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What is the EYFS?

Its been a strange year to say the least. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic children have missed out on much learning and preparation for school. At a time when settings across the country are being tasked with ‘closing the gap’ in learning many parents are keen to learn more about what children do at nursery and preschool so they can support learning at home. But what is the EYFS?

Over the next few weeks we will be putting a series of blogs together exploring the EYFS and all the areas of learning. We will be looking at the different ages of children and recommending great activity ideas that will help you to support learning at home. But for now lets explore what the EYFS is.

What does EYFS stand for?

EYFS stands for the Early Years Foundation Stage which sets the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old. In other words its a curriculum set out by the government for children under 5 years old.

All schools and OFSTED registered early years providers must follow the EYFS including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

Areas Of Learning

Early years settings teach your child mainly through games, play and discussions and must cover all areas of learning by carrying out observations, planned activities, free play and recording your child’s learning journal.

There are 7 areas of learning split into two groups, Prime Areas and Specific Areas. These areas are listed below:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication & Language

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Characteristics Of Effective Learning

So how do we teach your child and what is expected of them? Having a curriculum, so to speak, for the under 5s may sound quite intense. A bit formal and maybe an unnecessary pressure, but it really isn’t as scary as it may sound. The main reason it is there is to prepare children for school. But another added benefit is that it can highlight gaps in development early. We recognise that all children learn at different rates and they are all individual. But if a child does have any difficulties that could be something more we will find them early and get help put into place to try and support the children to reach their full potential. Below you can see the main characteristics of learning and the things we implement into our planning to encourage development through play.

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keep trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

What now?

We hope that this short blog has explained what the EYFS is and how it is implemented at Apple Trees and in fact every registered early years setting in England. As I mentioned above, its been a tough year for us all. As a parent myself I have been concerned at the schooling my boys, aged 8 and 13, have missed and I have been anxious about what I can do to help them catch up. You can rest assured that nurseries, childminders and preschools are working with local authorities to close these gaps in learning and you do not need to worry. The children will catch up and they are very resilient.

However, if you want to support your child’s learning at home you can, and its much easier than you think. Keep your eyes peeled on our blog and on our facebook page as we will be sharing lots more information and activity ideas with you over the coming days and weeks. This is only the beginning!!

Book Your Preschool Place NOW!!

We are currently taking booking for our preschool for the Spring term, thats starting in January 2021. If your child is 3 before the 31st December 2020 you can claim 15 hours FREE government funding for your child to attend our preschool and receive great preparation for school! Why not get in touch for a full brochure. Call 01582 840586 or email

Thanks for stopping by, talk soon,