“The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5.”
This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents. The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
• Communication and language;
• Physical development;
• Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
• Understanding the world;
• Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
More details are available from http://www.foundationyears.org.uk
A parent’s guide to the EYFS is also available on request. Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children think. We plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.
We also use the BLAST (Boosting Language Auditory Skills and Talking) programme. BLAST works on the underpinning skills for language, communication and literacy – turn taking, discrimination, listening, attention and social communication as well as developing basic language skills both receptively and expressively.
Further information on BLAST is available from www.blastprogramme.co.uk/what-is-blast/