The Early Years Foundation Stage framework became a legal requirement in September 2008. It for the first time placed a legal requirement on all early years provisions to comply with all government development, learning and welfare requirements for children aged 0 - 5. The EYFS states that providers must deliver these requirements following the statutory guidance.
The curriculum is built around four principles:
  • A Unique Child - Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Positive Relationships - Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
  • Enabling Environments - The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.
  • Learning and Development - Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.

The EYFS was revised in September 2012 and separates learning into 7 areas of development. According to the EYFS children from birth will develop within 3 prime areas;

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

Later children will develop skills in 4 specific area supported by the previous prime areas;

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

Learning and Development

Children learn in different ways, therefore to support children's learning practitioners need to observe and reflect these differences in there practice. The EYFS explains 3 characteristics of effective teaching and learning to support children (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage), these are;

  • playing and exploring - children experience and investigate through exploring, they have opportunities to have a go
  • active learning - children concentrate and continue trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own idea's, form links and develop strategies for doing things

To provide a general explanation of the EYFS, national guidance has been produced to support parents in their understanding. It can be found here

A guide to Montessori and the EYFS can be found here

Max Gordon-Smith,
8 Jan 2014, 07:21
Max Gordon-Smith,
11 Jul 2013, 14:59