Ellergreen Logo Ellergreen Action Image Ellergreen Action Image Ellergreen Action Image
Early Years Foundation Stage
  • The guiding principles of Early Years settings

    From 1st September 12 all Early Years settings must implement the revised Early Years Foundation Stage.


    Four guiding principles shape practice in early years settings.


    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 relationships:
    • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
    • children develop and learn in different ways and 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.

    (Statutory Framework for the EYFS. 2012)

  • Areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage

    There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

    There are 3 Prime areas and 4 Specific Areas.


    The Prime Areas

    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 (CL)
    • physical development (PD) and
    • personal, social and emotional development (PSED).


    The Specific Areas

    Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

    • literacy (L)
    • mathematics (M)
    • understanding the world (UW) and
    • expressive arts and design (EA &D).
  • The characteristics of effective teaching and learning

    In planning and guiding children's activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

    • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and 'have a go';
    • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
    • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.