Play & Learning

At Portreath Pre-school we will support your child in developing the skills, knowledge and understanding that will help them to make sense of the world and ensure they are ready for the next step in their development and learning.  This is achieved through the wide range of play and learning experiences on offer in and out of the playroom, and through the interactions between the staff and children.

Each member of staff has a group of children for whom they are particularly responsible for. Your child’s key person will be the person who works with you to make sure that what we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests.

When your child arrives at the pre-school the key person will help your child to settle, become familiar with the routine and environment of pre-school and encourage them  to take part in activities and play and learning experiences.  The key person will closely observe your child at play, and how they engage with others and the resources available, to work out how they can best support them to take the next step in their learning and development.

Before your child starts at our setting the key person will make a home visit.  During this visit the views of you, the parent, and your child are discussed. These views help us settle your child into pre-school and ensure a good transition from home to pre-school is made. Home visits are a great way for your child to begin to build their relationship with their key person in the familiar space of their home.

Your child’s key person will document your child’s learning journey whilst they are with us in their Learning Journal, in the form of photos and observations. The journal is very much you and your child’s book and we actively encourage parents to add to it with photos and observations of what they notice about their child. The journals are out in the playroom, everyday, for parents and children to access, (they are also regularly sent home).

Purpose and aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its’ own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know that provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS 2017) is a document which lists specific requirements related to Welfare, Learning and Development and Assessment. Ofsted has the role of evaluating the work of Early Years settings and ensuring that the requirements of the framework are met.

The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving economic well-being.

The 2017 Early Years Framework lays out the areas of development that we must nurture and assess. The Prime Areas are fundamental to learning and essential in the development of a child. The following areas will form the main focus of our curriculum and planning:

Personal Social and Emotional Development;

  • Making Relationships
  • Self Confidence and Self-awareness
  • Managing Feelings and Behaviour.

Physical Development;

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and Self-care.

Communication and Language;

  • Listening and attention.
  • Understanding.
  • Speaking.

Our curriculum also covers the specific areas of ;

  • Literacy (Reading, Writing-age appropriate activities)
  • Mathematics (Numbers, Shape, Space and Measure)
  • Understanding the World (People and Communities, The World, Technology)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (Exploring and Using Media and Materials, Being Imaginative)

Running through all of these areas are the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’. These underpin everything we do and are crucial skills for children to become successful, independent problem solvers and learners. These are:

  • Playing and Exploring – which involves ENGAGEMENT Finding out and exploring, Playing with what they know, Being willing to have a go.
  • Active Learning  – which involves MOTIVATION – Being involved and concentrating, Keeping on trying, Enjoying achieving what they set out to do.
  • Creating and Thinking Critically – which involves THINKING – Having their own ideas, Making links, Choosing ways to do things.


The Government have published a  document for parents/carers called ‘What to expect, when?’.  This has been published to help parents  find out more about how their child is learning and developing during their first five years in relation to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  The EYFS outlines what the pre-school needs to do to support your child.   The document can be downloaded at 4Children_ParentsGuide what to except when.  It is an interesting and useful document which has lots of ideas for how to support your child’s learning and development.