The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

What is the EYFS?

The EYFS is our early years curriculum which sets out the guidance for early years settings to follow for children aged 0-5 years. It helps support your child through their early years, enabling a positive transition into school and later life. It is comparable to the National Curriculum used in Primary and Secondary schools but it is age and stage appropriate for babies and young children.

The EYFS statutory framework also sets out the legal requirements that settings must follow to enable:

  • Children's learning to be assessed appropriately

  • Children to make progress

  • Children to be safeguarded and their welfare promoted

  • Settings to be safe, secure and appropriately risk assessed

Within the framework, children's learning is broken down into three prime areas and four specific areas. Guidance is set regarding what a child is learning, what adults could do and/or provide. The seven areas of learning are as follows:

Prime areas -

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Physical Development 

  • Communication and Language

Specific areas - 

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts and Design

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The Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) underpin the seven areas of learning and, focus on how children learn (rather than what they learn) and how they engage with other people and the environment around them. The COEL are divided into three areas:

  • Playing and Exploring - Children use their senses to explore and engage with the world around them. Children act out experiences and seek new challenges.

  • Active Learning - Children focus, concentrate and persist, even when challenges occur.

  • Creating and Thinking Critically - Children think of new ideas, make predictions and review how well their approach worked.