Barnsley Early Start and Family Services

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth up to five years old. Schools and early years providers, including childminders and nurseries, must follow the EYFS.

The EYFS framework gives childcare providers a set of common principles for the delivery of early education and experiences for all children. It gives parents and carers confidence that the same commitments will underpin their child’s learning no matter where they choose for their child's early education.

Ideas for learning at home

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we've produced some home learning ideas to support parents and carers with fun and simple activities.  With each idea you'll see that there is a link to a social media post that can easily be shared by settings in your communication with parents and carers. 

Home learning ideas for 2 year olds

Activity Links to learning Exploring language

Downloadable image to use on social media

Post box fun

Physical development, fine motor control, language development.

Prepositions. Post box fun social media image.
Indoor tennis 

Physical development, gross motor control, personal, social and emotional development, turn taking, language development.

Action words, direction, speed. Indoor tennis social media image.
Threading straws

Physical development, fine motor control, language development.

Colours, amounts, length. Threading straws social media image.
Golf tees Physical development, fine motor control, language development. Instructions, patters, counting. Golf tees social media image.
Ring toss Physical development, gross motor control, language development.  Distance, counting, prepositions. Ring toss social media image.
Bathtub paint Physical development, fine and gross motor control, sensory, language development. Colours, my drawings. Bathtub paint social media image.
Digger fun Fine motor control, imaginative play, language development. Parts of the digger, speed and direction. Digger fun social media image. 
Animal rescue Physical development, fine motor control, language development. animal names, animal noises. Animal rescue social media image.
Muddy animal wash  Physical development, fine motor control, imaginative play, language development. Animals, water and washing, body parts. Muddy animal wash social media image. 
Mug tree Physical development, fine motor control, number, language development. Shapes, size, counting.  Mug tree social media image. 
Paint splodges Physical development, fine motor control, language development. Colours, moving and mixing. Paint splodges social media image.
Pouring and filing  Physical development, fine motor control, shape, space and measure, language development. Capacity, sizes, foods. Pouring and filling social media image.
Sensory bottles Listening and attention, physical development, fine motor skills, language development. Sounds and volume, colours, naming. Sensory bottles social media image. 
Treasure baskets Physical development, fine motor control, sensory, language development. Describing words, naming objects. Treasure baskets social media image.
Rainmaker  Listening and attention, language development. Movement and speed, sounds and volume. Rainmaker social media image.
Pots and pans Listening and attention, fine and gross motor control, language development. Songs, volume and sounds, doing words. Pots and pans social media image.
Water fun Shape, space and measure, fine motor control, language development. Capacity, size. Water fun social media image. 
Dress up Personal, social and emotional development, fine and gross motor control, imaginative play, language development. Naming items, body parts.  Dress up social media image. 
Washing basket fun Personal, social and emotional development, imaginative play, language development. Nursery rhymes and songs. Washing basket fun social media image. 
Water painting  Personal, social and emotional development, physical development, fine motor control, language development.  my marks. Water painting social media image. 
Car rolling Physical development, fine motor control, language development.  Action words, direction, speed and colours.  Car rolling social media image. 
Photos  Language development. Family names, name of toys, doing words. Photos social media image. 
Shop Language development, number. Names of different food types, counting.  Shop social media image. 
Hungry little minds Personal, social and emotional development.  Imaginative play, language development.  Naming, doing words, instructions.  Hungry little minds social media image. 
In the basket Physical development, gross motor control, language development. Action words, praise and encouragement.  In the basket social media image. 
Paint the fence  Physical development, fine motor control, language development. My marks, praise and encouragement.  Paint the fence social media image. 
Dough recipe Physical development, fine motor control, language development.  Doing words, instructions, naming.  Dough recipe social media image. 
Sweeping up Physical development, gross motor control, language development  Action words, praise and encouragement. Sweeping up social media image. 
Clothes wash Physical development, gross motor control, fine motor control, language development  Naming, doing words, instructions.  Clothes wash social media image. 

Home learning ideas for 3-5 year olds

Activity

Links to learning

Exploring language

Downloadable image to use on social media

Elmer

Physical development

Fine motor control

Listening and attention

Communication and language

Parts of the elephant

Following simple instructions

Elmer 1 social media image.
Elmer 2 social media image.

Animal shadow

Physical development

Fine motor control

Communication and language

Mark making

Animal body parts

Animal shadow social media image.

Balancing

Physical development

Gross motor skills

Communication and language

Action words

Words to describe speed

Balancing social media image.

Balloon cars

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Counting words

Words to compare speed

Balloon cars social media image

Balloon keepy upy

Physical development gross motor skills

Shape, space and measure

Communication and language

Distance, measure,

Height,

Counting

Body parts

Baloon Keepyupy social media image.

Bath time float and sink

Personal, social and emotional development

Understanding the world

Mathematical development

Communication and language

Naming objects and describing their properties

Bath time float and sink social media image.

Beans in a bag

Communication and language

Understanding the world

Growing and nature words

Parts of the plant

Beans in a bag social media image.

Bike wash

Physical development

Gross motor skills

Communication and language

Personal, social and emotional development

Water, bubbles and cleaning words

Parts of bike/scooter

Bike wash social media image.

Binoculars

Communication and language

Imaginative play

Naming objects

Describing words

Binoculars social media image.

Board games

Communication and language

Mathematical development

Turn taking

Numbers and words to describe amounts

Board games social media image.

Bug hotel

Communication and language

Understanding the world

Plant, nature and minibeast words

Bug hotel social media image.

Car tracks

Communication and language

Mathematical development

Imaginative play

Prepositions and directions

Car track social media image.

Cardboard town

Communication and language

Imaginative play

Mathematical development

Places

Prepositions and directions

Cardboard town social media image.

Chalk painting

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Talk about my creations

Chalk painting social media image.

Cup phone

Communication and language

Personal, social and emotional development

Ask questions about what others are doing

Cup phone social media image.

Den

Communication and language

Personal, social and emotional development

Imaginative play

Building and material words

Den social media image.

Digging for treasure

Communication and language

Imaginative play

Physical development

Gross motor control

Action words

Treasure, pirate and adventure words

Digging for treasure social media image.

Duck and boat race

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Words to talk about and compare speed

Cardinal numbers and ordering

Duck and boat race social media image. 

Family photos

Communication and language

Personal, social and emotional development

Talking about people and experiences

Family photos social media image.

Hopscotch

Communication and language

Mathematical development

Physical development

Gross motor control

Action words

Numbers and counting

Hopscotch social media image. 

Ice cave balloons

Communication and language

Imaginative play

Understanding the world

Talk about changes

Ice cave balloons social media image.

Junk

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Objects and tools

Junk social media image.

Make a shop

Communication and language

Mathematical development

Imaginative play

Items

Money

counting

Make a shop social media image.

Pizza recipe

Communication and language

Mathematical development

Foods

instructions

Pizza recipe social media image.

Pebble people

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Imaginative play

Sizes, colours and weights

Facial features

Pebble people social media image.

Sky gazing

Communication and language

Talk about what you see

Sky gazing social media image.

Snap and squeeze dough

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Mathematical development

Action words

Snap and squeeze social media image.

Take photos

Communication and language

Understanding the world

Talk about your photos

Take photos social media image.

Washing dolls clothes

Communication and language

Personal, social and emotional

Imaginative play

Clothes items

Washing dolls clothes social media image. 

Wrapping presents

Communication and language

Physical development

Fine motor control

Mathematical development

Shape, size and measuring

Wrapping presents social media image.

Phonics in Early Years

Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early years, and can impact lifelong confidence and well-being. An extensive vocabulary at the age of five will help children from a disadvantaged background to succeed at school.

We recommend that settings focus on phase 1 of letters and sounds, and embed good listening skills. 

Letters and sounds helps practitioners teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling by acknowledging children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right, and as preparatory to learning phonic skills.

We run training on letters and sounds on a regular basis; courses are available to book on POD.

Outdoor learning

The outdoor environment is a dynamic and natural space for learning and development for children of all ages.

It offers:  

  • a multi-sensory environment that's meaningful, stimulating and motivating.
  • a positive impact on children's sense of well-being, and helps development.
  • opportunities to connect with the natural world, to  experience nature, weather, life and growth.
  • space and freedom that can't be replicated indoors.
  • the ability to explore beyond the garden or grounds.

Conducting a benefit-risk assessment will help you take an enabling approach to outdoors risk management. Find out more about risk assessments.

Key points for outdoor learning

  • Outdoor environments have unique characteristics and features.
  • Learning outdoors has equal value to learning indoors.
  • Outdoor learning has a positive impact on children’s well-being and development.
  • Children need the support of engaged adults who are enthusiastic about the outdoors and understand the importance of outdoor learning.
  • Outdoor learning is enhanced by an environment that is resourced with play materials that can be adapted and used in different ways.
  • An approach to outdoor learning that considers experiences, rather than equipment, places children at the centre of the provision.

Outdoor learning resources

There's lots of resources available to schools and settings to support outdoor learning, and the development of outdoor spaces. Examples include:

Find more outdoor learning resources in the useful information and documents section.

Observation, assessment, planning and tracking

We specialise in providing support, challenge and guidance, with a focus on learning and development in the EYFS. We provide:

  • training for settings and schools
  • support and guidance
  • reference materials

Observation

You need to observe children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. This allows you to shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations, to enhance their development and progression.

You can record your observations of a child using our observation template, and provide parents or carers with our observation from home slips.

Assessment

Assessment is an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process.

You can use our assessment templates below to record a summary of a child's learning and development on entry, and their termly review.

Prime assessments (for children under the age of 3)

Prime and specific assessments (for children aged 3 or over)

Planning

You need to consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in your care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.

You can use our template continuous learning plan or objective led plan for individual children, and our template weekly activity plan.

There are a range of example continuous learning plans available in the useful documents section.

Tracking

Our toolkit to support the tracking of attainment and progress has been designed for early education and childcare providers in Barnsley. As part of the toolkit there's an easy to use Excel tracker that allows providers to monitor the development of individuals and groups.

For a copy of the tracker please contact us using our online form.

Transition to school or other childcare provision

It's important that all children experience a positive transition to school or other childcare provision. With appropriate preparation and understanding, children are more likely to feel secure and settle more easily into their new environment.

Our EYFS summary transition record can act as a supportive tool within the transition process. We encourage settings to use this standard format; schools and other settings might ask for transition information like this so they meet the statutory requirement for information and records (EYFS framework point). The record contains on-entry data such as the 2 year progress check, summative assessment information, and details of strategies in place in order to meet the child's needs including SEN support and early help assessment (EHA) information.

Settings and schools must make sure they're fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018 when sharing information with settings, schools and other agencies.

For more help and advice regarding transitions, contact us using our online form or speak to your Early Years Consultant.

In light of COVID-19 (coronavirus) we have created new transition guidance for children going to school in September. We have also adapted the EYFS summary transition record for COVID-19 to best support transition during this time. 

Audit tools

In order to evaluate provision and identify improvement priorities, we're trained and accredited to use a number of audit tools including those below.

To find out more about how we could use these in your setting, contact us using our online form.

ECERS-3 – Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale

ECERS-3 is the revised version of the internationally used and respected tool to measure and improve the quality of early years provisions. ECERS-3 has an increased focus on literacy, mathematical learning and the role of the adult to maximise teaching and learning.

ITERS - Infant and Toddler Environment Rating Scale

ITERS has a focus on auditing the environment for the youngest children (0 to 2 and a half years old) in order create a sense of attachment and well-being to promote development.

SSTEW - Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being

The SSTEW scale has been developed to assess the quality of adult support and interactions in promoting children’s sustained shared thinking and emotional well-being.

The SSTEW scale builds on the ITERS and ECERS to provide more focus on the adult role. The SSTEW scales go further in defining what adults actually do that support children's emotional well-being and their learning behaviours and attitudes.

MOVERS - Movement Environment Rating Scale

MOVERS is a new method of measuring the quality of environment and pedagogy in which children are encouraged to be physically active. It applies the methodology used in the ECERS-E and SSTEW scales, making it easy for educators familiar with these to adopt.

MOVERS is an invaluable tool for research, self-evaluation and improvement, audit, and regulation.

Learning and development enquiry

Call 0800 034 5340 or

Early Years Teacher (EYT) network

Practitioners with Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) working with children in Barnsley’s early years settings are invited to be part of the EYT network.

Being part of the network provides:

  • invitation to periodic network meetings to share good practice with other EYTs
  • professional development opportunities to support continuous improvement to leadership of learning

Please leave us some feedback