The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework for all children aged between birth and five years in England. It covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The four overarching principles of the EYFS are:
• every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
• children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
• children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
• importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.
Areas of learning and development
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
The Prime areas of learning - three areas that are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development
The Specific areas of learning - four areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design
Characteristics of effective teaching and learning -
• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
More information about the EYFS can be found on www.foundationyears.org.uk
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