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Different Approaches and Their Links to The EYFS

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The Reggio Emilia approach to early years’ foundation stage education is based on over forty years of experience in the Reggio Emilia Preschool Centres in Italy. The approach places emphasis on children’s symbolic languages in the context of a project-oriented curriculum. Learning is viewed as a journey; and education as building relationships with people (both children and adults) and creating connections between ideas and the environment. It is based on a comprehensive philosophy, underpinned by several fundamental, guiding principles: The child as protagonist, collaborator, and communicator

The teacher as partner, nurturer, guide, and researcher
Cooperation as the foundation of the educational system
The environment as the “third teacher”
The Parent as a partner, and Documentation as communication
This approach influences the EYFS in many ways. The main ways it influences the EYFS are: Practitioners providing the children initiated play; enabling an environment that prompts practitioners to think about how rich the environment is for the children; placing emphasis on sensory and outdoor play, and providing children ways of learning with other children through play.

The High/Scope approach began in the United States as a way of improving outcomes for disadvantaged children. It is an established model which influences children to be involved with decision making and taking responsibility. The main principle of this approach is building a strong relationship with parents, along with the appropriate curriculum. It recognises the uniqueness of each child and develops their self-confidence, by building on what they can do. Play is used as the model for learning as children are considered active learners. Routines are also considered highly important as children gain stability and consistency from this and respond better from this. This approach influences EYFS in various ways: The child is encouraged to become an active learner and be involved in their own learning Children are encouraged to use their own initiative to plan-do- review their learning, to undertake the learning experience and then to review the experience Children are prepared to have consistent, daily routines and organisation in the learning environment, which can help them to become confident and independent learners Practitioners aim to bring warmth and trust to the children, respect and value their cultural diversity

Montessori’s approach recognises that every child has a unique personality, ability and desire to learn. It is a method of education that is designed to take full advantage of the children’s desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. Dr Montessori acknowledges that a child´s thought processes differ from those of adults, and her approach allows children to actively choose, try and do themselves, creating a very powerful and successful learning environment. This approach’s influence on the EYFS is that:

Children will be able to choose from various materials in child-initiated play; these materials reflect the children´s need to model behaviours′ reflecting their family life It also allows children to contribute towards the cultural and social life of the classroom, offering them the opportunity to experience a sense of belonging The materials represent tasks that they may be familiar with from their home environment, such as pouring, polishing, dusting, getting dressed, sweeping, looking after plants, whilst introducing many new skills Practitioners are meant to observe children individually in order to provide better quality of play and leaning It helps to provide challenging play and learning to help progression

The Steiner approach is based on a concept that everything that surrounds young children, both visible and invisible, has an impact on them. It takes account of the whole child, including the spiritual and soul qualities, and believes those children’s development and learning flourishes in a calm, peaceful, predictable, familiar and unhurried environment, which recognises the child’s sensory sensitivities. The influence this approach has on the EYFS is that:

It encourages playing with natural objects for babies and toddlers Practitioners are made to plan adult-directed play and provide for child initiated play All the different activities, with their diverse but nurturing qualities, contribute to the gradual unfolding of the child’s gifts, allowing them to become well balanced in physical, emotional and cognitive development Practitioners allow children time to develop these capacities at their own pace within a well-structured and child-friendly environment Through the children’s creativity, many items are made as gifts for family members and the home, and the graces of gratitude and thankfulness are practised through action and deed.

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