The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Information for parents/carers
What is the EYFS?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was originally launched in 2008. It is the statutory framework for all early years providers in England but it is held in high regard worldwide.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards that all early years providers must meet. Early years providers in England who provide care and learning for children from birth to the end of reception class must comply with the EYFS Statutory Framework.
Ofsted regulate and inspect all early years providers against the safeguarding and welfare requirements and areas of learning to determine how well children are kept safe and healthy. From time to time the EYFS is updated and refreshed, so far this has happened in 2012, 2014 and 2017.
What is changing?
From September 2021 a revised EYFS came into effect. The key messages about the reforms include:
- Reducing practitioner/teacher workload and needless paperwork to allow for more quality time and interactions with the children
- Improving the outcomes of all children and addressing/reducing the disadvantage gaps
- The importance of workforce knowledge and professional development to inform assessments. Reflect upon the need to assess every child’s development against ‘check lists’, saving formal steps of assessment for when they are necessary
- Making early learning goals clearer and more aligned to Y1 curriculum.
What do the changes mean to me as a parent/carer?
The safety of your child and the quality of the education provided will not change. You may not see any changes in terms of the activities and opportunities on offer to your child/ren. However, you may notice that we are not physically recording as many observations and assessments of progress. Please be reassured that we will still be supporting your child’s development and responding to their interests. We will be using our professional judgements to assess your child’s development during our daily interactions and activities.
The seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The prime areas of learning form the essential foundations for healthy development and future learning. Once a solid start has formed within the prime areas we continue to build upon these skills, opening to explore more learning opportunities within the specific areas of learning.
These seven areas are the basis for our curriculum. Careful thought is given to inform our enabling environments (indoors and outdoors), to provide resources, activities and learning opportunities to meet each child’s unique requirements. Ofsted call this ‘curriculum’.
Our curriculum is very flexible and responsive to follow children’s interests and those totally unplanned learning opportunities that sometimes come out of the blue, such as it unexpectedly snowing, etc!
Young children learn through play. The EYFS refers to the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
Every EYFS provider has their own bespoke curriculum, to support each child’s unique developmental pathway, following their interests and fascinations.