Early Years Foundation Stage

What to expect in the Early Years (age 2-4)

If your child is age 2-3 or 3-4 the chances are that you will want to give them the advantages of some form of Early Years setting, whether that is a nursery, pre-school or playgroup.

(A Nursery will usually care for children from six-weeks of age until they start primary school. However, a preschool will usually care for children between the age of three and four)

A preschool is often used by parents who want to prepare their children for full time education. Instead of a child starting their education when they enter what schools call the Reception Class (Foundation 2), a preschool gives a structured environment that will help them with the transition from home to school.

The MIS Nursery will usually care for children on a full-time basis. (Mondays to Fridays) At the MIS preschool children will only stay for two or three hours at a time (Saturday mornings)

Whether you choose a nursery or a preschool for your child will largely depend on your personal requirements. If you require childcare but still want your child to benefit from a structured learning environment, you may want to consider enrolling them in our MIS Nursery Class (Foundation 1).

To find out more about Mandarin International School Nursery and Preschool, get in touch. Contact us today on 020 3319 7332 or via the online contact form

Early Years Foundation Stage

What will my child do in the Early Years?

At this stage of their learning, your child will mainly be learning through play-based activities.

They will also be learning about routine and developing early literacy and math skills, learning about the world around them and learning vital social skills

We use ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) as our core set of learning objectives and teach the skills necessary for children to meet typical age-related expectations. The Development Matters document is guidance material that supports us in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS.

The importance of play

In these all-important years your child will begin to learn doing things for themselves, by exploring and investigating, watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating – all of these skills are part of playing.

Play is children’s work and playing hard is very tiring!
Play can also be very messy as your child will be learning with sand, water and paint, so you can expect some mucky clothes at the end of the day.

The Early Years Foundation Stage
MIS pre-school and playgroup is based on the UK government’s The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This specialist programme for very young children is broken down into three prime aspects and four specific areas of learning. The three prime aspects of learning are:

Personal, social and emotional development
This important aspect of your child’s time will see them encouraged to develop positive relationships, to play with a variety of friends and to understand the feelings of others. They will have lots of opportunities to build self-confidence and self-awareness, and also manage their feelings and behaviour.

This key area of your child’s learning in pre-school and playgroup will see them spend lots of time sharing rhymes, songs, stories, and playing games to develop their speaking and listening skills. They will be encouraged to listen carefully, to develop concentration, to respond to questions and instructions, to share ideas and experiences, and to take part in conversations.

Your child will be given lots of opportunities to move in different ways, for example: running, jumping, balancing and playing with balls. Physical development at this very young age includes learning to hold and use tools, such as scissors, and to use pencils and pens to draw lines and shapes

Our curriculum and enrichment activities are delivered through planned learning opportunities which cover the 7 learning and development areas of the EYFS. Children will be given opportunities to engage in stimulating and challenging activities within projects and during the different extended care programs that are designed to develop and enhance independence, communication, skills, problem-solving and inventive & creative thinking.

The ‘Communication’ section above outlines some activities to develop speaking and listening skills. In addition to sharing lots of stories, your child will probably be encouraged to handle and look at books independently and to start learning how stories are structured.

There will be opportunities for your child to recognise their own name. Your child will be encouraged to draw, paint, and make things, so that they develop control and hand-eye coordination. They may begin to learn to copy the letters in their name.

At nursery, your child will be given many opportunities to explore numbers and shapes in their play. For example, they may be encouraged to count objects they are playing with and to compare two groups of objects. They will probably begin to represent numbers using their fingers, marks on paper, or pictures.

Understanding the world
Your child will learn about the world around them and they will be encouraged to use simple technology and equipment.

Expressive Arts
Imagination and creativity are explored and developed in the area of expressive arts. Your child will explore different media and materials and will use their imagination in a range of different experiences.

The enrichment activities in our nursery curriculum will vary from time to time and can include the following:

Music and Movement for Expressive Arts and Physical Development.

Messy Fun to explore creative talents and skills in a free and unstructured environment.

Investigation Station for exploring and investigating scientific concepts and the world.

Outdoor Gross Motor Play for Physical Development

Indoor Gross Motor Play with movement and building for Physical Development.

Water and Sand Exploration for Understanding the World.

Bikes and Trikes for Physical Development.

Sensory Play to explore the senses and learn new concepts about themselves and the world around them.

Enrichment Activities are planned and delivered by our Class Teachers and we invite them to be creative and imaginative in designing new creative opportunities for the children to explore the curriculum in different ways.

Continuous Provision
At MIS we expect children to have access to engaging materials and open-ended resources both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers are expected to provide environments that follow these guidelines:

Environments are clutter free and attractive to children.

Materials are clearly organised to promote children’s independence.

Accessible materials should be almost entirely for the children’s use.

Teachers must provide in some way: a Role Play area, Story corner, Free Writing/Mark Making area, Small World area, Construction Area, Creative/Cut and Stick table, Play Dough table, Number resources

Materials must be regularly changed, added to or re-organised in order to sustain the children’s interest and engagement.

Preparing your child for the transition to school
As your child is ready to move from Mandarin International School, Preschool to the school classrooms and make the next big step in their education and independence, we need to prepare and encourage them for this exciting new chapter.

The transition will bring about feelings of excitement and no doubt some nerves too, but this is a milestone that your little ones will be looking forward to!

After all, this is a time when your child will truly find their own feet in the world, meet new friends and become an independent human. It is a time for them to embrace new opportunities and expand their knowledge further in a school environment.

Here at MIS, we want the transition from pre-school to ‘Big School’ to be as enjoyable as possible for all our students, and our team always go to every length to ensure that your child leaves us happy, excited and feeling positive about this major milestone in their development.

And when it comes to preparing your little one for school, it certainly pays to start early to help make the transition as smooth and as positive as possible.

Here’s our guide to preparing your child for the transition to school…

Visit the school together
Visiting your child’s school is a great way to put your mind, and your little one’s mind at ease prior to their first day, especially when it comes to introducing them to their new surroundings.

Booking in a visit will allow you to introduce your child to their new classroom, playground, and other areas of the school.

Meet the teacher
Your child’s first teacher will play a huge role in all areas of your child’s development. With this in mind, arranging for you and your child to meet their teacher prior to your child’s start date can be hugely beneficial, as it’s a great opportunity to ask any questions about the school day, the type of things your child will get up to during their first few weeks or any other concerns you have.

Starting School Books
A great way to prepare your child for school is to borrow some books from the library that focus on this topic and show them what an exciting time they are going to have.

Encourage them to make friends
It’s true what they say… your school days are some of the best days of your life, and one of the best things about school is making friends

So, from an early age, you should teach your little ones how to make new friends by looking at their eyes and smiling, asking what their names are, and introducing themselves.

Of course, if you’d like to discuss how we prepare our children for the school transition at the Mandarin International School, please do not hesitate to contact us.