The Early Years Foundation Stage

The development of the Early Years Foundation Stage is a milestone in recognising and valuing our youngest children and the contribution made to their growth and development by the adults who work with them. It raises the status of work with this important age group and marks our commitment to providing a quality and effective service to children from birth to five years of age.

The purpose of the framework is to:

  • Value and celebrate babies and children

  • Recognise their individuality, efforts and achievements

  • Recognise that all children have, from birth, a need to develop learning through interaction with people and exploration of the world around them.

  • Acknowledges, values and supports the adults that work with babies and young children

  • Informs and develops practice whilst ackknowledging that working with babies and children is a complex, challenging and demanding task

The principles which underpin the framework are as follows:

  • Parents and families and central to the well-being of the child

  • Relationships with other people (both adults and children) are of crucial importance in a childs life

  • A relationship with a key person at home and in the nursery is essential to young children’s well-being

  • Babies and young children are social beings, they are competent learners from birth

  • Learning is a shared process and children learn most effectively when, with the support of a knowledgable and trusted adult, they are actively involved and interested

  • Caring adults count more than resources and equipment

  • Schedules and routines must flow with the childs needs

  • Children learn when they are given appropriate responsibility, allowed to make errors, decisions and choices and respected as autonomous and competent learners

  • Children learn by doing rather than being told

  • Young children and vunerable. They learn to be independent by having someone they can depend upon

How the Framework is organised

The Framework takes as its focus The Child and steers away from subjects, specific areas of experience and distinct curriculum headings. It identifies four Principles which celebrate the skill and competence of babies and young children. It highlights the interrelation between growth, learning, development and the environment in which they are cared for and educated.

These four ‘Principles’ are :

  • A Unique Child
  • Enabling Environments
  • Positive Relationships
  • Learning and Development

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Unique Child engages with other people and their environment through the Characteristics of Effective Learning; Playing and exploring, Active learning and Creating and thinking critically.

The characteristics of effective learning  underpin the learning and development across all the areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage to support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

Areas of Learning

The EYFS is made up of 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas.

The Prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through to support learning and development in all other areas. The Prime Areas are:- :

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. The 4 Specific areas are:-

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Expressive Arts & Design
  • Understanding the World

Please find further information regarding the Early Years Foundation Stage in our Early Years Foundation Stage Policy.