‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the teaching of the mind to think’ Albert Einstein. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the UK’s standard of education for the Early Years. The parallels between the Montessori approach and the main themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are clear. The majority of teachers consulted to set the first EYFS curriculum were Montessori Teachers. The Montessori way blends seamlessly with the EYFS.
The EYFS principals are that:
- Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, where their experiences respond to their individual needs and where there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents/carers.
- 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. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.
These principals align completely with the way we approach the delivery of a Montessori curriculum at Paint Pots.
There are many sections of the EYFS that emphasize the importance of the child's own decision making, both in what they do and how they do it. Other parts of the EYFS emphasize that children have a natural curiosity and drive to learn. The free-choice of a Montessori classroom, carefully prepared by nurturing teachers, offers a rich learning environment that fully supports the EYFS principals.
EYFS prime areas
The prime areas of development outlined within the EYFS are:
- Communication & Language
- Personal, Social & Emotional
The Montessori method covers all these areas of development. At Paint Pots we offer opportunities for each child to develop skills in these areas through individualised learning and bespoke teaching to suit the needs of each child at their age and stage.
EYFS specific areas
The EYFS outline 4 Specific Areas of the curriculum:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
All of the EYFS specific areas can be found within our classrooms.
At Paint Pots we organically extend learning all areas of the curriculum to everything we do. For example we might extend mathematics through counting blocks as we build a tower or expand literacy by naming the different foods we eat together at lunch while also learning about healthy eating and nutrition.