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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS framework sets the standards for how children from birth to 5 years will learn and develop. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure a child’s readiness for school. It also provides a good foundation for their future progress through school and life.

All Ofsted registered early years providers, must follow the framework. This allows all children to receive the same standard of early education.

Guiding principles

The four guiding principles that shape practice in early years settings

  1. Every child is a unique child. They are always learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships .
  3. Children learn and develop in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their needs. There is a strong partnership between the provider and parents or carers
  4. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children.

My childs learning

Through the seven areas of learning and development your child will be:

  • learning skills
  • acquiring new knowledge
  • demonstrating their understanding.

The three prime areas are: 

  1. Communication and Language 
  2. Physical Development 
  3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

Early Years Providers must also support your child in four specific areas, where the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. 

The four specific areas are:

  1. Literacy 
  2. Mathematics 
  3. Understanding the World 
  4. Expressive Arts and Design 

These seven areas help to plan your child’s learning and activities. Those teaching and supporting your child will make sure that activities suit to your child’s unique needs.

EYFS Assessments

Age 2 - progress check

When your child is between the age of 2 and 3, practitioners must review your child's progress. They will provide you with a written summary of your child's development in the prime areas. The check will identify strengths, and any areas where progress is less than expected.

Any significant emerging concerns, or identified special educational need or disability practitioners should:

  • develop a targeted plan to support your child’s future learning and development
  • involve you and other professionals as appropriate. 

Age 5 - Assessment at the end of the EYFS 

In the final term of the year in which your child reaches 5, the EYFS Profile must be completed for your child. The Profile provides you, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of your child’s:

  • knowledge
  • understanding
  • abilities
  • their progress against expected levels
  • their readiness for Year 1
  • The Profile must reflect
  • ongoing observation
  • all relevant records held by the setting
  • discussions with you, and any other adults whom the teacher or you judge can offer a useful contribution.  

All the information judges how your child is doing in the seven areas of learning and development. Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher in their next school year (year 1) will know:

  • what your child enjoys doing and does well,
  • help them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support
  • what that support should be and if they are already getting it.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities.  Maintained nursery schools and other providers who receive funding from the local authority to deliver early education must:

  • Have regard to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice. 
  • Identify a member of staff to act as Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator