Our Learning Environment
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
When children feel emotionally safe and secure they are able to explore and find out about the place they are in and the things they can see, touch, manoeuvre or manipulate.
In the EYFS the environment is described in terms of three aspects:
- the emotional environment,
- the outdoor environment,
- the indoor environment.
These three aspects of the environment together make up the environment for play and learning in the EYFS.
Rich environments indoors have an immediate effect on the quality of children’s learning and development. What is a rich environment? It’s comfortable, interesting, attractive and appropriate for the child or children who use it. For some children it becomes like a second home where they eat and sometimes sleep. A suitable environment for a young baby will be very different from a suitable environment for a four or five year old although some features will be the same. Environments should be attractive and make children feel safe and secure and happy to be there and they should also be places where children can confidently play and learn.
Indoor space needs careful planning as it needs to be flexible to accommodate children’s changing interests and needs. Resources should be of the highest quality. Books need to be attractive and well maintained and reflect children’s fascinations. Resources such as blocks for building with, felt pens, chalks or pencils for mark-making, clothes for dressing up in and small items such as cars, dolls and jigsaws should be accessible by children themselves.