Early Years Foundation Stage
Welcome to Early Years
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), is the entry point of formal schooling at Dubai Scholars. This program sets the standards that promote teaching and learning to ensure children’s school readiness. Our program gives children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
There are four guiding principles that shape teaching practice in foundation settings. These are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences relate to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between school and home and
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS are equally important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three prime areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
The four specific areas of learning, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied, are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In planning and guiding children’s activities, teachers assess the different learning styles children employ and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate, experience and encounter new activities.
- Active learning – children concentrate and are encouraged to continue working when they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies around projects.
Right from the very first day that they skip into school, our children are eager and determined to understand how their world works. They explore, discover, search for, and stumble upon ideas and principles that surround them. And the best tool they use for this is Play.
At the Foundation Stage in Dubai Scholars Private School, we call this,
Purposeful Powerful Play.
We realize that when our children come to school, they are socially and cognitively ready to develop critical thinking processes such as problem-solving, abilities to sustain attention, abilities to plan and lead activities, and even develop primary abilities to monitor their own behaviour. And this is where play comes in. Purposeful play, kindles our children’s learning abilities by encouraging creativity, building critical thinking, sparking curiosity, and in doing so it facilitates learning by doing.
We have a programme that has a well-balanced, relevant curriculum and teachers who understand the little steps children make, in learning, whether it is cognitively, physically, emotionally and socially. We include all children in safe and engaging environments that are exciting and stimulate learning. We strive to create and deliver activities that provide opportunities for children to learn from, both indoors and outdoors. Our children in the Foundation Stage programme make up their own rules as they play with their buddies, through activities planned by their teachers and those that they initiate themselves.
Our programme encourages parents to extend such playful and powerful opportunities at home. In doing so, families get very involved in all round development and this does have a long lasting effect on the learning on our child’s learning as well as in building our children’ self- confidence.
Everyday our children teach us to be energetic to join in their play, to be spontaneous and have fun while we learn together. They do not consider ‘play’ and ‘work’ to be different and neither do we as teachers. Our days are vibrant, informative and lead to development of intrinsic motivation. The pleasure we as teachers take in their playful work will make them want to work more and more.
We know when learning takes place in such a context, our children will become eager, lifelong learners. And we continue in our learning journey with them.
Head of Early Years Foundation Stage