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EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - our Reception year promotes teaching and learning to ensure children's school readiness and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

Purpose and Aims

The EYFS seeks to provide:

  • Quality and consistency, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
  • A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly.
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
Requirements for Learning and Development

The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development:

  • The Seven Areas Of Learning And Development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children are described below.
  • The Early Learning Goals that providers must help children work towards. The goals summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year.
  • Assessment Arrangements For Measuring Progress when and how practitioners must assess children's achievements, and when and how they should discuss children's progress with parents and/or carers.
Overarching Principles of the EYFS

Four guiding principles should shape practice in EYFS. 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, 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.

Areas of Learning and Development

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in EYFS. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The Three Prime Areas

The three prime areas are:

  • Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The Four Specific Areas

We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  • Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials including books, poems, and other written materials to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding The World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment
  • Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Assessment during EYFS

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and our staff to recognise children's progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves teachers and teaching assistants observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, teachers respond to their own day-to-day observations about children's progress, and observations that parents and carers share. To this end we make systematic observations and assessments of each child's achievements, interests and learning styles. We then use these observations and assessments to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.

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