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Learning & Development

Learning through play

Being active and playing supports young children’s learning and development through doing and talking. This is how children learn to think about and understand the world around them. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory guidance on education programmes to plan and provide opportunities which will help children to make progress in all areas of learning. This programme is made up of a mixture of activities that children plan and organise for themselves and activities planned and led by practitioners.

Effective learning

We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the ‘characteristics of effective learning’ that are described in the EYFS as:

  Playing and exploring - engagement

  Active learning - motivation

  Creating and thinking critically - thinking

We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.


We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, photographs and video clips and record these on the Tapestry Journal system. We believe that parents know their children best and we will ask you to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you, as parents, are supporting development. Parents also have the facility to record their own observations via the Tapestry Journal system. We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as at times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different key group or when they go on to school.

The progress check at age two

The EYFS requires that we carry out a short written summary of your child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development - personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language - when a child is aged between 24 - 36 months. Your child’s key person is responsible for completing the check using information from on-going observational assessments on the Tapestry Journal system, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.

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