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The Early Years Foundation Stage
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected.
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. Prime areas are:
Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, Social and Emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials including books, poems, and other written materials to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
Understanding The World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Art and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.
The learning and development requirements cover:
The Seven Areas Of Learning And Development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings which are described below;
The Early Learning Goals that providers must help children work towards. The goals summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year, ie. the year that they turn five years old; Learning Goals.
Assessment Arrangements For Measuring Progress when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements, and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers.
The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements cover the steps that providers must take to keep children safe and promote their welfare.
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