What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early year’s professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
At The Hayes Primary School, there are two reception classes and the teachers follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
What is the EYFS Framework – why do we have one?
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early year’s experts and parents. In 2014 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
It sets out:
-The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare.
-The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
-Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS.
-Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”.
How my child will be learning?
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
Communication and language;
Physical development; and
Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the world; and Expressive arts and design. These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and indoors.
How can I find out how my child is getting on?
It is important that you and our EYFS staff are professionals caring for your child, working together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child. These conversations will be with your child’s class teacher. 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 teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.
Another important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers. All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development.
Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in their next school year – year 1 – will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it. The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.
It is widely recognised the vital role that parents have in supporting their children’s learning and development. Parents need to know what to expect in relation to their child’s development through the different age bands of the EYFS. What to expect, when? is a simple guide which takes parents through the expectations of each age band in the EYFS and how they can support their children’s learning and development.