EYFS Curriculum Information
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework in our Cygnets preschool and for our children’s first year in school (Reception).
You can find more information by following the link below:
The EYFS curriculum is split into 7 areas:
Three Prime Areas
- Personal, Social, Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
Four Specific Areas
- Expressive Arts and Design
- Understanding the World
The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
Your Reception child's very first school report is a big milestone, but interpreting it can be a challenge for you. As well as generic comments about your child’s achievements, it will include details of how they’ve performed against the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile.
The EYFS profile is completed for every child in the final term of their Reception year, and has three main purposes: to inform you about your child’s development, to make the transition to Year 1 smoother, and to help the Year 1 teacher plan a curriculum that will suit all of the pupils in their new class.
What is the EYFS profile?
The EYFS profile is a summary of your child’s attainment at the end of Reception. It’s not a test, and your child can’t ‘pass’ or ‘fail’.
The profile measures your child’s attainment in 17 areas of learning, known as Early Learning Goals (ELGs). These are:
Communication and language development
- Listening, attention and understanding
- Gross motor skills
- Fine motor skills
Personal, social and emotional development
- Managing self
- Building relationships
- Word reading
- Numerical patterns
Understanding of the world
- Pat and present
- People, culture and communities
- The natural world
Expressive arts and design
- Creating with materials
- Being imaginative and expressive
In each of these areas, the ELGs set out what the average child is expected to be able to do at the age of five.
In addition to the 17 ELGs, the EYFS profile will include information about how your child is developing in three ‘characteristics of effective learning’. These are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically.
These three characteristics play an important part in your child’s ability to learn. They also enable their Year 1 teacher to understand their level of development and their learning needs as they move into Key Stage 1.
How are the assessments made?
None of us like to think about our little five-year-olds being assessed, but the process of working out your child’s attainment according to the EYFS profile is very unintrusive. It’s based mainly on their teacher’s knowledge of your child and observations of what they can do.
Throughout their time in Reception, the teacher will watch, listen to and interact with your child (and the others in their class) as they take part not just in formal learning, but also as they play and go about their daily activities like eating their lunch and getting changed for PE. Some observations will be planned – for instance, the teacher might spend an unbroken 10 minutes with your child on a set activity – but others will be spontaneous.
As the teacher observes your child, they’ll record when they see evidence of them meeting an ELG. This could be by making a brief note on a Post-It, taking a photo or just making a mental note to write down later. They’ll be looking to see that your child is consistently and independently showing evidence of fulfilling each ELG. Classroom activities will be planned to make sure children can demonstrate as many of the ELGs as possible.
In addition to teacher observations, the EYFS profile will include evidence from you. For example, you may send a photo/video with a comment and send it through Class Dojo.
This is important because the EYFS profile is supposed to be a complete picture of your child’s development, not just a snapshot of what happens at school. Sometimes, children might show skills at home that their teacher doesn’t see – for instance, if your child is very shy at school, the teacher might think that they’re not reaching the expected level for self-confidence and self-awareness, but at home, they might be outgoing and chatty.
The profile will also include evidence from your child (for example, the teacher will give them chances to talk about their own learning: ‘How did you find that activity? Was it easy or difficult? What could you do differently next time?’) as well as other adults who are involved with them, such as teaching assistants, midday supervisory assistants (‘dinner ladies’) and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
Teachers are given clear guidance on how to decide which level of development each child is at. For a child to be at the expected level for an ELG, the teacher has to be confident that they meet the requirements for every part of that goal, although they might be better at some than others.
The characteristics of effective learning are harder to sum up, so instead of giving your child a level, their teacher will write a short statement for each, explaining how they’ve demonstrated these characteristics.
What if your child is under or over-performing?
Don’t panic if your child has not met the expected standard in one or many ELGs. It’s important to remember that children develop at different rates, and your child hasn’t ‘failed’ if they’re not at the expected standard. It may simply be that the teacher hasn’t observed a particular skill at school – but you’ve seen them demonstrating it at home.
If you have particular concerns, you should be able to arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher. However, bear in mind that one of the main purposes of the EYFS profile is to inform the Year 1 teacher about your child’s progress and how they can cater for them in the coming year. If your child isn’t at the expected level of development, the Reception and Year 1 teachers will work together to decide how they can make the transition to Key Stage 1 as easy as possible for them, and how to support them in the coming year.