Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that schools must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

What does the EYFS cover? The EYFS framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.  It incorporates:

  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare.
  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS.
  • Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
  • the seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes (described below);
  • the early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year; and
  • the assessment requirements (when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements, and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers).
  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS.

Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”

Areas of Learning. There are seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development.

There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design.

Planning. Activities and experiences for children are based on the seven areas of learning. Planning is based on children’s interests. Topic webs are designed to ensure that all areas of learning are provided for through exciting and stimulating experiences and opportunities. Half termly curriculum letters are sent home and published on our website and these give you an insight as to what you may do to support your child and facilitate learning at home.

The importance of play. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.

Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.

When planning children’s activities, we reflect on the different ways that children learn. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

1. playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go.’
2. active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
3. creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

When you look in your child’s Learning Journey you will see a mix of independent and adult initiated activities which are documented through photographs, observations and written work.

Assessment. Assessment plays an important part in helping parents and teachers to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves teachers observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.

Assessment at the end of the EYFS. In the final term of the year the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the early learning goals. In the EYFS Profile, teachers must indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’).

In addition to this explanation of the curriculum across the whole school,  you can see exactly what each class will be doing each half term by looking at the Class Information page.