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The Early Years Foundation Stage


The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by The Early Years Foundation Stage (DCSF 2007). From September 2008 the Early Years Foundation Stage became law. This is regularly revised and the latest revised version of the Early Years Foundation Stage comes into force in September 2017. A summary of the EYFS for parents is called “What to expect when” and is available by clicking on the link here. The revised Early Years Foundation Stage is underpinned by four themes. These are:


A Unique ChildEvery child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.


  • understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress and plan for next steps
  • support babies and children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture
  • identify any need for additional support
  • keep children safe
  • value and respect all children and families equally
Positive RelationshipsChildren learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Positive relationships are

  • warm and loving, and foster a sense of belonging
  • sensitive and responsive to the child’s needs, feelings and interest
  • supportive of the child’s own efforts and independence
  • consistent in setting clear boundaries
  • stimulating
  • built on key person relationships in early years settings.
Enabling EnvironmentsChildren learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

Enabling environments

  • value all people
  • value learning

They offer

  • stimulating resources relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities
  • rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching
  • support for children to take risks and explore.
Learning and DevelopmentChildren develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.

They foster the characteristics of effective early learning

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creativity and thinking critically


How we provide for development and learning

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.


The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:Three prime areas:

  • personal, social and emotional development;
  • physical development
  • communication and language;

Four specific areas:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world: and
  • expressive arts and design.


Prime areas are fundamental, work together, and move through to support development in all other areas. Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.
The Unique Child reaches out to relate to people and things through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through all areas of learning.

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to “have a go”


Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do


Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

In the accompanying guidance to the Early Years Foundation Stage,   ‘Development Matters’,  the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the early learning goals are charted. These goals state what it is expected that children will know and be able to do by the end of the reception year of their education.

Our setting has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning.