Early Years Foundation Stage

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

The EYFS framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework gives mums and dads confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.

How do we use the EYFS?

At Tweenies we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. We are dedicated to supporting our children and families in line with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.

We consider at all times the individual needs, interests and stages of development of each child in our care, and use this information to plan a challenging & enjoyable experience for each child. We believe that there are four guiding principles that should shape our practice, and the practice of each early years setting:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The EYFS has 7 ‘areas of learning’ split into ‘Prime’ & ‘Specific’ areas. We use these areas of learning when planning for the progression of our children’s learning & development, and track their progress at all times. We at Tweenies acknowledge that three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive – these three areas are the prime areas:

Giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

 

If, through observations, assessment and planning, we find that your child’s progress in any prime area gives cause for concern, your Key Carer will discuss our findings with you and agree how to support your child. We must consider whether a child may have a special educational need or disability which requires specialist support, and will help you to link with the relevant services from other agencies as appropriate.

We also support our children in the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:

Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

English as an Additional Language

For children whose home language is not English, we take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home.

We also ensure that children have sufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS, ensuring children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin Year 1.

When assessing communication, language and literacy skills, we assess children’s skills in English. If a child does not have a strong grasp of English language, we will explore the child’s skills in the home language with parents and/or carers, to establish whether there is cause for concern about language delay.

EYFS Framework

The EYFS framework, as produced by the Government, can be found here.

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Development Matters

We use Development Matters in our use of the EYFS. Get a copy here.

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Parent’s Guide

A helpful guide to the EYFS for Parents can be downloaded here.

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What to Expect

Guide produced by 4Children for parents of EYFS children.

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EYFS Progress Check

Guide to the EYFS Year Old progress check for parents.

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