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The new EYFS Statutory Framework becomes statutory from September 2021. 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 in early language and literacy and close the gap between the most able and least able children.
Practice in EYFS is led by the four guiding principles that shape our approach at CKS:
● Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and is resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
● Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
● Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
● Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
There are 7 areas of learning and development which are all important and inter- connected. The level of development children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by the early learning goals (ELGs). The ELGs should support teachers to make a holistic, best-fit judgement about your child’s development, and their readiness for the next stage of learning. You will be informed if your child has achieved a ‘Good Level of Development’ in each of the 17 areas of learning (Early Learning Goals – ELGs).
Communication and language – The development of children’s spoken language underpins all areas of learning. The focus is on conversation between adults and peers, in a language rich environment. Reading frequently to children and active engagement in a wide range of texts will allow children to thrive. Children will develop their confidence and skills to express themselves and develop new ideas and vocabulary.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 1- listening, attention and understanding; 2- speaking
Personal, social and emotional development – Provides a clear focus on self-regulation, awareness and good mental health. Children will be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they will learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflict.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 3- self -regulation; 4- managing self; 5- building relationships.
Physical development – Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue healthy and active lives. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults will support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is linked to early literacy.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 6- gross motor skills; 7-fine motor skills.
Literacy - It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension will be built on when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading develops the speedy working out of familiar and unfamiliar printed words. Writing will be supported by allowing children to articulate ideas and structure them in speech, before writing and then support the spelling and handwriting.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 8-comprehension; 9- word reading; 10- writing
Mathematics - Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. In addition, the curriculum will include rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 11- number; 12- numerical patterns
Understanding the world – Children make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visits out of their day to day experiences to meeting different members of society. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 13- past and present; 14- people, culture and communities; 15 – the natural world
Expressive arts and design - The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children will have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The high quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts.
Early Learning Goals to achieve by the end of the year; 16- creating with materials; 17- being imaginative and expressive.
Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of Charles Kingsley’s Cassatt class are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”. We strive to develop the key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development.