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Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS) begins at birth and ends when a child is 5, at the end of the Reception year.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum is the statutory framework that sets out children’s learning and development in the Foundation Stage. It provides children with the skills and knowledge necessary to build the foundation of learning for future progress and success throughout school and life.

The EYFS Profile summarises a child’s attainment at the end of the EYFS. This judgement is based on ongoing observations and assessments of the three characteristics of effective learning, and the three prime and four specific areasof learning. There are 17 Early Learning Goals associated with the 7 areas of learning. Each child is assessed against these goals at the end of the Reception year.

Characteristics of effective learning:

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically

The prime areas of learning:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

The EYFS Framework highlights the importance of Early Years Settings working alongside parents in order to provide a fully rounded profile of the skills and knowledge that each child demonstrates both at school and at home. The activities that parents complete with their child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a long lasting effect on each child’s learning. For example, talking, listening, reading, singing nursery rhymes, cooking and baking or playing outside with them.

Additional information about the EYFS can be found at:

Guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage

Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage

Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage

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