Barnfield Nursery – Areas of Learning & Development

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum has seven areas of learning which are divided into Prime and Specific areas. At Barnfield Nursery we use this at all levels and to our approach in giving children the best chance whilst in our care.

The seven areas of learning are made up of:
 
 Prime areas of learning
 – Physical Development
 – Communication and Language
 – Personal, Social, Emotional Development

 Specific areas of learning
 – Literacy
 – Mathematics
 – Understanding the World
 – Expressive Art and Design
 
The Prime areas of learning and development are universal to all children. Learning in the Specific areas is dependent on a secure foundation in the Prime areas, for example if a child is not able to hold a pencil correctly they will find writing in Literacy very difficult.
 
Physical Development covers both fine motor skills such as being able to hold a pencil to form letters correctly and gross motor skills such as throwing and catching a ball. In this area of learning they are also developing the skill of managing their own personal hygiene.

Communication and Language covers the areas of speaking, listening and attention, and understanding. These areas are about the child making sense of the world around them, being able to understand and communicate with others. Personal, Social and Emotional Development develops the children’s social skills. At Barnfield Nursery we look at how children make relationships and relate to each other, about how confident and self-aware they are, and about how they are able to manage their own feelings and behaviour.
 
Specific areas of learning 
The four Specific areas of learning are Mathematics, Understand the World, Expressive Art and Design and Literacy. Literacy covers both reading and writing and children at Barnfield Nursery learn to decode and write simple sentences using their phonic knowledge.

In Mathematics children learn to count, recognise numbers and the operations of adding and subtracting. They also learn about doubling and halving through practical activities and gain an understanding of shapes, space and measuring including weight and positions.

Understanding the World covers the areas of technology such as using computers, understanding people in the context of communities and the world around us. Children learn about events that have happened in the past, about different cultures and about the world around them.

Expressive Arts and Design allows children to express themselves through art, music, drama and dance. They experiment with colour and design, representing their own ideas.