The Early Years Foundation Stage (E.Y.F.S.) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning. During their sessions the children take part in both focused activities and continuous provision.
The EYFS is based on four themes:
A Unique Child;
Learning and Development.
Within the theme of Learning and Development there are seven areas that are separated into prime areas and specific areas.
Prime Areas are fundamental throughout the E.Y.F.S. They work together and help to support development in all the other areas.
Specific Areas are supported by the Prime Areas. They include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.
There are three different learning areas within the Prime Areas. They are:
Communication and Language.
Within this area the children will be learning to listen and maintain attention; understand different things; and speak in full sentences to convey meaning.
Within this area the children will be learning to move in different ways; handle different tools and equipment; and how to be healthy
Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Within this learning area the children will be learning to make relationships; to become self-confident and self-aware; and to manage their own feelings and behaviour.
There are four learning areas within the Specific Areas. They are:
Within this area the children will be learning the strategies involved in reading and writing.
Within this area the children will be learning to count and use numbers up to 20 to carry out different tasks; Shape and Space; and how to use measures in different ways
Understanding the World
Within this learning area the children will be learning about: people and communities, the world and different technology.
Expressive Art and Design
Within this area the children will be exploring and using media and materials; and being imaginative.
Each of the different learning areas are divided into developmental age bands. Staff observe children in their continuous provision (free play) as a way of monitoring and assessing their development. Each child will have their own assessment sheets and their progress is dated and colour coded. At the end of the Reception year staff make a judgement using observations, the childrens work and their own professional judgement as to whether individual children are emerging, expected or exceeding at the Early Learning Goals within each learning area.
You can find more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Early Learning Goals at https://foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/