A Parent’s Guide to Pre-School

These next few pages are just a few ideas, advice and activities to do with your child and explain what the foundation stages are.

Pre-Schoolers enjoy getting to know the real world; creating imaginary worlds; pretending to be other people; playing with other children; sorting and organising ideas and objects. They learn about how the world works; what people do; what it feels like to be someone else; how to co-operate with others; how to express their ideas and feelings in words pictures and play.


Play activities

Real activities – gardening, cooking, shopping, tidying and cleaning. Pre-Schoolers gain self-esteem, knowledge and pleasure from doing these with adults.

Pretend games – pretend to be someone else, such as mum, doctor or a cat.

Drawing and crafts – making marks in sand / mud, or dough; colouring, sticking, “writing”, modelling, doing puzzles, playing card games. Such activities contain the roots of literacy, mathematics and creative thinking.

Picture books – stories of people, problems and happy endings; nursery rhymes and fun alphabets.

REMEMBER: Pre-Schoolers are thinkers and artists eager to understand the wider world.


  A Parent’s Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage (September 2012)

This prepares children for the work on the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1, which they will start in their Primary School. The foundation stage is the period of education from 0-5 years, and it is called the Early Year Foundation Stage because it gives children a

secure foundation for later learning. Childhood is important in itself and we want the children to have enjoyable childhood experiences, these experiences affect children’s attitudes to learning which in turn create the basis for later learning, in school and beyond. We follow the areas of learning within the principles of The Early Years Foundation Stage which include A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling environments and Learning and Developing.

Within the group, all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. Our key working system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual child. By means of developmentally appropriate play activities and a high level of adult input, we offer a curriculum which leads to nationally approved learning outcomes and prepares children to progress with confidence to the National Curriculum at the age of five years.





Personal, Social and Emotional Development.   (These relate to developing confidence and independence)


Communication, Language and Literacy. (This covers communication with one another and developing skills in talking, listening, writing and reading.)


Knowledge and understanding of the world. (This covers investigating and beginning to understand the things, places and people around them.)


Physical development.   (This relates to improving control and co-ordination of their bodies while learning to move and handle equipment.)


Creative development. (This covers finding ways to communicate by using colour, shape, sound, texture, movement and stories.)


Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy. (This relates to using ideas about numbers, quantity, measurement, shape and space.)


These areas of learning will be introduced to children in ways which are suitable to them, often throughout play. Adults in early learning settings will build on children’s existing skills and interests. Play is the key to the way young children learn;   through play children can develop and learn the skills they need.


The Early Learning Goals

These have been developed following consultation with Pre-School providers and others with an interest in the early years. Settings that are registered with the Local Partnership receive funding and, are therefore, subject to inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) and will be required to provide a curriculum that takes account of the goals. The Early Learning Goals reflect the Governments intention to continue to expand free nursery provision for all 3 & 4 year olds.

The expectation is that most children will achieve these goals by the end of the year in which they are 5. More importantly the document recognises the period from the age 3-5 as a distinct age in children’s development and as such, is important in its own right – a statement that was welcomed by all early years’ settings.


The Early Years Goals are not themselves a curriculum, it remains the responsibility of the individual settings to design, plan and put in place a curriculum that will enable children to work towards, achieve, or exceed the goals. The policy is a set of principles for early year’s education, which includes:


Experiences provided for children should build on what they already know and can do.


“Well planned play” is the key to the way young children learn with enjoyment and challenge.


The curriculum needs to be carefully structured and should include three inter-related strands which are:


 Provision that takes into account the different starting points of children, activities, the various elements of which match the different levels of children’s needs, planned and purposeful activity, which provides opportunities for teaching and learning both in and out of doors.


A well planned and organised environment that allows children to explore, experiment, plan and make decisions for themselves.


No child should be excluded or disadvantaged because of their race, culture, religion, home language, family background, special educational needs, disability, gender or ability.



All children should feel secure and valued, positive relationships with parents will help Pre-School staff work effectively with them and their children.


The policy goes on to explain that the aims set out for children during the foundation stage should support, foster, promote and develop children’s personal, social and emotional well being, positive attitudes and dispositions towards their learning, social skills and persistence, language and communication, reading and writing, mathematics, physical development, creative development and knowledge and understanding of the world.