Areas of learning and development consist of Three Prime Developmental Areas and Four Specific Learning Areas. The prime areas cover the knowledge and skills which are the foundations for children’s school readiness and future progress and are applied and reinforced by the specific areas. Where they have close links with National Curriculum subject areas; particularly literacy and maths – they form an appropriate baseline for the National Curriculum. Therefore, the Early Years Foundation Stage - setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five years - incorporates seven areas as follows:
Learning and Development - The Three Prime areas
One - Personal, Social & Emotional Development
· help children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others
· helping children to form positive relationships and develop a respect for others
· to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings
· to understand appropriate behaviour in groups
· to have confidence in their own abilities
Two - Physical Development
· to provide opportunities for young children to be active and interactive
· develop their co-ordination, control and movement
· Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Three - Communication & Language
· giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment
· to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves
· to speak and listen in a range of situations
These prime areas will be focused on first especially with young children, as these are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. Before children can move onto the specific areas they need confidence and the ability in the prime areas above.
Learning and Development – The Four Specific areas
One - Literacy
· encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write
· Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
Two - Mathematics
· providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting
· understanding and using numbers
· calculating simple addition and subtraction problems
· to describe shapes, space & measure
Three - Understanding the World
· guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through
opportunities to explore
· observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment
Four - Expressive Arts & Design
· enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as to provide opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design & technology.