gathered to plan activities which reflect your child’s interests and abilities. These observations cover all areas of development within the EYFS as well as recording special moments or your child’s response to certain activities. Observations are recorded in your child’s learning journey, a document which highlights your child’s development and provides you with a record of your child’s time at nursery for years to come.


There are 4 themes within the EYFS:



The new Early Years Foundation Stage was introduced in March 2011 for implementation in all settings by September 2102. At Smarties we welcome the definitions of the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ which we feel embody our approach to learning.



The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.


Prime areas of learning


They are:


  • Personal Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical development



Specific areas of learning


The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.


They are:


  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive arts and design