Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the curriculum that the Government sets for all early years providers (0-5 years) to make sure that ‘all children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe’. (Department for Education) There are 17 early learning goals to be aimed for by the end of the Reception year in school.


The Framework is divided into 3 sections;

  1. Characteristics of learning – the ways in which children learn and develop.
  2. 3 prime areas of learning – the 3 most important areas for all other learning.
  3. 4 specific areas of learning

Characteristics of learning

Playing and exploring, which is about finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to ‘have a go’.

Active Learning, which is about being involved and concentrating, persevering and enjoying achieving, what they set out to do.

Creating and thinking critically, which is about having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.

Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development, which is about making relationships and getting along with other children and adults, having confidence and self-awareness, being independent and helping others and being able to manage their feelings and behaviour.

Communication and Language, which is about developing good listening and attention skills, following instructions, to have good understanding and also speak and express themselves clearly.

Physical Development, which is about large and small movements in a variety of ways, having good control and co-ordination, handling different tools and equipment well. It also covers health and self-care, looking at ways to keep healthy and safe.

Specific Areas

Literacy, which is about stories, rhymes, books and reading, and also mark making/writing.

Mathematics, which looks at logical thinking, understanding and using numbers, counting, exploring shape, space and measure and learning to use and understand mathematical language.

Understanding the World, which is about people and communities and helps children understand about the world they live in, including ICT.

Expressive Arts and Design, which develops different forms of expression, exploring music, dance and song, encouraging children to be creative in all respects. It also focuses on media and materials and imaginative/pretend play.

The staff plan to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that touches on all aspects across the year, based on the observations of children’s play and what their interests are. This appears in the weekly enhancements to the continuous provision, as well as in the adult-led focuses, one-to-one teacher directed and group-time work.

Further information regarding the EYFS can be found at www.education.gov.uk