Cawthorne Church Of England (VC) Primary School

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Learning And Development Requirements


The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover:

  • the Areas of Learning and Development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings;

  • the Early Learning Goals that providers must help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five); and

  • Assessment Arrangements for measuring progress.


Areas Of Development


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. 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;

  • Physical development; and

  • Personal, social and emotional development.

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

  • Literacy;

  • Mathematics;

  • Understanding the world; and

  • Expressive arts and design.


To find out more about the areas of development click here.


 Characteristics Of Effective 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.


The Early Learning Goals and the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile


Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the Early Learning Goals. Practitioners must indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development or are not yet reaching expected levels. This is the EYFS Profile. This will be reported to parents at the end of the summer term during their Reception year.


The Early Learning Goals that children are assessed against can be viewed by clicking here.

The Development Matters Statements that guide our curriculum can be viewed here.