What is the EYFS Framework?
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.
The framework 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 in order to keep your child safe and to promote their welfare.
- The Seven 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)”.
- There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.
How We Monitor Your Child’s Progress
All early years providers are required to meet certain standards set out in the early years foundation stage (EYFS). One of the requirements is that members of staff use ongoing observations to monitor how your child is developing and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all areas of their learning and development.
Our method to help with planning and keeping track of progress is using an interactive Nursery software app called Tapestry and is available to all parents to download to their phone, tablet or computer. The Tapestry Child Development tracker is divided into each area of learning and development, setting out the child’s progress across the prime and specific areas of learning from birth to five years.
What are prime and specific areas?
The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (DFE, 2017) focuses on how your child learns and what adults can do to encourage that learning. It identifies three prime areas, which are considered to be fundamental through the EYFS, and four specific areas which include essential skills and knowledge and provide important contexts for learning.
The three PRIME areas are:
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
- This involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- This involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Communication and Language
- This involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
The four SPECIFIC areas are:
- This involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- This involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
Understanding the World
- This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design
- This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.
- Ongoing assessment plays a very important part in recognising and understanding what a child needs. It involves practitioners observing your child to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles.