Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been reformed and there is a new EYFS framework that all schools and settings will have to follow from September 2021. These national changes have been made to better support all young children’s learning and development. It is also the aim that the new framework will better prepare children for the transition into key stage 1.
There are some elements of the EYFS that have not significantly changed and some that have. Below are some of the key points from the new EYFS reforms that include relevant changes which parents, carers and children may notice or experience.
• Staff will be spending less time on large amounts of written observations and assessments for evidence collection. This means they can spend more time supporting and engaging with the children and their learning and development needs.
• Children will no longer be assessed against statements from an age band category. Instead, staff will use their experience and knowledge to monitor if a child’s learning and development is on track for their age.
• The early learning goals at the end of reception have been changed to become more clear and easier to understand. Staff will use their judgements to assess if the children have met these goals at the end of the EYFS and inform parents and carers.
• There is an emphasis on improving children’s language and vocabulary through increasing opportunities for conversations, reading of a wide range of books and holding discussions around activities in other areas of learning.
• Literacy and numeracy skills focused on in the EYFS have been adapted to better match up with the national curriculum that starts in year 1.
• There is no longer an exceeding judgement at the end of reception. Children will instead be challenged to have a greater depth and understanding of ideas.
• Safeguarding and welfare of children is still a priority, with the added mention of teaching children about the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.
How could you help learning and development at home to support the new EYFS reforms?
• Read stories daily to your child and use them as an opportunity to talk about the characters and events in the story. You could also discuss some of the details children have spotted in the pictures, such as the character’s facial expressions.
• Have lots of conversations with your child throughout the day. Try and increase their vocabulary by using a wide range of vocabulary.
• Practise counting with your child and looking at small groups of items. Explore what happens to numbers when you put these small groups of items together, or split a larger group into two smaller groups.
• Support your child’s early reading by practising phonic skills, such as recognising letter sounds and blending them together to read words. Also, support your child with their writing by checking they are forming their letters in the correct way and holding a pencil properly. Always teach your child lower case letters first.
• Encourage your child to make healthy food and drink choices, especially related to sugar content and how this can affect teeth. Also, support your child to properly brush their teeth at least twice a day at home.
• Plan activities that allow your child to be active and develop their strength through large body movements as well as smaller, more precise movements