Children are developing all the time and their learning reflects this. So, for example, when a child can pull themselves up to stand they can suddenly reach things they couldn’t get to before, or when they learn new words they begin to label objects such as a ball or a drink, or ask questions ‘what’s that?’.
The Revised EYFS uses the term Learning and Development to describe seven areas of learning. These are all related to each other; however they are divided into Prime and Specific Areas.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In addition the Revised EYFS refers to the different ways that children learn as the Characteristics of Learning:
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;
Creating and thinking critically: children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Together with the Prime and Specific areas these comprise the knowledge, skills and experiences that are developmentally appropriate for children from birth to 5 years. Underpinning all areas are the EYFS Principles.
The Prime Areas:
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; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
This area develops children’s positive sense of themselves. It teaches about having respect for oneself and others, developing social skills and a good attitude to learning. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships, adults form caring relationships with all children. In Enabling Environments opportunities for play and learning are created that help children embrace differences between themselves and others. Learning and Development experiences are planned to promote all round development.
PSED is made up of these aspects:
- Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness
- Managing Feelings and Behaviour
- Making Relationships
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.
This area provides children with opportunities for speaking and listening and ignites children’s interest in reading and writing. To give children the best opportunities for developing Communication and Language Positive Relationships support children to communicate their ideas and thoughts with each other and with adults. Enabling Environments contain signs, symbols, words, songs and notices. They also have books and pictures that take into account interests, backgrounds and cultures.
CL is made up of these aspects:
- Listening and attention
Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
This area provides opportunities for children to be active and devlop their co-ordination, manipulation and movement. It develops understanding of the importance of being physically active and eating healthily. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships children are supported in their understanding of exercise, sleep and eating to promote health. Activities in Enabling Environments both indoors and outdoors encourage energetic physical play. In Learning and Development, snack times promote social skills and the importance of making healthy food choices.
PD is made up of these aspects:
- Moving and Handling
- Health and Self-Care
The Specific Areas:
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
LD is made up of these aspects
Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
This area supports children’s understanding in different situations by providing opportunities to explore, practise, learn and talk. They practise skills and gain confidence and competence. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships children use mathematical words and ideas in their play. Enabling Environments have resources for counting, calculating and shape available indoors and outdoors. In Learning and Development, stories, songs and imaginative play help with mathematical understanding.
Mathematics is made up of these aspects:
- Shape, Space and Measures
Understanding the World
Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
This area offers children opportunities to explore and observe the environment, living things and objects. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships, parents’ and carers’ knowledge extend children’s experiences of the world. In Enabling Environments, open-ended questions like, “How can we..?” and “What would happen if…?” are used. Learning and Development is based on first-hand experiences to observe, predict, make decisions and discuss.
UW is made up of these aspects:
- People and Communities
- The World
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.
This area supports children’s curiosity and play. They explore and share their thinking, ideas and feelings in music, in art, movement and dance, role play and technology. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships children value their own unique ideas and those of others rather than reproducing those of someone else. Enabling Environments are stimulating and originality and expressiveness are valued. Learning and Development experiences allow children to express themselves through various types of representation.
EAD is made up of these aspects:
- Exploring and Using Media and Materials
- Being Imaginitive
Please note that the Principles into Practice cards below refer to the EYFS 2007, they are not linked to the Revised EYFS.