What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
Why are the years from birth to five so special?
The years from birth to five see the greatest growth and learning for all children. Good health; to be happy; to feel safe; to be successful. Early learning is the key to your child’s future and families make the greatest difference at this stage.
How does the EYFS fit with the Montessori Philosophy?
The principles of the EYFS are expressed in terms that are very familiar to Montessorians: that each child is unique; that positive relationships form the basis for personal respect supporting learning; that the learning environment is important in extending learning and development; and that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The Montessori approach is at one with the EYFS view of learning and both see observation as the key to promoting children’s learning and development.
These are periods of intense fascination for learning a particular characteristic or skill, such as going up and down steps, putting things in order, counting or reading. It is easier for a child to learn a particular skill during the corresponding sensitive period than at any other time in his life. The Montessori classroom takes advantage of this by allowing the child freedom to select individual activities which correspond to his own periods of interest.
The Absorbent Mind
Dr Montessori wrote that the most important period of life is the period from birth to the age of six years. “For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself is being formed. But not only his intelligence; the full totality of his psychic powers….At no other age has the child a greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”
Recent research has confirmed these theories of Dr Montessori showing that 50% of a child’s mature intelligence is developed between conception and four years of age and another 30% from the age of four to eight. This would suggest the very rapid growth of intelligence in the early years and the possible great influence of the early environment on this development.