Early Years Foundation Stage
We embrace the revised Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) which came into effect from September 2021. The EYFS sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
All nurseries must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Through this framework your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
The basis of our approach to early learning and development are the four guiding principles:
A unique child – Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environment with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
Learning and development – Children develop and learn at different rates
The EYFS framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
Through planning and guiding what children learn, practitioners must reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
playing and exploring – Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
active learning – Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
Creating and thinking critically – Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
The EYFS is made up of 7 areas of learning and development. All areas are important and inter-connected.
Three areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These 3 areas are referred to as the prime areas
Communication & Language
Giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in communicating their needs and developing language and vocabulary. Reading to children and engaging them in stories, rhymes and poems.
Providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their strength, co-ordination and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices enabling them to lead healthy and active lives. Gross motor skills to develop balance and spatial awareness and fine motor skills to help hand-eye co-ordination, puzzles, small tools.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others through strong, warm and supportive relationships and supported to manage emotions. To form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills, make friendships and learn how to resolve conflicts peaceably. Have confidence in own abilities and learn to look after and manage their own personal needs independently.
Children are also supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied
Encouraging children to develop a life-long love of reading. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest. Talking to children, reading and sharing books, stories and singing together. Recognising words with the same initial sound, articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing.
Providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers. Introducing mathematical vocabulary and opportunities for children to develop reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World
Guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places and the environment. Listening to stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems to foster their understanding of the world we live in.
Expressive Arts and Design
Enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of role play, media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement to develop their artistic and cultural awareness supporting their imagination and creativity.
Implementing the EYFS
We recognise that every child is unique, with his/her own developing view of the world, interests and abilities. We respect the many different forms of family life that children may experience as well as their social and cultural backgrounds.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.
To read more about each area of learning and development and how you can support your child at home we recommend all parents read ‘What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents:
Please visit the following:
(Updated August 2023)