Unit 12

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Unit 12
Context and principles for Early Years provision

The EYFS is a statutory framework that sets the principles that all early years’ workers have a duty to meet. Play is a key way in which the curriculum is delivered and adults are expected to find fun ways for children to learn and develop. This framework is used from birth to five years old. Adults are able to set up activities knowing that they will be beneficial to the children and will be following the early year’s curriculum guidelines. They are able to make the experience of learning fun for the children. An adult working with children has a duty to keep a child safe while they play, they would need to check the play area for any safety hazards and supervise the children following the guidelines of the EYFS. The key features of the EYFS:

* The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

* The Early Years Foundation Stage promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

There have been several approaches to play that have had an influence on today’s early years play settings. There are many different views on how children would benefit most from play. I will be discussing philosophical, theoretical and other approaches that have had a successful effect on the early year’s framework. Maria Montessori 1870-1975 was a doctor and worked with children with learning disabilities. She believed that up until the age of six a child was capable of learning things quickly and more easily than the mind of an older person. She believed up until the age of six years old that a child has an ‘absorbent mind’ and that people should make good use of this time and that it should not be wasted. She believed that a child should have the support and guidance of an adult during play and should have the right play equipment and environment in order for the child to learn best. She believed that play for young children had a purpose and that purpose was to learn. Today there are Montessori nursery schools which carry out all of her approaches to play. Her approach can also be seen within the general early year’s curricula. Today practitioners know and realise the importance of guiding and supporting a child during play and the importance of children learning every day skills such as doing up buttons and zipping their coat up.

Jean Piaget believed that child learn by physical, active activities and that a child’s cognitive ability was reflected in their play. He described the development of children in three different stages Mastery play (0-2), symbolic play (2-7) and play with rules (7-11).

He spent time watching children playing and noted that as a child developed the more complex the choice in play activities became, for example they started to create rules.
He believed that this reflected on their cognitive ability and that it showed a high level of cognitive development. A Forest school believes that play should be integrated with playing outdoors during early education. The idea is that a child’s overall holistic development would be increase by having freedom outdoors, developing confidence and social skills as well as developing physically. As recently there has been an upward trend of childhood obesity the early years curricula now requires that children must spend time outdoors and do physical activity. This links in to the approach of the forest school. Common Core of Skills and Knowledge

The Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for Early year’s practitioners set out the basic skills and knowledge for them and volunteers who works and has regular contact with children and young people. There are six key areas of skills and knowledge in the core and this...
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