The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. The philosophy underpinning the Foundation Stage curriculum is that learning should be planned and structured with an emphasis on fun, relevant and motivating activities. The Early Years in school are known to be particularly influential in developing the skills and attitudes necessary for children to ‘learn how to learn’. 


Learning through Play.  Children develop emotionally, intellectually, morally, physically, spiritually and socially and at different rates.  All these aspects are of equal importance in the early years and are interwoven.  Young children need opportunities to experiment, explore, investigate, observe and plan, implement, be imaginative and creative, and reflect upon their work and experiences.  Play is an excellent learning medium and structured play activities are an


integral part of the planned curriculum.  Play is an important vehicle for learning and appropriate resources are provided both within, and outside the classroom. The adults with whom the child works and relates to in the early years are of central importance.  The experiences the children are offered and the quality of adult support should sensitively ensure that individual needs are met.  Observing children at play gives adults an insight into stages of development, attitudes and skills.  Provision of role play opportunities throughout the school offers children the opportunity to develop social, communication and problem-solving skills, explore ideas and relationships, co-operate with others and work collaboratively in small groups. 


The learning needs of individual children are provided for through skilled adult observation and assessment of their learning, which is collected and used to inform planning for the next stage.






 An effective early years curriculum is provided through a well planned and carefully organised classroom and outdoor

environment. Equal importance is placed on the learning in both the inside and outside classroom environment. Providing access to indoor and outdoor learning environments increases the opportunities, motivation and opportunities to explore. Children in Nursery and Reception choose which environment they would like to be in.  Research has shown that young children learn best by being actively involved, making sense of the world through exploring objects and materials.  In selecting resources and activities to support play activities, care is taken to reflect the multi-cultural and mixed gender composition of society.  Children need to learn to begin to challenge stereotypes and question images presented to them.



Play is vital in children’s learning, it motivates children to learn, sustains their interest, helps to develop concentration and

encourages them to make choices and think for themselves.  Playing and talking are the main ways in which young children learn about themselves and the world around them.  Talking through their ideas helps them to think, reason and make sense of their own experiences and those of others.  These shared experiences build up children’s knowledge and confidence.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum was first introduced in 2003.  It is planned to allow for the fact that children learn from all their varying experiences. They need to be able to relate each fresh experience to what they have learned before, also applying their earlier learning.  Young children begin to record their work in a variety of ways, including on paper, on tape, on the computer, through photographs and in a variety of other materials and media.   




All these should reflect the high quality of their work, giving satisfaction in learning and the experience of success for all children.


There are seven areas of learning and development that shape

educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning anddevelopment are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

• communication and language;

• physical development; and

• personal, social and emotional development.


Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through

which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.


The specific areas are:

• literacy;

• mathematics;

• understanding the world; and

• expressive arts and design


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a comprehensive framework which sets the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.


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