The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

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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 (2021) 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

At Charlton Nursery & Preschool, we have chosen to follow Birth to Five matters from September 2021. This is a non statutory framework that helps to underpin our practice and supports practitioners in providing children with the very best start, taking into account a range of holistic factors and the 7 areas of learning. Over the next year (September 2021- August 2022) we will be working on embedding the new Birth to Five framework across our settings and will be sharing this progress with our families. 

Within the framework, children's learning is broken down into three prime areas and four specific areas. The first three prime areas are our initial focus, with the core belief that these set the foundations for secure and successful learning through out life. The four specific areas come later and are interlinked with the fundamental skills and milestones that have already been established.

Within these areas of learning, guidance is set out about what a child is learning, what adults could do and what adults could provide. It ensures activities and learning experiences are varied and enriching whilst taking into account how unique children are. The 7 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.