Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.
The EYFS profile is broken down into seven main areas:
- 1. Personal and social development: helping to build confidence, concentration, independence and respect.
- 2. Communication and language: developing speaking, listening, understanding and attention skills.
- 3. Literacy: developing reading and writing skills.
- 4. Mathematics: focusing on number work and shapes, space and measures.
- 5. Understanding the world: helping children investigate and think about their place in the world.
- 6. Physical development: relating to developing physical skills and understanding.
- 7. Expressive arts and design: centered on building children’s imagination and allowing them to explore different media and materials
Each area is then broken down into sub-areas with different objectives that the children are required to meet. (For example, Personal and Social Development is broken down further into Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour, Making relationships).
Throughout the year your child will be observed on a daily basis and all staff monitor their progress in each of these seven areas. All of the information is collated into the Foundation Stage Profile which is an ongoing assessment and monitoring of your child’s progress.
By the end of the year, your child should reach or exceed a main goal for each of the areas of learning. These goals are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
Below are the goals that your child is working towards in each area of the EYFS curriculum:
1. Personal, social and emotional development:
- Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
- Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
- Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
2. Communication and language:
- Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
- Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
- Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
- Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
- Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
- Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
- Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
5.Understanding the world
- People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
- The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
- Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
6. Physical development
- Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
- Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
7. Expressive arts and design
- Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
- Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
At the end of the Reception year, a judgement is made on whether or not the child has made a good level of development and is ready for year 1.
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
- Sing and tell nursery rhymes.
- Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about.
- Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines.
- Cook / bake together.
- Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch.
- Use the weather – shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun – to extend your child’s vocabulary.
- Explore the park at a different time of the year – go off the beaten track.
- Share a book.
- Talk to your child at every opportunity – e.g. what you are doing that day.
- On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes.
For more information on the EYFS, please use these links…