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This is the time between a child’s birth and the age of five, the end of Reception year.  Children of this age are instinctively enthused with a love for learning. Within their surroundings – family, wider community and environment - this instinct is nurtured and children learn and develop through what the EYFS framework describes as Prime and Specific Areas of Learning

All professionals, working with children between these ages, MUST ensure that every child is offered a safe environment in which to learn and the opportunity to learn and develop at their own pace.

The Three Prime areas form the foundation from which all learning stems. These are:


Personal, Social and Emotional:  Involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings, to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and, to have confidence in their own abilities.

Physical Development: Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop muscles strength, co-ordination, control and movements. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, personal hygiene and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Communication and Language Development: Involves giving children opportunities to experience a language-rich environment, to develop confidence and skills in expressing themselves and, to listen and speak in a range of situations.

Only when the Three Prime Areas of Learning are on their path to progression,
do the Four Specific Areas of Learning develop. 

These are:

Literacy: Involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to make marks and identify letters and words.

Mathematics: Involves providing children with the opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers in different ways and, to describe and use shapes, spaces and measures in different contexts.

Understanding of the World: Involves supporting children to make sense and take care of their physical world, their community, to explore the use of technology and develop an understanding of Online Safety.

Expressive Arts and Design: Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials and finding different ways to express own feelings and thoughts through art, music, dance, role-play and design.


At The Children’s Workshop Preschool we give paramount importance to the development of the
Three Prime Areas and we strive in understanding HOW a child learns rather than WHAT a child learns. In the EYFS Framework (2021) the HOW is described as a child’s:
Characteristics of Effective learning

These are:

Playing and exploring – engagement

Finding out and exploring; Playing with what they know; Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation

Being involved and concentrating; To keep trying; Enjoying achieving own goals

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

Having their own ideas; Making links; Choosing ways to do things

A child can present one or all the above characteristics.  How these are channelled is key to their successful learning experience.

At The Children’s Workshop Preschool we strive to understand a child’s learning style and development through a very organic cycle of OBSERVING, ASSESSING and PLANNING of children’s play and the environment we offer.

We strongly believe in the importance of LEARNING through ‘PLAY’

Lev Vygotsky (Psychologist, 1896-1934) explains ‘In Play a child is always above his average age, above his daily behaviour; in play, it is as though he were a head taller than himself’ (Leong, 2001)

‘When involved in playing, children’s concentration and application to the task are much greater than in academically (clinically) directed activities contrived by the teacher’ (Palmer, S. 2004)

At the Children’s Workshop we encourage children to work as independently as possible, supporting them to recognise and promote own successes.

We have the HIGHEST REGARDS for parents and carers’ support and input.

Many of our policies can support you to understand further how we operate.  Best of all however, we would love to show you first-hand how our children and adults work together to develop and learn.

Come and visit us.

We hope to see you very soon!

You can access the EYFS (DofE 2021) here

You can access the EYFS Development Matters Guidance here

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