Early Years Foundation Stage – September 2021

Early Years Foundation Stage – September 2021

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) sets out the learning and development stages for children as they grow from birth to five years.

From September 2021, the aims of the EYFS changes are to improve outcomes for children; strengthen their language development, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds; and reduce workloads so that practitioners can spend more time with the children, supporting their learning.


 How will your child be learning?

At Granby Nurseries, your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

These are split into Prime and Specific areas.  The prime areas are important because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning.

The specific areas provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills:

The Prime Areas of learning are:

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

The Specific Areas of learning are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts & design

As practitioners, we believe children learn best by playing & exploring and we plan activities linked to topics & children’s interests to ensure we cover all areas of learning.


How do we share this with you?

On your nursery app, you will receive information regarding mealtimes, sleep times & nappy changes.

You will also receive a daily diary with lovely photographs & learning intention of what your child/ren are enjoying whilst at nursery.

You will no longer be receiving daily observations as the practitioners will be spending quality time playing and engaging with the children.



We plan topics for each half term.

From September- October 2021, we will be focusing on All about me & Harvest.

From October – December 2021, we will be focusing on Autumn & Festivals.

To build on partnership with our parents, we will share lots of photographs via our Granby Carlton Facebook page to engage you in your child’s learning & we love parents to share your times together at home via the app.


Core books, rhymes, songs & poems

At Granby, we love to share & read books with the children. To encourage an early love of reading, we have recently adopted the ‘Core Book’ approach in our curriculum. We hope that by the time the children leave nursery they have an in-depth knowledge of our core books. The core books are chosen for their use of repetition, story structure and potential to trigger children’s imaginations.


Progress assessments

Your child’s learning will have ongoing assessments including:

  • A 2-year progress check which you can view on your app. The purpose of the 2-year check is to provide parents and/or carers with a short-written summary of their child’s development in the PRIME areas of learning, to help identify strengths and any areas needed support.
  • Termly summative reports which you can view on your app. This will summarise your child’s learning from the previous term and inform you if your child is ‘on track’ or ‘not on track’ in all areas of learning.
  • If your child happens to need more help in any area of development, we will work very closely with you and introduce an individual plan to support these areas.

We look forward to these changes & allow more time for us to engage in high quality interactions with the children

Thank you for reading, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of our team.

Granby Nurseries

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Granby Ethos

Seven key features of effective practice

1.                   THE BEST FOR EVERY CHILD

  • All children deserve to have an equal chance of success.
  • High-quality early education is good for all children. It is especially important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • When they start school, children from disadvantaged backgrounds are, on average, 4 months behind their peers. We need to do more to narrow gap.
  • Children who have lived through difficult experiences can begin to grow stronger when they experience high quality early education and care.
  • High-quality early education and care is inclusive. Children’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are identified quickly. All children promptly receive any extra help they need, so they can progress well in their learning.

2.                   HIGH-QUALITY CARE

  • The child’s experience must always be central to the thinking of every practitioner.
  • Babies, toddlers and young children thrive when they are loved and well cared for.
  • High-quality care is consistent. Every practitioner needs to enjoy spending time with young children.
  • Effective practitioners are responsive to children and babies. They notice when a baby looks towards them and gurgles and respond with pleasure.
  • Practitioners understand that toddlers are learning to be independent, so they will sometimes get frustrated.
  • Practitioners know that starting school, and all the other transitions in the early years, are big steps for small children.


  • The curriculum is a top-level plan of everything the early years setting wants the children to learn.
  • Planning to help every child to develop their language is vital.
  • The curriculum needs to be ambitious. Careful sequencing will help children to build their learning over time.
  • Young children’s learning is often driven by their interests. Plans need to be flexible.
  • Babies and young children do not develop in a fixed way. Their development is like a spider’s web with many strands, not a straight line.
  • Depth in early learning is much more important than covering lots of things in a superficial way.


  • Children are powerful learners. Every child can make progress in their learning, with the right help.
  • Effective pedagogy is a mix of different approaches. Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching.
  • Practitioners carefully organise enabling environments for high-quality play. Sometimes, they make time and space available for children to invent their own play. Sometimes, they join in to sensitively support and extend children’s learning.
  • Children in the early years also learn through group work, when practitioners guide their learning.
  • Older children need more of this guided learning.
  • A well-planned learning environment, indoors and outside, is an important aspect of pedagogy


  • Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data and evidence.
  • Effective assessment requires practitioners to understand child development. Practitioners also need to be clear about what they want children to know and be able to do.
  • Accurate assessment can highlight whether a child has a special educational need and needs extra help.
  • Before assessing children, it’s a good idea to think about whether the assessments will be useful.
  • Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time.


  • Executive function includes the child’s ability to: – hold information in mind – focus their attention – think flexibly – inhibit impulsive behaviour.
  • These abilities contribute to the child’s growing ability to self-regulate: – concentrate their thinking – plan what to do next – monitor what they are doing and adapt – regulate strong feelings – be patient for what they want – bounce back when things get difficult.
  • Language development is central to self-regulation: children use language to guide their actions and plans. Pretend play gives many opportunities for children to focus their thinking, persist and plan ahead.

7.                   PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS

  • It is important for parents and early years settings to have a strong and respectful partnership. This sets the scene for children to thrive in the early years.
  • This includes listening regularly to parents and giving parents clear information about their children’s progress.
  • The help that parents give their children at home has a very significant impact on their learning.
  • Some children get much less support for their learning at home than others. By knowing and understanding all the children and their families, settings can offer extra help to those who need it most.
  • It is important to encourage all parents to chat, play and read with their children.
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Oral Health – All Granby’s – written by Granby Parkgate

One of the most important ways of reducing tooth decay in children is to reduce the amount of foods containing sugars – especially between meals.

Each time we eat food and drinks high in sugars, the bacteria in dental plague produces acids that attacks teeth; this will lead to tooth decay.

That’s why at nursery we only give the children milk and/or water to drink and offer ‘sweet’ things such as fruit alongside meals, followed by a drink of milk to reduce the acid build up on the teeth.

Remember to brush your children’s teeth at least twice a day – last thing at night and at least one other occasion and use a fluoride toothpaste.  As soon as your child gets their first tooth then start brushing their teeth/tooth. Check out the handy Factsheet to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy.

Factsheet (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Ensure you make regular visits to the dentist with your child – prevention is key. Once a tooth has been filled it will require care and maintenance throughout life. Let’s support our children to be aware of what good oral health means. Talk to them about it, make it a pleasant experience and ensure that they brush daily.

During the day whilst they are playing have a spare toothbrush which they can brush their babies and dolls/teddy’s teeth. Read stories about tooth brushing and sing songs

Brush, brush, brush your teeth (Tune ‘Row, row, row your boat’)

‘Brush, brush, brush your teeth Brush them every day

We put toothpaste on our brush To help stop tooth decay

Clean, clean, clean your teeth Clean them every day

Your teeth will sparkle for years to come In the most beautiful way

Brush, brush, brush your teeth Brush them every day Happy, healthy teeth you’ll have If it’s

done this way.’


Whether it’s their first tooth, or their visit to the dentist, a child’s early experiences of oral health can impact on the rest of their life.

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Exciting Changes are on the horizon – All Granby’s – written by Granby Wickersley

Exciting Changes are on the horizon


Within Granby Nurseries, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

From September 2021, this will be changing.


The Department for Education has identified that the new EYFS will improve outcomes, particularly in early language and literacy and reduce unnecessary paperwork/iPad recording by the staff so they can spend more time playing and interacting with the children………the thing that we love to do the most!!


We are confident that our practitioners know the children so well and will be able to use their professional judgement to support them in their development using their individual interests.


We will be sending out lots more information in what these changes will mean and how you can support us in helping your child develop and grow.


Watch this space…………


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Outdoor sleeping – Granby Carlton

The summer months allows the children at Granby Carlton to take advantage of the wonderful large tress in the outdoor area, for napping under.

One of the greatest benefits to sleeping outdoors is the increased brain activity which allows children to be happier, have better concentration, and an improved memory. This improves children’s cognitive development and allows them to be more explorative and open to learning.


Benefits of outdoor napping for all children.


  1. Better sleep

The cold air helps babies and toddlers sleep better, deeper, and longer. It also helps them fall asleep easier even once they are older.


  1. Less illness

Children who sleep outdoors spend less time in dry, recycled air which can allow the flu, virus and common colds to easily spread among the children.


  1. Improved learning

Children who sleep better are more rested and they can benefit from improved alertness and better cognitive performance.


  1. Calmer babies

By spending more time in nature, looking at the beauty and smelling the fresh air, children who sleep outdoors benefit from nature’s calming effect.


  1. Healthy habits

By spending a lot of time outdoors from a young age, children can internalise these habits early on in their lives which can help them become healthier adults.



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Learning and Development – Granby Parkgate

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.  Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.

Each child within our setting is assigned a key person.  Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs.  They will work towards an educational programme promoting the seven areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage.  This framework is mandatory for all early year’s settings and from 1 September 2021 the framework has been updated.

Over the next few months, we will be working to make the changes necessary ready for September 2021.  One of the key features is limiting the amount of data that we collect on the children: reducing the amount of written work that the staff produce on a daily basis, which in turn will give us more time with the children for quality interactions which are not interrupted by data collection. With this in mind we will be looking at the observations that we put onto the app by ensuring that we have a selection of quality and meaningful observations but not necessarily as many.  You may therefore see a reduction in the number of daily observations that you receive on the app.  Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process.  It involves practitioners knowing the children’s level of achievement and interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge into their everyday interactions with the children. As the new document states ‘Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time’.

Granby will continue to encourage parents and/or carers to share information about children’s learning at home to ensure that we create a holistic understanding of children’s learning and development.

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Fostering creativity – Granby Wickersley

Fostering creativity in children is important. During this type of play, children manipulate a range of media and materials developing both gross and fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination.

Great opportunities for learning and thinking are possible when children participate in creative play. Working with a range of art materials to make their mark, manipulating play dough into their chosen shapes, creating recipes by mixing dirt and water can further all aspects of child development. It has been identified that ‘A child who is used to thinking creatively can more easily problem-solve’

It is very important, however during creative play, that the emphasis should be on the process and not the end product. For children to be CURIOUS about the world around them, following their own unique style of learning and to be engaged in the joy of DOING rather than the end result is very beneficial and as adult we should resist the temptation in leading the children’s creativity and defining the end result for them.

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Extending learning – Granby Carlton

At Granby, the children are at the centre of everything that we do. We let children learn through play, then extend their learning even further.

So, when a child brought in the book Jack and the Beanstalk, we shared this and then we took their lead and focused on an extended learning project.

Being creative and allowing children to use their imagination to help extend activities can provide the children with further learning opportunities.

Some children absorb information in different ways, so it is important to provide all children with the opportunities to allow them to develop skills.

As early years practitioners, we know that children learn through play and that most of the child’s time at nursery is spent engaged in child-initiated play. How then, as adults, do we extend a child’s learning even further?

Psychologist, Lev Vygotsky identified that children should not be left to discover everything on their own. Instead, we should provide them with challenges that are slightly too hard for them and gently ‘pull them along’. Based on this theory, we need to let children learn through play, then extend their learning even further.

How do we put this into practice? All children need the opportunity to take part in their own learning, we are careful not to just give children experience of directed learning (i.e., telling them what to do), but instead let their tasks be open- ended – let children take their learning where they want to take it, letting them speak to one another and work things out. Practitioners observe and ask open ended questions such as ‘Can you tell me how you made that? Why is the beanstalk so big? How could you make the beanstalk even taller? What does feel like at the top of the beanstalk?



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Speech, Language and Communication Development – Helping our children to TALK – Granby Parkgate

Having a good vocabulary (knowing and understanding words) is important for children when they are learning to talk; it has an impact in lots of different ways. Children with poor vocabulary at 2yrs tend to do less well at school by 7yrs old (Hart & Risley, 2003).  It is therefore important that we work together to support children’s language development.

Using the right language right from the start is vitally important – don’t use slang words such as doggy for dog, otherwise they will have to learn another word later on as they grow.

I know learning new words is important for children but why?

A good vocabulary (the number of words you know and can say) is really important for all children. It is an important building block for helping children to talk in sentences, but it is also really useful for learning to read. So, helping children to develop a good vocabulary is vital.


The link between play and vocabulary development

  • Children need to explore new things. From this they will gradually learn all about the new object.  They learn what it looks like and feels like.
  • The child learns what to do with the object.
  • By 9 months old a child will learn how to use objects appropriately. E.g. if given a hair brush they will brush their hair, a toothbrush is for brushing teeth and a sweeping brush for brushing the floor – this is called ‘defining an object by use’.
  • This type of play is very important because it suggests that the child is storing information in their mind and is developing an internal awareness or idea for various objects.
  • Children need to store information because it means that they can remember it for next time when they use the object. Over time they will gradually add more information about the object including how to recognise and say the word when someone says, for example ‘brush’.
  • Over time the child will hear the word for the object over and over again until eventually they learn the pattern of sounds (phonemes) represents the word e.g. /b/ /r/  /u/  /sh/ = brush.

Play and everyday experiences are crucial for the development of children’s vocabulary.


How many words should children know by when? 

We have typical milestones for how and when children learn new words. Usually:

  • Children say their first words about the age of one (although they understand them for some time before this).
  • By about 18 months children should use about 20 words, but they’ll understand more.
  • By two years old, we expect children to say 50 words and understand between 200 and 500.
  • By three years old they’ll be able to use about 300 words.
  • By the time a child reaches five years old they’ll know and use as many as 2,500 words.

Children between 18 months and 6 years old should therefore learn 8 new words a day.

Is there anything else I can do to help children to learn new words?

Learning new words is tricky. There are lots of things children have to be able to do to understand and say a new word and get it right. They have to remember the sounds they hear and the order they come in, they have to find a meaning for the word and then they have to work out where it might go in a sentence. There are lots of different things you can do to help children’s vocabulary development. Here’s just a few:

  • Find a quiet space, turn off screens, radios and televisions – with no other distractions your little one will be able to hear you better and you can give them your full attention.
  • Having a child’s attention is important for word learning. Saying an object’s name while helping a child to look at it helps them to learn and remember names for objects that they haven’t seen before.
  • Be face to face with your child so they can see your facial expressions and see the words coming out of your mouth. Speak slowly and try to speak in sentences which are only 1 or 2 words longer than the child’s sentences.
  • We know that having words and objects together is really helpful for early language development, from around six to 18 months. So, it helps your child to see the object you are talking about, as well as hearing its name. This helps them to make the connection and gives you the chance to explain what new words mean. Young children will learn more from seeing, feeling and touching an object than from a picture of it.
  • Watch what children are exploring and doing then you can say the name of an object or action. This way you’re modelling the word for them – saying what something is called, showing them the way to say it and letting them know the speech sounds that make up the word.
  • Encourage children to use new words by giving them choices. So, rather than saying “would you like a snack?” ask them “do you want raisins or cucumber?” You can do this when you’re joining in with play during any activity e.g. ‘shall we splash the water or pour it?’ ‘Do you want the big bucket or the small bucket?’ Also add new ‘sophisticated’ words to extend your child’s vocabulary.
  • Repetition is really important. Children need to hear new words lots of times before they learn it properly, so keep saying the word you want them to learn! They may try to copy you and will often take a few attempts to get it right. Repeating experiences gives children a chance to try out things they’re learning and the words for these experiences.
  • Building on what they know already can help children to extend and expand their vocabulary. This is why open ended activities such as sand, water, playdough, painting, craft, home corners (inside and out) can be used as a basis for varying the activities and the vocabulary that goes alongside.
  • Talk about how words are linked together and how they link to words they already know. They might be similar in what they mean (tall, high, long), or be words in the same group (cat, dog, hamster). Talking about these things helps children learn words well. You can also start naming different types of one thing, for example, if you are playing with dinosaurs you might say ‘dinosaur’ for younger children but as children get older you can name the different types of dinosaurs e.g. ‘that’s a tyrannosaurus – he’s got really sharp teeth’ or ‘that one is a herbivore’.
  • There are different types of words and children need to learn them all. So, they need a good vocabulary of doing words (like walking, swimming, eating, pushing, describing words (like big, heavy, red), and words that can be used to name things (like dinosaur, shark, juice).
  • Make it easier for they to talk – dummies can get in the way of talking – try to use they must t sleep time.



Useful links

Talking Point  I CAN’s Talking Point

I CAN Help www.ican.gork.uk

Babbling Babies activity pack

Toddler Talk activity pack

Chatting with Children activity pack

Hungry Little Minds Campaign www.hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk

NSPCC Look, Say, Sing, Play  Look, Say, Sing, Play – Brain-building tips | NSPCC

BBC Tiny Happy People  www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people 

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Outdoor environment – Granby Wickersley

Children’s physical development is important to focus on and now, during a pandemic, it is even more important to ensure children are accessing it as much as possible as medical evidence states that that there is less likelihood and lower risk of transmission of Covid 19 outdoors than indoors.

As practitioners, we are aware that a good level of physical activity supports children’s mental health and is beneficial for self-regulation. It also allows for children to develop their creativity, problem solving and confidence whilst developing a love for outdoors.

We use all our possible spaces within nursery to ensure children access the outdoor environment as much as possible throughout the day.

Many activities which extend and develop large and fine motor skills are provided and encouraged.

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