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Parent Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ?

The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals to help your child and was designed by a number of early years experts and professionals. In 2012 the framework was revised. The Early Years Foundation Stage is from 0 – 5 years and finishes as your child moves into year one when they begin their Key Stage One curriculum.

At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception class teacher and is based on what they, and other members of the EYFS team caring for your child, have observed over this academic year. In addition the EYFS team in Swans class will have used your ‘WOW’ cards to build a profile of how your child is demonstrating aspects of their learning at home as well as school.

What do the areas of learning mean?

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. The EYFS team in Swans will observe your child learning throughout the year and use these observations for assessment and to plan the next steps for your child.

Children mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and Language ~ oral language needs to be secure before children can begin to learn phonics, reading and writing
  • Physical Development ~ children need to learn to control their bodies in fine and gross motor skill e.g: holding a pencil, using scissors, learning how to balance and manage their own personal space
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development ~ how to build positive relationships with those around them, how to manage their feelings and emotions and how to manage their own personal needs

These prime areas are fundamental to and essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
The prime areas help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.  These are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

What are the characteristics of effective learning?

As you will know, young children are rarely still! They are ‘busy bees’ and so the new EYFS gives attention to ‘HOW’ young children learn.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

These are known as the characteristics of effective learning within the EYFS Framework and there is a comment on your child’s general progress which includes references to your child’s attitude to learning and how they have demonstrated the characteristics of effective learning during this academic year.

Early Learning Goals

At the end Year R (the foundation stage), each child will be assessed against the 17 key areas called the Early Learning Goals (ELG’s).