Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the
Government and Early Years professionals describe
the educational stage in your child’s life between birth
and the age of five. Reception is the final year of this
stage. This is a very important stage as it helps your
child get ready for the next stage of school as well as
preparing them for future learning and successes.
There are four guiding principles which shape practice
in the Early Years at South Hill. These are:
• every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and
can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
• children learn to be strong and independent through positive
• children learn and develop well in enabling environments with
teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual
interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
• children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
At South Hill, children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and in our outdoor environment.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through the seven areas of learning. The areas of learning are all important and are interconnected.
The three prime areas are most essential for building your child’s capacity for learning and ensuring that they are able to thrive.
Communication and language
Personal, social and emotional development
Succeeding within the prime areas will help children to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Communication and Language: involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical Development: involves providing opportunities for children to be active and interactive and develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children are supported to understand the importance of being active and making healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others. Children learn social skills and how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Literacy: involves encouraging children to link sound and letters and to begin to learn to read and write. Children are given opportunities to explore a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interests.
Mathematics: involves providing children opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and using mathematical language involving shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World: involves supporting children to make sense of the world in which they live and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design: involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology.