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What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Hello, my name is Lisa and I work in Ladybird (preschool) room at Apple Trees. I have been challenged to write a blog and I have never written one before so I hope you enjoy it. I though I would tell you all about the Early Years Foundation Stage as lots of parents are not sure what it is.

Where to start?

I know for lots of parents understanding the way children learn academically through play isn’t always easy. I’d like to give you a breakdown of this information and a little more insight to how we as practitioners help develop your child’s learning. Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of what it is we do here at Apple Trees and how we achieve learning goals.

Building foundations

Firstly we begin with learning about your child:-

  • Dietary requirement and allergies
  • What toys they like to play with
  • Their routines and how we can implement these within our setting
  • Building bonds through play, diverse activities and verbal communication

The key ingredient it to be empathetic to all children’s needs and listen to their wants and interests, to maintain and encourage positive outcomes! At Apple Trees this is a core principle. All of our practitioners not only have bonds and relationships with the children, but also with the parents.

What is the EYFS?

The Early Years Foundation Stage are guidelines we must adhere to in order to progress good standards of learning, development and care for all children from birth to 5 years old, think of it like a curriculum for birth – 5 years. There are seven areas of learning, these are:-

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design

Play underpins the importance of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Through play they learn how to be creative, understand emotions, begin to and enjoy socialising with others and build on their intellectual skills. Each are is split into an array of learning goals based on the child’s age. We plan activities to encourage, enhance and develop these skills. Activities are adapted to each individual child’s needs and stage of development. There is a lot more to the early years than you think!

learning journals 

Every child has a learning journal that records their observations, next steps and progress. The journal helps us to identify the age and stage of development of each child academically and focus’ on areas within the EYFS to progress them further.

At Apple Trees we use an online system called Tapestry, where learning journals help us to track a child’s progression online with the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS). I believe that having a system like this in place, sets children on the right path to overcome barriers and teach them expectations, boundaries, exploration and how to make relationships with their peers and adults in a preschool environment.

Our job is to help maintain good levels of understanding that is catered to each child’s individual way of learning. We want children to thrive, feel comfortable with attainable tasks and age appropriate challenges and build confidence and self-esteem. Online learning journals are another important step to help to create that, by showing parents and family members what we do and also how they can support us moving forward.

Every term we track the progress of the children and provide details to Herts County Council who compile the averages of attainment for our county. This helps schools to plan for the nursery and reception intake and plan any additional help of support that may be needed for transition. Its a well oiled machine.

Using resources

Resources are a valuable asset to a child’s learning and development as they gain a lot through play in Early Years Learning. We must always ensure that the resources available are in good working order and are tested to meet these requirements. Resources must also meet the age and stage of development for each room, so that all children are able to use them effectively. As a nursery, we implement equality and diversity throughout our setting. This ranges from a variety of books, Ethnic dolls and gender neutral toys. We also celebrate different cultural events throughout the year, so that our children can start to understand that we are all different but are treated fairly.

Having fun!

Overall we love to see children play and engage with their peers and adults, enjoying their time at nursery and feeling safe in their environment. Nothing beats seeing the smile on their faces and helping them progress on their learning journey!

I hope you found this blog insightful. If you have any questions or comments, please attach them below, i’d love to know your thoughts on this!

Take care








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