This page contains information about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and how the curriculum is structured to allow all children to thrive in their first year of school.
Visit our Reception Class page to find more information about our learning and resources to help support your child at home.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS sets the standards for learning and development of all children up to the age of five. It consists of Foundation Stage One, for 3 – 4 year olds, and Foundation Stage Two for children in Reception.
The EYFS Framework is grouped into age bands, which children are assessed against throughout the Early Years. By the end of Reception, children should achieve the statements detailed within the Early Learning Goals.
The EYFS curriculum is divided into three Prime and four Specific Areas of Learning:
All these areas are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
All the areas are delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. The children have daily opportunities for structured or free-flow play both between classroom and outdoor area. During this time the adults will act as facilitators in play, encouraging the children to challenge and develop their learning.
In the EYFS we analyse and review what we know about each child’s development and learning through observational assessment, and then make informed decisions about the child’s progress. This enables us to plan the next steps to meet their development and learning needs.
Observational assessment informs everyday planning and is based on on-going observations of each child’s achievements, interests and learning styles. Formative assessment may take the form of anecdotal observations (from practitioners, school staff and Parents/carers in the form WOW moments shared on Tapestry), focused observations, baseline assessment, other focused assessments e.g. sound/number, annotated examples of work, photographs, video and information from parents. Each child has an individual Learning Journey in which this evidence is stored. We plan for observational assessment when undertaking our medium and short term planning.
The Bristol Standard is recognised nationally as an outstanding self-evaluation framework. It supports all settings to develop and improve the quality and effectiveness of their provision through an annual cycle of reflection. It can be undertaken by anyone who works in the Early Years and your involvement demonstrates a commitment to reflection, self-evaluation and improving on your previous best. Through team discussions, the strengths of the setting are celebrated and areas for development identified. By sharing experiences and expertise, practitioners are able to talk more knowledgeably about what they do, why they do it and the difference that this is making for the children in their care and their families.
The purpose of the Bristol Standard is to:
- Establish a clear understanding of vision, values, principles and practice
- Achieve high quality provision for all children from birth in a culture of inclusion and anti-discriminatory practice
- Enable teams to work together, have a voice and learn from each other
- Celebrate current good practice and develop the quality and effectiveness of provision through a continuous process of reflection
- Enable settings to develop and improve the quality and effectiveness of their practice
- Support the development of genuine partnerships with children’s families or carers, other professionals and the local and wider community
- Support a culture of shared leadership – key people who motivate, sustain, challenge and empower others
- Support a process of continuous professional development
The Bristol Standard is organised into ten dimensions:
- Values & Aims
- Relationships & Interactions
- Supporting Play, Learning & Development
- The Physical Environment
- Play & Learning Experiences
- Observation, Assessment & Planning
- Staffing, Leadership & Management
- Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
- Partnerships with Parents and the Community
- Monitoring & Evaluation