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Developmental Psychology and Children Essay

This is a very important stage as it helps children to get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when child is born up until the age of 5, the children early-years experiences should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure and to support their development, care and learning needs. In my setting children will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.

These are:
• Communication and language
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for the child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.

These are: • Literacy • Mathematics • Understanding the world • Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan all children learning and activities. The key person teaching and supporting child will make sure all the activities are suited to child’s unique needs. This it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that all staff in my setting can follow the child’s unique needs and interests. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. In my setting I plan the activities based on the current interests and abilities of the children present.

Sometimes the activities will be led by adults in order to practise and develop particular skills like using scissors or gluing, or learning new songs and rhymes to develop children’s awareness of sounds and letters. At other times children will select what they play with from a rich learning environment set up in the playroom or classroom. They will appear to be playing but, as this is how young children learn, they will be learning too. Washing the dolls’ clothes for instance helps develop physical skills, and gives the opportunity to communicate and co-operate with others, and to discover the properties of water and detergent.

In the table above is a short meaning of the seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early-years settings. All areas of learning and development are 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. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early-years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE (EYFS) is a term defined in Section 39 of the British government’s Childcare Act 2006. The EYFS comprises a set of _Welfare Requirements_ and a set of _Learning and Development Requirements_, which must be followed by providers of care for children below 5 years old – the age of compulsory education in the United Kingdom. The Welfare and Learning and Development requirements are not specified in the Act but in separate. The legislation took effect from September 2008 and updated in 2012. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate framework. The Welfare requirements apply to the whole of the UK, but the Learning and Development requirements apply only in England.

The EYFS is organised into 4 themes: -a unique child -positive relationships -enabling environments -learning and development

The EYFS is linked to the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda which has 5 areas that need to be addressed: -staying safe -being healthy -enjoy and achieve -make a positive contribution -achieve economic well-being The purpose of the ECM agenda is to ensure that all children are safe, have their needs met and are able to fulfil their full potential.


The Early Years Foundation Stage was designed to ensure that all children-regardless of where they live, their family background or circumstances-would have access to a quality early years education. To be able to measure this and also to ensure that practitioners have a clear focus for their work, a series of outcomes is given for each area of learning. These are called the Early Learning Goals. This helps that each child can meet them by the end of their reception year. These goals are important as they form the building blocks for children’s later education. It is important that practitioners recognise that many of the early Learning Goals are also associated with children’s development and so while it is reasonable to expect children to meet them at the end of the reception year, they are not meant to be used as outcomes in nurseries or pre-schools. It is also worth noting that some children will for a variety of reasons not meet all the early Goals as they may have specific health or learning difficulties or because they are simply younger than the other children. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and all support to full-fill their potential.

A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know that setting will keep their children safe and will help their children to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the framework that provides that assurance. 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.

Personal social and emotional development – children need to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others, to learn respect for others, social skills and a positive disposition for learning. Self-confidence and self-esteem, behaviour and self-control helping children to understand their emotions and how to express those emotions, self-care children needs to be able to do tasks like dressing and feeding , sense of community learning where a child has come from respect for others and inclusion. The EYFS was designed to ensure all children are treated the same no matter where they have come from that they would have access to the same education to measure this and to ensure practitioners have a clear focus for their work a series of outcomes id given for each learning area these are called early years goals this is done by the end of the reception year.


Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

I understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress, plan for their next steps.

I support children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture.

I identify any need for additional support.

I keep children safe.

I value and respect all children and their families equally.

Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.


warm and loving, and foster a sense of belonging

sensitive and responsive to the child’s needs, feelings and interests

supportive of the child’s own efforts and independence

consistent in setting clear boundaries and stimulating children

Enabling Environments – children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.


• value all people • value learning • I offer stimulating resources to all the children’s cultures and communities • learning opportunities through play and playful teaching • I support children to take risks and explore

Learning and Development

Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early-years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. In my setting I teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.

The Areas of Development and Learning comprise of three prime areas;

personal, social and emotional development;

communication and language

physical development;

and four specific areas:



Understanding of the World

Expressive Arts and Design;

For each area, the practice guidance sets out the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know and be able to do by the end of the reception year of their education.

The practice guidance also sets out in ‘Development Matters’ the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the early learning goals. Our setting has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning.

_Personal, social and emotional development_

Our programme supports children to develop:

positive approaches to learning and finding out about the world around them;

confidence in themselves and their ability to do things, and valuing their own achievements;

their ability to get on, work and make friendships with other people, both children and adults;

their awareness of, and being able to keep to, the rules which we all need to help us to look after ourselves, other people and our environment;

their ability to dress and undress themselves, and look after their personal hygiene needs; and

their ability to expect to have their ways of doing things respected and to respect other people’s ways of doing things.

_Communication, language and literacy_

Our programme supports children to develop:

conversational skills with one other person, in small groups and in large groups to talk with and listen to others;

their vocabulary by learning the meaning of – and being able to use – new words;

their ability to use words to describe their experiences;

their knowledge of the sounds and letters that make up the words we use;

their ability to listen to, and talk about, stories;

knowledge of how to handle books and that they can be a source of stories and information;

knowledge of the purposes for which we use writing; and

making their own attempts at writing.


Our programme supports children to develop:

understanding and ideas about how many, how much, how far and how big;

understanding and ideas about patterns, the shape of objects and parts of objects, and the amount of space taken up by objects;

understanding that numbers help us to answer questions about how many, how much, how far and how big;

understanding and ideas about how to use counting to find out how many; and early ideas about the result of adding more or taking away from the amount we already have.

_Understanding of the World_

Our programme supports children to develop:

knowledge about the natural world and how it works;

knowledge about the made world and how it works;

their learning about how to choose, and use, the right tool for a task;

their learning about computers, how to use them and what they can help us to do;

their skills on how to put together ideas about past and present and the links between them;

their learning about their locality and its special features; and

their learning about their own and other cultures.

_Physical development_

Our programme supports children to develop:

increasing control over the large movements that they can make with their arms, legs and bodies, so that they can run, jump, hop, skip, roll, climb, balance and lift;

increasing control over the small movements they can make with their arms, wrists and hands, so that they can pick up and use objects, tools and materials; and

their understanding about the importance of, and how to look after, their bodies.

_Expressive Art and Design_

Our programme supports children to develop:

the use of paint, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play to express their ideas and feelings; and their interest in the way that paint, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play can be used to express ideas and feelings.

_Assessment (learning journal, progress checks)_

I assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. I use information that I gain from observations, as well as from photographs of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. I believe that parents know their children best and I ask them to contribute to the learning journals by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they as parents are supporting development. I make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. I undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.


“Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. On-going assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.

In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents share.” EYFS 2012” All effective assessment involves analysing and reviewing what you know about each child’s development and learning. You can then make informed decisions about the child’s progress and plan next steps to meet their development and learning needs. This is called assessment for learning. ”EYFS 2012”

Formative assessment is the type of assessment based on observations, photographs, videos, things children have made or drawn and information from parents. It informs or guides everyday planning.

Summative assessment is a summary of all the formative assessment done over a long period and makes a statement about the child’s achievements. The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is the summative assessment completed by practitioners at the end of the EYFS.” EYFS Practice Guidance 2007

“In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.

The Profile must reflect: on-going observation, all relevant records held by the setting, discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution.” ”Year 1 teachers must be given a copy of the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. These should inform a dialogue between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities in Year 1. ”EYFS 2012”

In my setting we ”reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in” our ”practice”. The ”three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

_playing and_ _exploring_ – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’

_active learning_ – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements

_creating and thinking critically_ – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

My setting curriculum is planned and delivered with every child at the heart of what we do. Every child’s needs are met through a personalised learning journey in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals. We report on these aspects when a child transfers to a different setting or school.

My setting provide accurate and up to date information about each child’s learning and development and we are able to share this with parents and professionals associated with each child in order for each child to make the best progress possible.

In my setting I observe children throughout the day, inside and outside accessing a range of opportunities which can be adult led or child led. Parents have access to their children’s records at all times.

Records will be updated termly and a development folder should document the child’s ‘learning journey’. Assessment should identify/highlight any children not making progress so that measures can be put into place to ensure that all children make progress.

Assessment is used to ensure early intervention takes place and the gap is closed between those who achieve and those who do not. Children should be assessed in their home language where appropriate and the progress should be tracked.

Children learn best when they are happy, relaxed, stimulated and involved. In my setting I encourage children to think, explore, play, take risks, question, talk, listen, show, create, share, celebrate, be, learn, grow, know and develop.

Through the setting we visit the child and family at home and get to know them, we ask the family to fill out an ‘all about me’ form to share information, we take photographs and videos of children learning, we make observation notes about the children’s successes, we valuate group time planning, we give feedback to children and parents about their progress and what steps come next. In my setting we create and maintain a green developmental book on each key child, we mark off development matters statements as they are achieved, we inform the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator SENCO if we have concerns about a child’s progress.

My setting set targets for the school relating to curriculum areas and identify ‘target children’ who may need additional support with their learning.

My setting support, monitor and develop this through:

– Observation and monitoring of the procedures

– Continually developing strategies which improve assessment and record keeping

– Communication and partnership with parents and other agencies to share skills and ideas

– Internal moderation of records

– Staff development and discussion

– Related reading

– Attending courses

– All about me form

– Development Matters records

– Long Observation sheets

– Group Time planning sheet

– Well Being and Involvement Scales

– Language Assessments

– Transition Document



Level 3 Diploma Children and Young People’s Workforce by Penny Tassoni EYMP 2 Promote learning and development in the early years

Cache Level 3 Diploma Children and Young People’s Workforce by Carolyn Meggitt EYMP 2 Promote learning and development in the early years





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