A Parent’s Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and early years 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 ‘school ready’, as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, we strongly believe that their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; whilst supporting their development, care and learning needs. In order for children to acquire a deep level of learning, it is important to ensure they have opportunities to build memory prompts, enabling them recall things which they have learnt, effectively continuing to build their knowledge as they progress throughout their education.
What is the EYFS Framework – why do we have one?
Firstly, the framework sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements which we follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare.
- The 7 areas of learning and development which define examples of your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
- Each area of learning is broken down into small steps, called ‘Development Matters Statements’, we use these along with our own professional judgement, to assess the progress your child is making.
- Early Learning Goals are expected levels which your child should reach, usually by the end of their reception year. It is important to remember that every child is an individual and will progress at different rates, some may exceed this goal, some may reach it, whilst some will still be working towards it into Year One.
What does it mean for me as a parent?
We ensure that your child has a safe and happy learning environment by following the welfare standards set out which include: the numbers of staff required in a nursery, child to adult ratios, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments. At High View we value providing quality learning for our children and by clicking the link, you can see our most recent Ofsted report.
How my child will be learning?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. They will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
There are three prime areas of learning which 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, these prime areas of learning help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
As Early Years teachers, we use these 7 areas to plan your child’s learning and activities. We fully understand that each child is an individual in their own right and will develop at their own pace. Consequently, we ensure we are supporting them to make sure that their activities are both suited and tailored to meet your child’s unique needs. In our Nursery, these activities are tailored, ensuring they are suitable for very young children. We strongly believe that children in their early years learn by playing and exploring, being active; developing creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
The diagram below gives examples of the areas of learning and development and shows the links between the way in which your child learns and what they learn. Please bear in mind that all children develop at different rates so these examples are for guidance only. They are taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage Development Matters document.
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
The information written has been gathered from a variety of sources, including:
http://www.foundationyears.org.uk, © Crown copyright 2012