Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
What is the EYFS curriculum that we use to track and monitor your child's development?
Schools and early years’ settings have to follow a structure of learning, development and care for children from birth to five years old. This is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets standards for the learning, development and care to enable your child to learn through a range of activities. The Early Years Foundation Stage was introduced in 2008. Following a Government consultation, a revised version of the EYFS was launched in September 2014 and we are now following another revised version from September 2021.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early years’ professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a hugely important stage as it helps your child get ready for the transition to school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. Every child's early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
All nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow and adhere to a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. This exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years’ experts and parents.
From September 2021 these national changes have been made to better support all young children’s learning and development. It is also the aim that the new framework will better prepare children for the transition from reception class at school into key stage 1.
There are some elements of the EYFS that have not significantly changed and some that have. Below are some of the key points from the new EYFS reform that include relevant changes which parents, carers and children may notice or experience.
• Staff will be spending less time on large amounts of planning and written observations and assessments for evidence collection. This means staff can spend more time supporting and engaging with their key children and their learning and development needs.
• Parents will still receive daily hand over information and a monthly update on target progress and next steps and we will be recording development WOW moments. However, we will not be completing a formal assessment on your child every 3 month but you will receive a copy of your child’s progress chart for ideas on what you can work on at home.
• Children will no longer be assessed against statements from an age band category and rated as high, sure and low for that age band category. Instead, staff will use their experience and knowledge to monitor if a child’s learning and development is typically on track for their age. If staff have any concerns regarding your child’s development, they will catch you at handover time to discuss these and arrange a catch-up chat if you would like one.
• Staff will monitor children on a daily and monthly basis as we always have done and will have monthly chats with management regarding the progress of your child. Staff will also formally sit down as a team and discuss every child ‘s learning and development at the end of each half term.
• There is an emphasis on improving children’s language and vocabulary through increasing opportunities for conversations, reading of a wide range of books and holding discussions around activities in other areas of learning.
• Scallywags’ nursery will be using ‘Development Matters’ to support our nursery curriculum. We will be planning in the moment on a daily basis to allow us to meet the ever-changing interests and needs of every child with a focus on developing field forest, music and dance, yoga, PE, and supporting our local community.
The Early Years Foundation Stage ensures:
Children learn through play
Providers work closely with parents
You are kept up to date on your child’s progress
The welfare, learning and all-round development of children with different backgrounds and levels of ability, including those with special educational needs and disabilities
The EYFS learning and development identifies seven areas of learning and development. These are divided into three prime areas:
Communication and language
Personal, social and emotional development
and four specific areas:
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Learning is structured around the ‘characteristics of learning’. This means that children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and outside.
Parents, carers or guardians should be involved in the assessment process on a regular, ongoing basis and be encouraged to participate in their child’s early learning and development.
You will receive written information about how your child is doing at age 2 (between 24 and 36 months) and at age 5 (at the end of the Reception year).
The EYFS progress check at age 2
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requires that parents and carers must be supplied with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime learning and development areas of the EYFS: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Communication and Language when a child is aged between 24-36 months.
Scallywags will perform this check and a copy of the assessment will be given to parents to put in their red books. It may be useful to take this assessment along with you to your health visitor 2-year check. The progress check is to enable earlier identification of development needs so that additional support can be put into place. If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving other professionals (for example, the provider’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator - SENCO) as appropriate.
foundationyears.org provides a “Know How Guide” which intends to support you in implementing the EYFS progress check at age two.
Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Development Matters - Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage (publishing.service.gov.uk supports practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS.
Helping your child to learn...
As a parent or carer you are able to help influence the way your child learns starting when they are born and taking place in the home.
Here are some ideas on how as a parent you can do this:
Reading books daily (Book Start) to your child and use them as an opportunity to talk about the characters and events in the story. You could also discuss some of the details children have spotted in the pictures, such as the character’s facial expressions
Visits to library
Practise counting with your child and looking at small groups of items. Explore what happens to numbers when you put these small groups of items together, or split a larger group into two smaller groups.
Support your child’s early reading by practising phonic skills, such as recognising letter sounds and blending them together to read words. Also, support your child with their writing by checking they are forming their letters in the correct way and holding a pencil properly.
Songs and rhymes
Drawing and painting
Encourage your child to play with friends
Talking- have lots of conversations with your child throughout the day. Try and increase their vocabulary by using a wide range of vocabulary and lots of WOW words. (WOW words are advanced adjectives, verbs and adverbs which are used to improve a sentence by making it vivid and interesting).
Encourage your child to make healthy food and drink choices, especially related to sugar content and how this can affect teeth. Also, support your child to properly brush their teeth at least twice a day at home.
Plan activities that allow your child to be active and develop their strength through large body movements as well as smaller, more precise movements.
`What to expect when`- a guide for parents
Department of Education - Website
Pre-school Learning Alliance - Website
If you would like any further information on the EYFS please contact us.