Early Years Foundation Stage


What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) covers the time in a child’s life from birth to five years old. This is a very important stage of your child’s life as early child development sets the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health.  The experiences children have in early childhood shape the brain: influencing their capacity to learn, to get along with others and responding to daily stresses and challenges.  This is why we strongly believe that every child in our Reception and Nursery classes should have a positive, active and exciting experience which supports their development and prepares them for Year 1 and beyond.

What is the EYFS Framework?

The EYFS framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that all children get the best possible start in life. This framework outlines how to ensure children are kept healthy and safe and that all children have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in future school years.

The framework seeks to provide:

  • Quality and consistency
  • A secure foundation
  • Partnership working
  • Equality of opportunity

The framework sets out requirements for:

  • Learning and development
  • Safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

Learning and Development Requirements

The EYFS learning and development requirements comprise:

1) The seven areas of learning and development and the educational programme which outlines activities and experiences all children should receive.  The seven areas are spilt into prime areas and specific areas.

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

2) The early learning goals (ELGs), which summarises the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have by the end of the reception year are:

Communication and Language

  • ELG: Listening, Attention and Understanding
  • ELG: Speaking

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • ELG: Self-Regulation
  • ELG: Managing Self
  • ELG: Building Relationships

Physical Development

  • ELG: Gross Motor Skills
  • ELG: Fine Motor Skills


  • ELG: Comprehension
  • ELG: Word Reading
  • ELG: Writing


  • ELG: Number
  • ELG: Numerical Patterns

Understanding the World

  • ELG: Past and Present
  • ELG: People, Culture and Communication
  • ELG: The Natural World

Expressive Arts and Design

  • ELG: Creating with Materials
  • ELG: Being Imaginative and Expressive

For further information on each ELG, click here.

3) Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs and to plan activities and support.  Ongoing daily assessment is an integral part of the learning and developing process.  It involves all teachers and support staff knowing every child’s level of achievement and their interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for each child.

We ensure that assessment does not entail prolonged breaks from interactions with children.  Parents and/or carers are kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development via regular meetings with their child’s class teacher.  To support with the transition from nursery to reception and from reception to year, ongoing dialogue about each child’s learning and development between teachers is undertaken to ensure transition is successful.

Assessment at the start of the reception year – the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)

The RBA is a short assessment taken in the first six weeks in which a child starts reception.

Assessment at the end of the EYFS – The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)

In the final term of the year in which a child reaches five, and no later than 30 June in that tern, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child.  The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for year 1.  These results are reported to the local authority which is then retuned to the relevant Government department.

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements

Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.  This is paramount to our daily practice and we ensure that all staff are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles and hold the appropriate qualifications.  Refer to our safeguarding policy for further details.