Early Years Foundation Stage

As a registered childminder, it is a legal requirement that I follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework. This covers the stage of children's development from birth to the end of their first (Reception) year in school.  The EYFS is not a formal curriculum but a play based approach to care and education. 

Play underpins all development and learning for young children and the importance of learning through play is woven into the Framework of the EYFS. Commitment 4.1 states “In their play children learn at their highest level”.  

The main aim of the EYFS is to support each child, regardless of their background, to “achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving economic well-being” (EYFS 2008).  Meeting the needs of all children lies at the heart of the EYFS.  It won’t feel like learning – most children just see it as fun and play. 

There are seven areas of learning which are all important and inter-connected.  There are three prime areas which are considered critical for a child’s learning and healthy development.  In addition, there are four specific areas of learning which build on the prime areas:-

 
Prime Areas
 
1.    Communication and Language
  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking
2.    Physical Development
  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care
3.    Personal, Social & Emotional Development
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour
  • Making friendships 

Specific Areas

 

1.    Literacy                     
  • Reading              
  • Writing                                      

2.    Mathematics

  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measures
3.    Expressive Arts & Design
  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative
4.    Understanding the World
  • People and communities
  • The World
  • Technology

The Early Learning Goals set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the Reception class. By the end of the EYFS some children will have exceeded the goals while others will be working towards some or all of them.  

The Early Learning Goals

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.


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.

 

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.


Literacy
 

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.


Mathematics
 

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.


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.


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.

 
This information is taken from EYFS Statutory Framework.  The full document can be found at: