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Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust

Four Principles of Early Years Foundation Stage

A unique child

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



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

• support babies and children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture

• identify any need for additional support

• keep children safe

• value and respect all children and families equally


Positive relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.


Positive relationships are:

• 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

• stimulating

• built on key person relationships in early years settings


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.


Enabling Environments:

• value all people

• value learning


They offer:

• stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities

• rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching

• support for 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.


Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.


They foster the characteristics of effective early learning:

• Playing and exploring

• Active learning

• Creating and thinking critically


Page last updated 03/09/2021