The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

What parents/carers need to know

What is the EYFS?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was originally launched in 2008. It is the statutory framework for all early years providers in England but it is held in high regard worldwide.  The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards that all early years providers must meet.  Early years providers in England who provide care and learning for children from birth to the end of reception class must comply with the EYFS Statutory Framework. Ofsted regulate and inspect all early years providers against the safeguarding and welfare requirements and areas of learning to determine how well children are kept safe and healthy. From time to time the EYFS is updated and refreshed, so far this has happened in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

What is changing?

From September 2021 a revised EYFS will come into force. The key messages about the reforms include:

  • Reducing practitioner workload and needless paperwork to allow for more quality time and interactions with the children
  • Improving the outcomes of all children and addressing/reducing the disadvantage gaps
  • The importance of workforce knowledge and professional development to inform assessments.  Reflect upon the need to assess every child’s development against ‘check lists’, saving formal steps of assessment for when they are necessary

What do the changes mean to me as a parent/carer?

The safety of your child and the quality of the education provided will not change. You may not see any changes in terms of the activities and opportunities on offer to your child/ren. However, you may notice that we are not physically recording as many observations and assessments of progress.  Please be reassured that we will still be supporting your child’s development and responding to their interests.  We will be using our professional judgements to assess your child’s development during our daily interactions and activities. 

We still want to keep parents up to date with their children’s learning and development, and give you snapshots of their nursery day, so we plan to offer the following from the autumn term.

We will continue to upload photos to Tapestry. These will be a mixture of group and Individual updates and we would like you to continue to upload updates from home, as this really supports the children’s language and confidence to share information.  It also helps us to offer different resources to support their learning using their interests from home.

  • Christmas and Summer term, we will send you a development summary for your child. This will tell you what we have been learning, what we’ve been enjoying, talk about their wellbeing and whether their development is as expected or if there is anything we need to work on. We plan to continue to do this through tapestry.
  • The progress check at 2 years is still a mandatory assessment point and we will still share your child’s development and progress with you.

Our pedagogy

  • We believe children are powerful learners, every child can make progress in their learning, with the right help
  • We believe effective pedagogy is a mix of different approaches.  Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching.
  • Our practitioners carefully organise enabling environments for high-quality play.  Sometimes, they make time and space available for children to invent their own play, Sometimes, they join in to sensitively support and extend children’s learning.
  • Children in the early years also learn through group work, when practitioners guide their learning.
  • Older children need more of this guided learning.
  • A well-planned learning environment, indoors and outside, is an important aspect of pedagogy.

Our curriculum

The 7 areas of learning and development within the EYFS have not changed, these are:

The prime areas

•             Communication and language

•             Physical development

•             Personal, social and emotional development

Specific areas

•             Literacy

•             Mathematics

•             Understanding the world

•             Expressive arts and design

The prime areas of learning form the essential foundations for healthy development and future learning. Once a solid start has formed within the prime areas we continue to build upon these skills, opening to explore more learning opportunities within the specific areas of learning.

These 7 areas are the basis for our curriculum. Careful thought is given to inform our enabling environments (indoors and outdoors), to provide resources, activities and learning opportunities to meet each child’s unique requirements. Ofsted call this ‘curriculum’.  Our curriculum is very flexible and responsive to follow children’s interests and those totally unplanned learning opportunities that sometimes come out of the blue, such as it unexpectedly snowing, etc!

Young children learn through play.  The EYFS refers to the Characteristics of Effective Learning.  These are:

•             Playing and exploring

•             Active learning

•             Creating and thinking critically

Every EYFS provider has their own bespoke curriculum, to support each child’s unique developmental pathway, following their interests and fascinations.

We understand that this information is lengthy and complex. Please feel free to speak to your child’s keyworker or Lisa to discuss this further.

Should you have any questions, concerns or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone.

Yours Sincerely

The Buckles and Bows Team