Early Years


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early years’ professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. The Reception class forms the final phase of this initial stage of your child’s learning journey.

Your child’s early years’ experiences should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure – supporting their crucial early development and learning needs.

The Early Years curriculum is called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. It sets out seven areas of learning and development.

The prime areas of learning are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning activities.

There are three characteristics of effective teaching and learning that are key elements in the Early Years Foundation stage. They detail the ways in which children should learn. All children should display these characteristics everyday:

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically

At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the Reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the Reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.

It states whether your child has reached expected levels in the seven areas of learning at the end of the Reception year. These expectations are called the Early Learning Goals (ELGs).