Two girls sat at a desk in the early years classroom
A young boy doing water play in the early years playground
Two girls doing water play in the early years playground
Three young boys sat on the floor, one gives the other a big hug
Teacher and her early years pupils sat on the carpet teaching and learning

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 that children will learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

Prime and Specific Areas of Learning

The EYFS framework outlines seven areas of learning and development. There are three prime areas of learning, which are particularly important for your child’s development and future learning: Communication and Language; Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development.

There are four specific areas of learning, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied: Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

Characteristics of Effective Teaching and 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 Early Years’ Team 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 and Creating and Thinking Critically. 

Recent Reforms of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

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. There are some elements of the EYFS that have not significantly changed and some that have.

Below are some of the key points from the new EYFS reforms that include relevant changes:

  • 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.
  • Pupils 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 the children have met these goals at the end of the EYFS and inform parents/carers.
  • There is an emphasis on improving pupil’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.
  • EYFS Literacy and mathematics knowledge has 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. Pupils will instead be challenged to have a greater depth and understanding of ideas.
  • Safeguarding and welfare of pupils is still of upmost priority, with a greater emphasis on the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.

The EYFS Curriculum at Cononley Primary School has been designed to meet the learning and development needs of our Reception children. It also provides a firm foundation of knowledge which will be built on in Key Stage 1.