The EYFS and Its Two Areas of Learning

Table of Content

1.1 An Explanation of each of the areas of learning and how these are interdependent. The EYFS sets the standards for children when they are aged 0-5. It sets out learning and development requirements, assessments and the safeguarding and welfare requirements. All schools, child minders, preschools and nurseries must follow the EYFS as it is a statutory document. There are two areas of learning that children are expected to come across, these are the Prime and Specific. Each area is built up of different aspects, which altogether make up the 17 Early Learning Goals. The EYFS also has characteristics that help practitioners understand how the children are learning and what they need to provide to help children progress further. Characteristics help children become motivated and keep trying at the things they are not so good at. The Prime area is split into three different sections. These are Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Whereas the Specific is split into four different sections. These are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design. Prime Areas: The Prime area is the one that children are expected to learn first. If they are not taught to a child correctly then this could affect the specific areas. The prime areas are all interconnected, this means that you cannot do one thing without the other. For example, if a group of children are doing an activity like hop scotch then they are using all the things in the prime area. E.g. counting when they hop is using their communication and language skills, hopping is using their physical development skills. Finally, learning, making mistakes and socialising with those around them is using their personal, social and emotional development skills. Communication and Language – This area is split into three aspects which are ‘listening and attention’, which means children must listen and give attention to what is going on around them and respond correctly.

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The second aspect of this area is ‘understanding’, this means that children must follow instructions given to them. The last aspect is ‘speaking’, this means that children must be able to show that they are able to use past, present and future terms correctly. Physical Development – This area is only split into two different aspects. The first one is ‘moving and handling’, this means that children must be able to show control and confidence in large and small movements. The second aspect is ‘health and self-care’, this means that children must know how important it is to stay healthy and do regular exercise. Personal, Social and Emotional Development – This area is split into three aspects. Firstly, ‘self-confidence and self-awareness’, this means that children are confident with familiar people and are confident to try new activities. Secondly, ‘managing feelings and behaviour’, this means that children are able to show their feelings and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. Finally, the last aspect is ‘making relationships’, this means that children can play with peers and listen to others ideas about activities. Children can then also build relationships with their key person and other members of staff. Specific Areas:

Literacy – This area is split into two different aspects, the first one is ‘reading’, this means that children are able to read and understand short sentences. The second aspect is ‘writing’, this means that children can make words out of spoken sounds. Mathematics – This area is also split into two aspects. The first is ‘numbers’, this means that children should be able to count to 1-20 and put them in order. The second is ‘shape, space and measures’ this means that children should be able to talk about size and weight to solve problems. Understanding the World – this area is split into three aspects. ‘People and communities’, is the first one and this means that children can talk about their own lives and are sensitive towards others if they don’t enjoy the same thing. The second one is ‘the world’, this means that children must know about similarities and differences. They must also know why some things must change and make observations of plants and animals. Expressive Art and Design – This area is split into two different aspects. These are ‘exploring and using media materials’, which means that children should be safely be able to use different tools, materials and techniques. ‘Being imaginative’ means that children are able to tell their own ideas and feelings through design and technology.

1.3 An explanation of how the documented outcomes are assessed and recorded. Children are constantly being assessed and recorded, this is called a formative assessment, it is so practitioners can keep making plans for a child’s ‘next steps’ and so they can continue to make progress. Assessments also identify any sign of weaknesses or delay. Important information is gathered from different assessments and from parents to provide a holistic picture of children. They are observed through a variety of different ways such as: Photographs; practitioners use photographs because it captures the moment and when looking back over it, it shows exactly what the child was doing and is more reliable than just going from memory. It also shows how that child was learning in that situation. Video Recording; this method is used as it is very reliable, it collects all the children’s movements and language, also practitioners usually have to shorten words or phrases down when writing but you don’t have to with a video recording. Talking To The Child; practitioners talk to the child because they can then take notes and see if they are using any new language and they can also make sure that they are speaking clearly. You can also see what they like doing, this means that a practitioner can set up activities knowing that the children will enjoy them.

Talk To Parents; talking to the parents is very important as practitioners then know how the child is progressing at home and if there are any issues. Also, they can bring in any drawings from home that the child has done and this shows a practitioner how the child is progressing. It is important for staff and parents to work in partnership so staff are able to find out more about children and plan ahead for the next steps of learning. 1.1 A description of the documented outcomes for children that form part of the relevant early year’s framework. The EYFS needs practitioners to complete two types of assessment. There is a continuous formative assessment which helps practitioners prepare for the documented outcomes and the summative assessment which summarises and evaluates the child’s learning and development. There are ongoing formative assessments which are observations that help lead up to a 2 year progress check which then leads to a summative assessment. It is very important that staff talk to parents so that a document can be produced to know what stage a child is on and how they can support the child at home and at nursery. This progress is supported by observations which is then used to build a holistic picture of the child and then the staff discuss with parents to see if they agree with the information collected. If they do not agree the document will be altered and corrected.

This then will be the final document and should be signed, if a child has fallen behind in their development then other professionals may need to get involved to help them catch up. In the last
term of the reception year when a child reaches five years old, the EYFS profile must be completed (final summative assessment). This provides parents, practitioners and teachers with a picture of a child’s development and understanding and if they have fallen behind or over achieved. Each child’s level should be measured against the 17 early learning goals and it help to see if the child has met expected levels or not. The document will be used for year one teachers as they would have a copy of each child’s skills and abilities to plan for learning and development.

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The EYFS and Its Two Areas of Learning. (2016, Sep 01). Retrieved from

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