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Early Years Foundation Stage

What Is the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework? 


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework is a government document that all schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers in England must follow. It sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old. The standards ensure your child will learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. 


It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. 


What Will My Child Be Learning?  


The EYFS framework outlines seven areas of learning and development and educational programmes. It is split into Prime and Specific areas.  The prime areas are important for your child’s development and future learning because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life.  The specific areas provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills also through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.


The Prime Areas of learning are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development;
  • Communication and Language;
  • Physical Development.

The Specific Areas of learning are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the World;
  • Expressive Arts and Design.

Thurnham Glasson C of E staff will consider your child’s needs and interests to plan challenging and enjoyable activities and experiences. Staff will use the EYFS educational programmes to build a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. 


At Thurnham Glasson C of E we have anti-discriminatory practice where staff ensure equality of opportunity for all with every child being included and supported.


How Will My Child Be Learning? 


The EYFS framework identifies the essential role of play in your child’s development. It is through both child-led play and play guided by an adult that your child will develop confidence and relationships with others. Through play, our EYFS Staff will help your child to extend their vocabulary and develop their communication skills. The EYFS framework identifies three characteristics of effective teaching and learning:


Playing and Exploring

Active Learning

Creating and Thinking Critically


A greater focus on teaching specific skills will occur as your child progresses through their Reception year, which will help them to prepare for Year One.


How Will I Know How My Child Is Doing?


EYFS staff will use their professional knowledge to understand your child’s level of development. If we have any concerns about your child's progress, we will discuss these with you.  


Three formal assessments take place during the EYFS:


Two-Year Progress Check (this will happen between the ages of 24 to 36 months)  

Reception Baseline Assessment (at the start of the Reception year)  

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (at the end of the EYFS)


At the end of your child’s time in Nursery or Reception, your child will receive a learning journal which will show a complete picture of their progress during their time in Early Years. 


Throughout their Reception year discussions at Parents’ Evenings will inform you on how your child is progressing. At the end of the Reception year, children are benchmarked against the Early Learning Goals for each area.  Attainment is described as either: emerging (working below the expected level) or expected (working at the expected level) and these are reported to parents in the end-of-year written report. There are 17 ELGs your child is expected to achieve by the end of the EYFS.


The changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been reformed and there is a new EYFS framework that all schools and settings are required to follow from September 2021. These national changes have been made to better support all pupils’ learning and development. It is also the aim that the new framework will better prepare pupils for the transition into Key Stage 1. 


Changes to the Early Learning Goals (ELGs)


The most significant changes to the ELGs are in the areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Mathematics and Understanding the World.  We have attached the New Framework for September 2021 below, but the key changes are:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development ‘Self-Regulation’ has been a key focus recently and this is now reflected in a new Early Learning Goal. ‘Managing Self’ covers aspects previously covered within Physical Development. The ‘Building Relationships’ goal is very similar to the former ‘Making Relationships’ goal.


Communication and Language - ‘Listening, Attention and Understanding’ are now combined into one goal, with the other goal focusing on ‘Speaking’.


Physical Development - These Early Learning Goals no longer include health and self-care, solely focusing on moving and handling skills. There is now a goal for gross motor skills and a separate goal focusing on fine motor skills.


Literacy - There are now three early learning goals for Literacy, with the reading focus now split into comprehension and reading words.


Mathematics - The new Mathematics Early Learning Goals focus on a deep understanding of number and numerical patterns. Although there is no longer a goal for shape, space and measure the Government consultation response states, ‘Practitioners and teachers will still be required to teach children about shape, space and measures, as part of a well-rounded curriculum as set out in the revised mathematics educational programme.’


Understanding the World - The most noticeable change to the Early Learning Goals for Understanding the World is the inclusion of ‘Past and Present’ and the removal of the ‘Technology’ goal. We will continue to introduce children to appropriate technology to support their learning.


Expressive Arts and Design - The goals for Expressive Arts and Design are broadly similar to the existing goals with mentions of being imaginative and using a variety of materials, tools and techniques.


 There are some key points from the new EYFS reforms that you need to be aware of:  


  • Early Years staff will be spending less time on large amounts of written observations and assessments for evidence collection. This means they can spend more time supporting and engaging with the children and their learning and development needs. 
  • Children will no longer be assessed against statements from an age band category. Instead, staff will use their experience and knowledge to monitor if a child’s learning and development is on track for their age.
  • The early learning goals at the end of Reception have been changed to become more clear and easier to understand. Staff will use their judgements to assess if children have met these goals at the end of the EYFS and inform parents/carers.
  • There is an emphasis on improving children’s language and vocabulary through increasing opportunities for conversations, reading of a wide range of books and holding discussions around activities in other areas of learning.
  • Literacy and numeracy skills focused on in the EYFS have been adapted to better match up with the National Curriculum that starts in year 1.  
  • There is no longer an exceeding judgement at the end of Reception. Children will instead be challenged to have a greater depth and understanding of ideas.
  • Safeguarding and welfare of children is still of upmost priority, with the added mention of teaching children about the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.


We hope that this has given you an insight into how/what your child will be learning this academic year. Further information about specific content is available on our website.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff.

    EYFS Guide for Parents