The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year.
It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play, active learning and by thinking critically. A high importance is placed on both the indoor and outdoor learning environments.
Within the EYFS a young child needs:
•To be supported and encouraged when facing new experiences.
•Help to develop positive relationships and attitudes.
•To have their security and well being considered.
•To be responded to as individuals.
•To have time and space for active exploration in and out of doors.
•To be provided with meaningful contexts for learning.
There are seven areas of learning within the EYFS and these are split into three prime and four specific areas:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication & Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts & Design
Monitoring Children's Development
Each of the 7 areas of learning have their own set of Early Learning Goals which determine what children are expected to achieve by the end of the Reception year. To work towards these goals we monitor and assess children through a document called Development Matters.
There are 17 early learning goals in total and these are not hierarchical; each point is assessed separately. Children work towards these goals throughout the year and are assessed in the Summer Term against each ELG and awarded emerging, expected or exceeding.
•Emerging – the child has just started to develop within an age band e.g. 40-60+ months
•Expected – the child has reached the Early Learning Goal
•Exceeding – the child has exceeded the Early Learning Goal and is working towards the National Curriculum