Parents' Guide to The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS)
Guidance for your child's learning and development
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The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) sets out the learning and development stages for children as they grow from birth to five years.
Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. For those working in the early years (whether as a childminder or in a nursery, pre-school, or reception class in school), the Early Years Foundation Stage framework outlines what practitioners need to do to support your child.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has its own stand-alone curriculum for Pre-School and Reception children in primary settings. From September 2021 the EYFS curriculum is changing for all settings in England
Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2021
The EYFS curriculum is split into Prime and Specific areas. The prime areas are important because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life. The specific areas provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills:
The Prime Areas of learning are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development;
- Communication and Language;
- Physical Development.
The Specific Areas of learning are:
- Understanding the World;
- Expressive Arts and Design.
At the end of the Reception year, pupils are benchmarked against the Early Learning Goals for each area. Attainment is described as either: emerging (working below the expected level) or expected (working at the expected level) and these are reported to parents in the end-of-year written report. This is a change from previous years as, under the new Early Adopter framework, exceeding (working above the expected level) has been removed.
Changes to the Early Learning Goals (ELGs)
The most significant changes to the ELGs are in the areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Mathematics and Understanding the World. We have attached the New Framework for September 2021 for you, but the key changes are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – ‘Self-Regulation’ has been a key focus recently and this is now reflected in a new Early Learning Goal. ‘Managing Self’ covers aspects previously covered within Physical Development. The ‘Building Relationships’ goal is very similar to the former ‘Making Relationships’ goal.
Communication and Language - ‘Listening, Attention and Understanding’ are now combined into one goal, with the other goal focusing on ‘Speaking’.
Physical Development - These Early Learning Goals no longer include health and self-care, solely focusing on moving and handling skills. There is now a goal for gross motor skills and a separate goal focusing on fine motor skills.
Literacy - There are now three early learning goals for Literacy, with the reading focus now split into comprehension and reading words.
Mathematics - The new Mathematics Early Learning Goals focus on a deep understanding of number and numerical patterns. Although there is no longer a goal for shape, space and measure the Government consultation response states, ‘Practitioners and teachers will still be required to teach children about shape, space and measures, as part of a well-rounded curriculum as set out in the revised mathematics educational programme.’
Understanding the World - The most noticeable change to the Early Learning Goals for Understanding the World is the inclusion of ‘Past and Present’ and the removal of the ‘Technology’ goal. We will continue to introduce children to appropriate technology to support their learning.
Expressive Arts and Design - The goals for Expressive Arts and Design are broadly similar to the existing goals with mentions of being imaginative and using a variety of materials, tools and techniques.