The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework is a government document that all schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers in England must follow. It sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old. The standards ensure your child will learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been reformed and there is a new EYFS framework that all schools and settings are now following as of 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 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 reforms that include relevant changes which parents, carers and children may notice or experience.
Staff will be spending less time on large amounts of written observations and assessments for evidence. This means they can spend more time supporting and engaging with the children and their learning and development needs.
Children will no longer be assessed against statements from an age band e.g. (40-60months). Instead, staff will use their experience and knowledge to monitor if a child’s learning and development is on track for their age.
The Early Learning Goals at the end of reception have been changed to become more clear and concise. Staff will use their judgements to assess if the children have met these goals at the end of the EYFS and inform parents and carers.
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.
Literacy and Numeracy skills focused on in the EYFS have been adapted to better match up with the National Curriculum that starts in Year 1.
There is no longer an exceeding judgement at the end of EYFS. Children will instead be challenged to have a greater depth and understanding of ideas.
Safeguarding and welfare of children is still a priority, with the added mention of teaching children about the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.
What will my child be learning?
The EYFS framework outlines seven areas of learning and development and educational programmes. There are three prime areas of learning, which are particularly important for your child’s development and future learning:
Personal, Social, Emotional Development
Communication & Language
There are four specific areas of learning, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts & Design
Early years practitioners also use your child’s needs and interests to plan challenging and enjoyable activities and experiences.
How will my child be learning?
The EYFS framework identifies the essential role of play in your child’s development. It is through both child-led play and play guided by an adult that your child will develop confidence and relationships with others. Through play, EYFS practitioners will help your child to extend their vocabulary and develop their communication skills. A greater focus on teaching specific skills will occur as your child progresses through their reception year, which will help them to prepare for year one.
The EYFS framework identifies three characteristics of effective teaching and learning: