From September 2014 it became for all early years providers to follow the 2014 EYFS framework.The document sets out:
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)”
There are four themes within the EYFS;
1. A Unique Child:
This theme acknowledges that all children are different and their learning needs and styles are unique too. Positive relationships and good communication are vital so that we can plan for individual learning needs. Children do best when all their physical and emotional needs are met, and this is what we aim to do at Preschool. Staff understand and observe each child’s development and learning and assess their progress, planning for their next steps. Together we identify any areas which may need some additional support and arrange this if necessary.
The Unique Child relates to all the areas of learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Playing and Exploring: Finding out and exploring, Playing with what they know, Being willing to ‘have a go’.
Active Learning: Being involved and concentrating, Keeping trying, Enjoying achieving what they set out to do.
Creating and Thinking Critically: Having their own ideas, Making links, Choosing ways to do things.
2. Positive Relationships:
This theme is about children learning to manage their feelings and build friendships. We respect all families and aim to develop a positive two-way relationship with parents and carers. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Staff are warm and friendly and help to foster a sense of belonging. We are sensitive and responsive to children’s feelings and support their efforts and encourage independence. Children need to learn about risks and safety, how to make good choices, and how to stick to boundaries.
3. Enabling Environments:
This theme is about how we plan for and check on each child’s progress. Children learn and develop well in environments in which the adults provide experiences based on children’s individual needs and there is a strong partnership between staff and parents/carers. These environments value everyone’s learning and offer stimulating resources relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities. We offer rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching and support children to take risks and to explore.
4. Learning and Development:
This theme is about how children develop and learn in different ways. The EYFS framework covers the education and care of all children in preschool, including children with additional needs. We teach children by providing challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. We aim to foster the characteristics of effective learning: Playing and exploring, Active learning, and Creating and thinking critically.
The Learning requirements are divided into two areas, Prime areas, which begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The Prime areas continue to be essential throughout the whole EYFS.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships, Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour.
Communication and Language: Listening and attention, Understanding, Speaking.
Physical Development: Moving and handling, Health and self-care.
The Specific Areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. They grow out of the Prime areas and provide important contexts for learning.
Literacy: Reading, Writing.
Mathematics: Numbers, Shape, Space and Measure.
Understanding the World: People and communities, The world, Technology.
Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using media and materials, Being imaginative.
Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) in each area show expected levels of attainment at age 5.
At some point after your child turns 2, we will give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:
Communication and language;
Personal, social and emotional development
This is called the progress check at age 2.This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any where they might need some extra help or support – and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the key person to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.
While your child is with us, we will record some of the things they do; we take photographs and make notes to show how your child is developing. These are included in the lovely file which is given to you when your child leaves us. You can ask to see your child’s file and we are happy to explain anything to you. We actively encourage you to contribute towards your child’s Learning file, and we will share their achievement with you on a weekly basis. We will collate our evidence of your child’s progress through the EYFS to pass on to your child’s next setting.
What is the EYFS?
The EYFS is the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The full document can be downloaded from the Foundation Years website.