Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage is a framework that sets out the standards for learning, development and care of children, from birth to five years old. When children begin school, they will start in the Reception class which follows the EYFS.
The EYFS has four guiding principles:
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, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
Children develop and learn in different ways and 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.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape learning in the early years. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for building children's capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The four specific areas in addition to these are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The EYFS also includes the characteristics of effective learning which are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Throughout this time the progress of each child is continually assessed and activities planned to meet their individual needs and next steps.