Early Years Foundation Stage
Our EYFS team are committed and dynamic, providing the best care and experiences for all our children. As a team we collaborated and formed our EYFS vision and aims for our children. We are passionate about ensuring our children thrive in our setting and we aspire for them to:
- Become confident, independent learners
- Feel happy, safe and secure
- Love learning
- Express themselves freely
- Form secure attachments
- Have fun and enjoy coming to school each day
- Talk and share ideas
- Feel valued and listened to
- Engage in rich new experiences
- Needs met by responsive practitioners
- Form good relationships with peers and adults
- Learn and make progress
These aspirations for all children will be achieved by providing the following:
- Rich, stimulating and enabling environment
- Open ended resources
- Opportunities to learn and master new skills
- Opportunities to try new thing and have new experiences
- Sharing stories, songs, rhymes
- Vocabulary modelled and lots of opportunities to talk and listen
- Teach social skills and have clear rules and boundaries
- Promote good relationships
- Provide a wide range of activities and experiences
- Outdoor learning opportunities
- Interactive learning experiences
- Teaching how to keep ourselves healthy and safe
The new EYFS statutory framework was published on 31 March 2021 by the Department for Education (DfE) and legislation laid in Parliament. This is the revised and final EYFS framework that all registered nurseries, childminders, schools and pre-schools in England will follow from 1 September 2021.
Key objectives of the reforms
The reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) have been a number of years in the making. The aim is to strengthen early years curriculum, assessment and practice to improve outcomes for all children and close the gap for disadvantaged children. This is particularly crucial in light of the current pandemic.
The changes were developed with childhood development experts using the latest evidence on what is most important for supporting the learning and development of our youngest children.
Government has reformed the framework to transform early years curriculum and assessment, focusing on what matters most for children's outcomes:
- A strong and holistic curriculum that puts early language development at the heart;
- A streamlined and effective assessment process through a revised EYFS profile and removing statutory local authority moderation, which will reduce unnecessary workload and cement the EYFSP as a tool that is designed to support children’s transition to year 1;
- A new requirement to promote good oral health.
There are also a number of small amendments to section 3 safety and welfare to make existing requirements clearer and to provide updates.
The Government understands that this year has been a particularly difficult and challenging time for the early years sector, with children’s learning disrupted across all ages. The intended aims of the reforms – focusing on children’s outcomes and reducing unnecessary evidence gathering and paperwork so practitioners and teachers can spend more time interacting with children in their care - will provide a powerful basis for supporting children's learning and wellbeing through and beyond COVID-19.
The new EYFS framework includes statutory guidance for the administration of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) The RBA is a short assessment, taken in the first six weeks in which a child starts reception. The assessment will take place within the reception year and is, therefore, included within the overall EYFS statutory framework. While the statutory requirements for administering the RBA and undertaking the EYFSP are set out within the same framework, they are not related and they serve different purposes.
Below are some of the key points from the new EYFS reforms that include relevant changes which parents, carers and children may notice or experience.
- 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 the children have met these goals at the end of the EYFS and inform parents and 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 a priority, with the added mention of teaching children about the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.
How could you help learning and development at home to support the new EYFS reforms?
- Read stories daily to your child and use them as an opportunity to talk about the characters and events in the story. You could also discuss some of the details children have spotted in the pictures, such as the character’s facial expressions.
- Have lots of conversations with your child throughout the day. Try and increase their vocabulary by using a wide range of vocabulary.
- Practice counting with your child and looking at small groups of items. Explore what happens to numbers when you put these small groups of items together, or split a larger group into two smaller groups.
- Support your child’s early reading by practicing phonic skills, such as recognising letter sounds and blending them together to read words. Also, support your child with their writing by checking they are forming their letters in the correct way and holding a pencil properly.
- Encourage your child to make healthy food and drink choices, especially related to sugar content and how this can affect teeth. Also, support your child to properly brush their teeth at least twice a day at home.
- Plan activities that allow your child to be active and develop their strength through large body movements as well as smaller, more precise movements.