The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) covers learning, development and care from birth to the end of the academic year in which a child has their fifth birthday.
The overarching principles of the EYFS:
- 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 in the 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.
These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language – speaking, listening and attention, and understanding.
- Physical development – moving and handling (large and fine motor) and health and self care.
- Personal, social and emotional development – self-confidence and self awareness, managing feelings and behaviours, and making relationships.
Children are also supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Literacy - reading and writing.
- Mathematics - number and shape, space, measure.
- Understanding the world - people and communities, the world, technology.
- Expressive arts and design - exploring and using media and materials, and being imaginative.