Foundation Stage

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Schools and Early Years providers have to follow a structure of learning, development and care for children from birth to five years old. This is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and it enables your child to learn through a range of activities.

The EYFS ensures:

  • Children learn through play
  • Providers work closely with parents
  • Your child’s learning at home is taken into account
  • You are kept up to date on your child’s progress

The welfare, learning and all-round development of the children with different backgrounds and levels of ability, including those with special education needs and disabilities, is taken into consideration. 

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas are known as the prime areas and there are four additional specific areas. 

We use these areas to help us assess each child’s progress:

Prime Areas

1.   Communication and language (CL): 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.

2.   Physical development (PD): 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.

3.  Personal, social and emotional development (PSED): 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.

Specific Areas

1.   Literacy (L): 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.

2.   Mathematics (M): 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.

3.   Understanding the world (UW): 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.

4.    Expressive arts and design (AD): 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.

Judged by Ofsted to be OUTSTANDING in March 2009 and OUTSTANDING in ALL Areas in November 2014. See the full report on the Ofsted website.