Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage May 2008 Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five STATUTORY FRAMEWORK NON-STATUTORY GUIDANCE Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Contents Section 1 – Implementing the EYFS ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Introduction Putting the Principles into practice General points on provision of the EYFS Meeting the diverse needs of children Partnership working Flexible provision Play Quality improvement – a continuous process The characteristics of a continuously improving setting Transition, continuity and coherence Guidance from the end of the EYFS to Years 6 and 7 05 05 06 06 06 06 07 08 08 10 10
Section 2 – Learning and Development ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ Overview of the Learning and Development guidance Development matters Look, listen and note Effective practice Planning and resourcing Assessment 11 11 11 12 12 12 The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 03 Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Contents Section 3 – Welfare requirements ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Overview of the welfare requirements Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare Key person Suitable people Staffing arrangements to ensure safety, and to meet the needs of children Children aged three and over in maintained schools (except for those in reception classes) Children attending reception classes Group size Staffing large groups of children and mixed age groups Examples of staff:child ratios in mixed-age groups Suitable premises, environment and equipment Documentation 14 14 15 15 16 17 17 18 18 19 20 21
Glossary 22 Appendix 1 – Criteria for effective paediatric first aid training 23 Appendix 2 – Areas of Learning and Development 24 04 The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 Section 1: Implementing the EYFS Introduction 1. 1 This booklet provides guidance for practitioners on meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. It aims to provide useful advice and detailed information on supporting children’s learning and development and welfare.
The guidance looks in more detail at how to implement the learning and development requirements and the welfare requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage document. There is also guidance on children’s development, what to look out for, effective practice and useful hints on planning and resourcing. The sections in ‘Development matters’ and ‘Look, listen and note’ also support the continuous assessment that practitioners must undertake.
Of course, these sections are not intended to be exhaustive – different children will do different things at different times – and they should not be used as checklists. The Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage booklet is part of the EYFS package of materials and should be used alongside the: Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage booklet (the legal requirements and statutory guidance); EYFS resources for providers and practitioners (CD-ROM, poster and Principles into Practice cards).
The Principles into Practice cards provide easy-to-use information about effective practice across the themes of the EYFS. They are arranged into the four guiding themes which put the requirements into context, and describe how practitioners should support the development, learning and care of young children. The cards include lots of information, hints and further questions to prompt reflection and provide useful pointers for practitioners in their day-to-day work with children. The EYFS poster shows you at a glance how the EYFS Principles support effective practice in the EYFS.
The EYFS CD-ROM contains all of the written documents in the pack plus in-depth information on the EYFS, including video material, examples of effective practice and information about supporting every child’s development. It also has lots of references and website links to further information and reading to support your work. The CD-ROM will help you to use the EYFS effectively and provides opportunities for ongoing self-training and development. Additionally, the CD-ROM information will be available on the Teachernet website www. teachernet. gov. uk, where you can also access the most up-to-date links and information on the EYFS. . 2 1. 3 ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ Putting the Principles into practice 1. 4 The principles which guide the work of all early years practitioners are grouped into four themes: A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person. Enabling Environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected. The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 05 1. 5 These four guiding themes work together to underpin effective practice in the delivery of the EYFS. They put the legal requirements into context, and describe how practitioners should support the development, learning and care of young children.
The Principles into Practice cards will also support practitioners to plan appropriate activities based on the needs and interests of individual children. There are lots of suggestions for activities that work, with issues raised about challenges and dilemmas practitioners may face in their work. General points on provision of the EYFS 1. 6 The rest of this section breaks down the key issues which are paramount to successful delivery of the EYFS and meeting children’s needs. There are strong links to the cards, and practitioners should think about how the information on the cards can influence their day-to-day work with children. . 2 2. 1 Meeting the diverse needs of children (Principles into Practice cards 1. 7 ) Meeting the individual needs of all children lies at the heart of the EYFS. Practitioners should deliver personalised learning, development and care to help children to get the best possible start in life. The EYFS CD-ROM provides some examples of ways in which you can achieve this. You must promote positive attitudes to diversity and difference within all children. In doing this you will help them to learn to value different aspects of their own and other people’s lives.
This includes making sure that all children and families feel included, safe and valued; that all children and adults are treated as individuals and are not discriminated against; and that all children are listened to and respected. Practitioners must plan for the needs of children from black and other minority ethnic backgrounds, including those learning English as an additional language, and for the needs of any children with learning difficulties or disabilities. Providers must actively avoid gender stereotyping and must challenge any expression of prejudice or discrimination, by children or adults. . 8 1. 9 1. 10 You must plan for each child’s individual care and learning requirements. The focus should be on removing or helping to counter underachievement and overcoming barriers for children where these already exist. You should also identify and respond early to needs which could lead to the development of learning difficulties. There must be appropriate challenges for gifted and talented children. Partnership working (Principles into Practice card 2. 2 ) 1. 11 Early years practitioners have a key role to play in working with parents to support their young children.
This should include identifying learning needs and responding quickly to any difficulties. Wherever appropriate, practitioners should work together with professionals from other agencies, such as local and community health and social services, to identify needs and provide the best learning opportunities for children. Partnership working may be required in particular for a child with disabilities or a child who is looked after in care. 1. 12 Regular information should be provided for parents about activities undertaken by the children; for example, through wall displays, photographs and examples of children’s work.
Flexible provision (Principles into Practice cards 1. 1 3. 4 ) 1. 13 Many children will receive education and care under the EYFS framework in more than one setting. Some may attend part-time, while others may attend full-time and also use extended services, such as breakfast or after-school clubs. These patterns of attendance will be a key factor in planning. For children who attend more than one setting, practitioners must ensure effective continuity and progression by sharing relevant information with each other and parents.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 06 1. 14 You should also take into account the differing needs of individual children within the setting and tailor your approach to each child’s needs. For example, some children may find it very tiring to concentrate for long periods and need frequent pauses and rests, while others may benefit from longer sessions. 1. 15 Providers who care for children over relatively short periods of time are responsible for delivering the EYFS in an appropriate way that meets the needs of the children.
They should make sure that what they provide complements the education and care the child receives in other settings. Play (Principles into Practice cards 3. 3 4. 1 ) 1. 16 Play underpins the delivery of all the EYFS. Children must have opportunities to play indoors and outdoors. All early years providers must have access to an outdoor play area which can benefit the children. If a setting does not have direct access to an outdoor play area then they must make arrangements for daily opportunities for outdoor play in an appropriate nearby location.
The EYFS CD-ROM also contains information suggesting innovative ways to engage children in outdoor play. 1. 17 Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, although some may need adult support, and it is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally. 1. 18 Providing well-planned experiences based on children’s spontaneous play, both indoors and outdoors, is an important way in which practitioners support young children to learn with enjoyment and challenge.
In playing, children behave in different ways: sometimes their play will be responsive or boisterous, sometimes they may describe and discuss what they are doing, sometimes they will be quiet and reflective as they play. 1. 19 The EYFS requires providers to ensure a balance of child-initiated and adult-led play-based activities. Providers should use their judgement and their knowledge of the children in their care in deciding what the balance should be. When a child engages in a self chosen pursuit, this is childinitiated activity.
For example, a child might elect to play with a fire engine – fitting the driver behind the steering wheel, extracting the driver, replacing the driver, throwing the driver back into a box and introducing a different driver. Another instance of a child-initiated choice may be where a child takes ownership of an activity and ‘subverts’ it to a different purpose than intended. For example, a child might prefer to pour water into a hole to make a puddle rather than watering the plants as the adult intended.
Other child-initiated activities may be instigated when the child brings something to the setting – such as an experience of having been on a bus or visiting hospital. This might lead to the provision of resources, stories and pictures to support this interest. Whatever children bring is an indication of their current interest and should be supported. 1. 20 Small group times are good example of an adult-led activity – the adult has selected the time to encourage a particular aspect of learning, or discuss a particular topic.
The adult may introduce a particular material, skill or idea. Often when an adult initiates an activity, for example demonstrates the skill of weaving, the child’s need for adult involvement will decrease over time as they master the skill. 1. 21 The role of the practitioner is crucial in: ¦ ¦ observing and reflecting on children’s spontaneous play; building on this by planning and resourcing a challenging environment which: – supports and extends specific areas of children’s learning; – extends and develops children’s language and communication in their play.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 07 1. 22 Through play, in a secure but challenging environment with effective adult support, children can: ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them to make sense of the world; practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills; learn how to understand the need for rules; take risks and make mistakes; think creatively and imaginatively; communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems. Quality improvement – a continuous process 1. 3 Research shows that high quality experiences in the early years, including a good home learning environment, have a significant positive impact on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development and, therefore, their progress at school and into adult life. It is vitally important that early years provision is of a consistently high standard, and that providers continually look for ways to improve the quality of the learning, development and care they offer. 1. 24 At a basic level, high quality early years provision can be defined as a provision which: ¦ ¦ mproves outcomes for every child through high aspiration and effective practice; provides personalised learning, development and support – tailored to the needs of individual 2. 3 ); children (Principles into Practice card builds the foundations for future success; involves parents in their children’s learning and development (Principles into Practice card 2. 2 ¦ ¦ ). The characteristics of a continuously improving setting 1. 25 There are a number of factors that contribute to high quality provision – and the most important is the quality of the workforce. 1. 26 In a continuously improving setting the leader will: ¦ ¦ ave energy, enthusiasm and a principled educational vision; employ a whole setting approach, support collaborative working and the collective identification and clear expression of pedagogical objectives related to the EYFS framework that promote achievement for all children; recognise the value of continuous quality improvement and how it impacts on children’s achievement – engaging with local authority early years consultants and advisory teachers; use the Ofsted self-evaluation form and quality improvement processes as the basis of ongoing internal review – assessing what the setting offers against robust and challenging quality criteria; ¦ 08 The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 ¦ raw on the full range of quality improvement tools available – for example, the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales (ECERS – E & A); Key Elements of Effective Practice (Primary National Strategies); Babies’ Effective Early Learning (BEEL); and the Leuven scale of children’s well-being and involvement1; lead a collaborative learning culture – providing time and space for knowledge-sharing and support for continuous professional development for all staff; lead and encourage a culture of reflective practice, self-evaluation and informed discussion to identify the setting’s strengths and priorities for development that will improve the quality of provision for all children. ¦ ¦ 1. 27 A continuously improving setting will have well-qualified and experienced staff who: ¦ re appropriately trained, with up-to-date skills and qualifications; who are motivated and supported to further raise their skills and qualification level to level 3 and beyond; engage in regular cycles of planning and review, informed by accurate record keeping, including information on children’s learning progress, and the EYFS Profile; understand and engage in informed reflective practice – both individually and in groups; work collaboratively within the setting to share knowledge, question practice and test new ideas – with high aspirations for every child; support quality improvement processes in the setting – recognising how these processes can extend effective practice and help improve outcomes for every child; are keen to share best practice with other practitioners through local, regional and national networking; work together with other practitioners and parents to support transition, both between settings and between setting and school; are committed to the development of sustained shared thinking by offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions which support and xtend children’s thinking and help them make connections in learning – while ensuring a balance between adult-led and childinitiated activities; work in partnership with parents – sharing information and involving them in their child’s continuous learning and development. 1. 1 ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ 1. 28 Practice will be inclusive, where: (Principles into Practice cards ¦ ¦ and 1. 2 ) children are valued as unique individuals and diversity is respected; provision is personalised – offering support tailored according to individual needs, taking into account children having English as an additional language, special educational needs or disability and the gifted and talented. 1 Providers wanting more information about quality improvement tools should contact the early years adviser at their local authority. The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 09 1. 9 There will be a safe and stimulating environment, which: (Principles into Practice cards 3. 2 and 3. 3 ) ¦ ¦ promotes physical, mental and emotional health and well-being; has enough space to play and opportunities to be outdoors with freedom to explore and be physically active; has dynamic and flexible systems of physical organisation that support personalised learning for all children, including the gifted and talented and children with special educational needs/disabilities; provides continuity of care that enables children to identify with key workers and develop 2. 4 ). relationships at all levels (Principles into Practice card ¦ ¦ Transition, continuity and coherence 1. 0 A high quality early years experience provides a firm foundation on which to build future academic, social and emotional success. Key to this is ensuring continuity between all settings and that children’s social, emotional and educational needs are addressed appropriately. Transition should be seen as a process, not an event, and should be planned for and discussed with children and parents. Settings should communicate information which will secure continuity of experience for the child between settings. Schools should use the summative assessment of each child recorded in the EYFS Profile to support planning for learning in Year 1. Year 1 teachers should be familiar with the EYFS and likewise EYFS teachers should be familiar with the KS1 curriculum.
Gifted and talented children should be included in the school’s Gifted and Talented Register. Guidance from the end of the EYFS to Years 6 and 7 1. 31 The Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics: The Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics provides guidance for practitioners working with children from the end of the EYFS to Year 6 and into Year 7. It covers the areas of speaking and listening, reading, writing and mathematics. The Framework reflects the recommendations from the review of early reading, and in particular that systematic high-quality phonic work should be the prime means for teaching children to read and spell words.
The review confirmed that for most children such work should begin by age five, subject to the principled professional judgements of practitioners. The activities and approaches in Communication, Language and Literacy help to prepare children for starting phonic work, particularly the development of speaking and listening skills. 1. 32 The guidance provided in the Framework for children aged from three to five is an overview of what is in the EYFS. The learning objectives for this section in the Framework are the early learning goals and a few additional statements from Communication, Language and Literacy and Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy.
These early learning goals and statements are also listed under the ‘learning strands’ of both literacy and mathematics frameworks, so that practitioners can see how the EYFS feeds into literacy and mathematics teaching in KS1. 1. 33 The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning resource: The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme provides a framework for developing children’s social and emotional skills from the EYFS right through primary school. It is the DCSF recommended social and emotional learning programme for all primary school children, and is also available to state nurseries with EYFS children. 10 The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 Section 2: Learning and Development (Principles into Practice cards 4. 1 – 4. ) Overview of the Learning and Development guidance 2. 1 Each section of the areas of Learning and Development offers examples of the types of activities and experiences that children might be involved in as they progress and which practitioners could refer to when they are planning. There is also support for continuous assessment that practitioners must undertake. These sections are not intended to be exhaustive – different children will do different things at different times – and they should not be used as checklists. The Learning and Development sections are split into four columns that represent the ongoing cycle of thinking about development and assessing children’s progress.
These will support and enable practitioners to provide opportunities for children to play, learn and succeed in an atmosphere of care and feeling valued. The four columns are: Development matters; Look, listen and note; Effective practice; and Planning and resourcing. Information on each column is provided below. Practitioners must be familiar with the content of the areas of Learning and Development in order to support children’s learning and development. This guidance begins in Appendix 2 on page 24. 2. 2 Development matters 2. 3 The Development matters column identifies the developing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that children will need if they are to achieve the early learning goals by the end of the EYFS.
It is important to note that children will not necessarily progress sequentially through the stages, since these do not represent age-related goals. Some elements may appear to have been achieved very quickly, others will take much longer. As children move from one element to another, they take with them what they have already achieved and continue to practise, refine and build on their previous development and learning. Within the Development matters column the early learning goals are indicated in bold print. The statutory early learning goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the reception year. By the end of the EYFS, some children will have exceeded the goals, while others will be working towards some or all of them. 2. 4 2. 5 Look, listen and note 2. Practitioners’ observations of children help them to assess the progress which children are making. Observations help practitioners to decide where children are in their learning and development and to plan what to do. This is an essential part of daily practice in any setting, regardless of the age of the baby or child. Looking, listening and noting is important because it helps you to: get to know a child better and develop positive relationships with children and their parents; plan appropriate play and learning experiences based on the children’s interests and needs, and identify any concerns about a child’s development; further develop your understanding of a child’s development; ¦ ¦ ¦
The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 11 ¦ ¦ develop a systematic and routine approach to using observations; use assessment to plan the next steps in a child’s developmental progress and regularly review this approach. Further information on record keeping and recording assessments can be found on the EYFS CD-ROM. Effective practice 2. 7 By using the information on Learning and Development to support continuous observational assessment practitioners will form a view of where each child is in their learning, where they need to go, and the most effective practice to support them in getting there.
The guidance on effective practice to support children’s development is based on the EYFS Principles and the examples given illustrate just some of the possibilities. The column provides ideas on activities and initiatives that practitioners can engage in to support and extend children’s learning and development, based on their interests and needs. As well as leading activities and encouraging child-led activities, you should support and extend all children’s development and learning by being an active listener and joining in and intervening when appropriate. The EYFS CD-ROM and the cards both give further examples of effective practice. 3. 1
Planning and resourcing (Principles into Practice card 2. 8 ) Good planning is the key to making children’s learning effective, exciting, varied and progressive. It enables practitioners to build up knowledge about how individual children learn and make progress. It also provides opportunities for you to think and talk about how to sustain a successful learning environment. This process works best when all practitioners working in the setting are involved. Practitioners who work alone will benefit from opportunities to discuss their plans with others working in similar circumstances. Planning should include all children, including those with additional needs.
However, it is important to remember that no plan written weeks in advance can include a group’s interest in a spider’s web on a frosty morning or a particular child’s interest in transporting small objects in a favourite blue bucket, yet it is these interests which may lead to some powerful learning. Plans should therefore be flexible enough to adapt to circumstances. 3. 1 2. 9 Assessment (Principles into Practice card ) 2. 10 All effective assessment involves analysing and reviewing what you know about each child’s development and learning. You can then make informed decisions about the child’s progress and plan next steps to meet their development and learning needs. This is called assessment for learning. Formative assessment is the type of assessment based on observations, photographs, video, things children have made or drawn and information from parents. It informs or guides everyday planning. – Summative assessment is a summary of all the formative assessment done over a long period and makes statements about the child’s achievements. The EYFS Profile is the summative assessment completed by practitioners at the end of the EYFS. It summarises children’s progress towards the early learning goals. It can also be formative in that it informs and guides the medium- and long-term planning done by Year 1 teachers in order to support and extend children’s learning as they move into KS1. 12 The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 2. 1 The EYFS Profile scales booklet is available for practitioners to use to help them assess children’s development. However, you can use your own records to compile a Profile for each child, as long as your approach is consistent with the early learning goals. You can use your professional judgement to decide how much record keeping is necessary to support your assessments. However, you must undertake the EYFS Profile for all children of an appropriate age and assess them through observational assessment against the 13 scales and report 13 scores for each child. 2. 12 You also have the option of using the eProfile which is an electronic version of the EYFS Profile scales booklet.
This can be obtained from your local authority but you will need to make sure that your local authority is able to provide the necessary IT assistance before downloading the software. 2. 13 The Assessment and Reporting Arrangements (ARA) booklet sets out the statutory assessment and reporting arrangements for the EYFS, along with information on arrangements for submitting data to local authorities. It is reviewed annually and issued to practitioners by the QCA, and is also available online. A weblink is available on the EYFS CD-ROM www. qca. org. uk 2. 14 The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) enables effective communication between the various agencies involved with children who have additional needs, or a child about whom there are concerns.
It is used alongside the formative and summative assessment described above. The CAF can be found on the EYFS CD-ROM. The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance 00266-2008BKT-EN © Crown copyright 2008 13 Section 3: Welfare requirements Overview of the welfare requirements 3. 1 Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. The welfare requirements are designed to support providers in creating a setting which is welcoming, safe and stimulating, and where children are able to enjoy themselves, to grow in confidence and to fulfil their potential.
The statutory framework sets out the legal requirements which cover safeguarding and ensuring children’s welfare, staff, premises, environment and equipment, organisation, documentation and reporting. It also contains statutory guidance which providers must take into account when seeking to fulfil the legal requirements. Additional support for providers is set out below in the form of guidance and information on delivering some aspects of the legal requirements. 3. 2 Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare 3. 3 The welfare requirements within the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage require providers to take the necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their care. In particular they are required to implement an effective safeguarding children policy.
An effective policy will include: roles and responsibilities of individual practitioners and managers in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; the name of a practitioner who has lead responsibility for safeguarding children, plus their role and responsibilities; the steps to be taken when a concern about a child’s welfare or safety is raised, including how this will be recorded; the procedure for referring concerns about a child’s welfare to local statutory children’s services agencies, social services or the police; procedures to be followed in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff or volunteer; arrangements for sharing information with parents about safeguarding children procedures prior to their child joining the setting; how and under what circumstances parents will be informed about concerns and any actions taken; how confidentiality and information sharing will be managed; how practitioners’ knowledge of safeguarding children will be kept up-to-date, for instance by including issues in induction training and providing regular access to training in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Providers should follow the guidelines set out in the booklet What To Do If You’re Worried A Child is Being Abused, produced

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