Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage
External Link: Statutory Framework for EYFS 2021
Four guiding principles should 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 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.
• importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.
The areas of learning and 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 important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are the prime areas:
• communication and language
• physical development
• 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:
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design
Development Matters – Non Statutory Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage
External Link: Development Matters – Non Statutory Guidance for EYFS 2021
Development Matters is for all early years practitioners, for childminders and staff in nurseries, nursery schools, and nursery and reception classes in school. It offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn. It can help you to design an effective early years curriculum, building on the strengths and meeting the needs of the children you work with. It guides, but does not replace, professional judgement.
The curriculum consists of everything you want children to experience, learn and be able to do. It must meet the requirements of the educational programmes in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These are included throughout Development Matters for ease of reference.