Getting children off to the best start in life is paramount. The positive effects of this are well documented, with a good education affecting a child’s social, cognitive, and behavioral development and the opposite also being the case.
With this in mind, the EYFS meaning Early Years Foundation Stage was set up in 2008.
Since then it has served as a solid basis in guiding teachers and parents on children’s needs, using tools like an activity planning sheet template to help them reach their targets.
At its core are 7 areas of learning: 3 are prime, and 4 are specific. Keep on reading to find out what they are!
1. Personal, Social, and Emotional Development
This prime area is made up of 3 principal pillars, making relationships, self-awareness and confidence, and managing feelings and behavior.
These skills found in the EYFS framework are essential to children developing social skills, independent learning, and managing the many new emotions that they face in each interaction.
2. Communication and Language Development
The goal for this prime part of EYFS is for them to be able to listen and pay attention as well as understand instructions and speak.
In their early education, children must be exposed to a rich language environment. However, they also need the skills to process what they are taking in. Do they ask questions when they don’t understand something? Do they engage in role-playing and use area-appropriate language? Can they hold a conversation while they carry out a task at the same time?
All this and more are covered in this area.
3. Physical Development
While we all know children for their nonstop energy, physical development involves more than just enabling that. This includes being conscious of their gross and fine motor skills (Can they climb or hold a pencil well?) as well as health and self-care (Are they conscious of their own safety and can use the toilet alone?).
These 3 prime areas are the keys to unlocking the other 4 specific areas of the EYFS framework. This makes sense as if a child is unable to hold a pencil, follow instructions and work with others it will be a challenge for them to continue to progress in education as they grow older.
Now that this clear, we can have a look into what these 4 specific areas are.
Literacy encompasses helping children develop the important areas of reading and writing. In this area, fine motor and attention skills among others come into play.
This is done through exposure to a wide range of materials as well as helping them to pick up on different sounds and words.
Rather than arithmetic and fractions, mathematics at this level is namely focused on numbers, shapes, and measuring.
While the other two are quite clear, being able to measure also involves teachers helping children to measure time and sequences, such as what happens typically in each part of the day.
6. Expressive Arts and Design
Children tend to be creative naturally, and this area of EYFS is all about harnessing this innate ability.
Teachers do this through the use of different forms of media and materials such as coloring in and painting. It is also good to encourage children to imitate the things they see around them through role-plays and drawings.
7. Understanding the World
It is vital that children can connect and understand their environment.
In this part, the expectation is for children to take an interest in those in their immediate circle, whether it be a relative or the police officer they see on the way to school.
Observation skills and an understanding of the technology they encounter every day are included here, such as what a washing machine is or how switches and buttons work.
EYFS: Helping the Next Generation Grow
As our young ones are so precious to us, it is a comfort to know that educators make rigorous efforts to enable their development. With the early years being such a pivotal time for children it is clear to see the importance of the EYFS.
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