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.
Four guiding principles shape practice in early years settings. These are:
• every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
• children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
• children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
• importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Effective, nurturing, and responsive teaching practices and interactions are key for all learning in early childhood settings. They foster trust and emotional security; are communication and language rich; and promote critical thinking and problem-solving. They also support social, emotional, behavioural, and language development; provide supportive feedback for learning; and motivate continued effort. Teaching practices and interactions are responsive to and build on each child’s pattern of development and learning. Teaching is often through play, where the child learns through games and experiences. However, stories, speaking and listening all play an important role. Whole class or small group sessions led by adults support young children's development and supplement the child-initiated or continuous provision using inside and outside environments.
Early years’ learning concentrates on 7 prime and specific areas of learning.
The prime areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
These areas provide experiences and vocabulary to support future learning.
There are assessments on entry to the Reception class and at the end of the academic year when they turn 5. These are not tests for the child - the assessments are based on EYFS practitioners’ observations. Information from these assessments is used for parents, practitioners and teachers to support children’s learning and development. However, throughout a child's time in EYFS, observations and notes are made of each child's development in the seven areas of learning.
Early years foundation stage profile
At the end of the academic year when a child turns 5, our Reception teaching staff records each child’s development by summarising observations and notes made whilst the child has been playing outside and in the classroom. The completed assessment is known as the ‘early years foundation stage profile’. This is used to help the year 1 teacher plan future learning for the children.
The following documents help explain how we plan and deliver the EYFS curriculum and provide additional information about our provision.