Why the EYFS curriculum was introduced

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum was introduced in 2008 in England and a revised version came into effect in September 2012. It is a groundbreaking curriculum because it covers all settings that work with children from birth to five, including schools.

The aim of the EYFS is to make sure that all children get a good start both socially and academically. This is done through play and teacher-initiated activities. As well as children's education, the EYFS also provides regulations to make sure that children are properly looked after.


Areas of learning and development

The education programme of the EYFS comprises seven different areas of learning and development. The first three are called 'Prime' areas because they are so important for children's later learning. If you have a child under three years old, more of the play and activities planned in the setting will focus on developing their skills in these three areas.

Early years providers will plan activities, games and play opportunities to cover the areas of learning and development. Goals are set for children at the end of the programme for each of these areas. These are known as the Early Learning Goals.


Prime areas of learning and development

Personal, social and emotional development This area of learning and development looks at children’s confidence and behaviour but also how well they can get on with adults and other children.
Communication and language This area of learning and development looks at children’s speech and language. It also provides an introduction to the skills needed in order to read and write later on.
Physical development This area of learning deals with children’s physical skills including learning to dress, eat and go to the toilet. Your child will also learn about ways of keeping healthy.

Specific areas of learning and development

Literacy This area of learning introduces children to the skills needed for reading and writing. Older children will start to link sounds to letters and also learn to write simple words such as their names.
Mathematics This area of learning helps children with some very early maths skills. The focus is very practical so that children have a firm base for later mathematics.
Knowledge and understanding of the world This area of learning is diverse. It includes ICT as well as very early science. It also helps children begin to think about the past and present and their local environment. It also helps children to learn that others might have different cultures and religions.
Creative development This area looks at self-expression through a range of different media, including music, dance, imaginative play and early painting.


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Last updated: 2 months ago