The EYFS says that each theme of the EYFS important and needs to be securely in place before we start to look after children.
Theme 1 says that we must appreciate every child as unique, ensuring we know about child development and inclusive practice and we are committed to keeping children safe and healthy.
Principles – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Practice – Practitioners….
Understand & observe each child’s development & learning, assess progress, plan for next steps
Support babies & children to develop positive sense of their own identity & culture
Identify any need for additional support
Keep children safe
Value & respect all children & families equally
Theme 2 talks about positive relationships, telling us to respect everyone (this links to inclusive practice) and helping us to learn how to treat parents as equal partners in their child’s learning and development. We must support children’s learning while acting as each child’s key person.
Principles – Children learn to be strong & independent through positive relationships.
Practice – Positive relationships are…
Warm & Loving & foster a sense of belonging
Sensitive & responsive to the child’s needs, feelings & interests
Supportive of the child’s own efforts & independence
Consistent in setting clear boundaries
Built on key person relationships
Theme 3 focuses on the environment, saying that it must be enabling i.e. every child must be able to access our home and play with our resources. While we support each child to achieve (linking again to inclusive practice) we must make sure the learning environment is appropriately set up and we use links with children’s other settings or agencies involved with the child to support them fully.
Principles – children learn & develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs & there is a strong partnership between practitioners & parents.
Practice – Enabling Environments
Value all people
Stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures & communities
Rich learning opportunities through play & playful teaching
Support for children to take risks & explore
Theme 4 Is about the processes children go through to learn and develop and how we can support them by enhancing their play. The revised EYFS (2012) links the themes from ‘Learning and Development’ to the Characteristics of Effective Learning which focus on HOW children learn.
Principles – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education & care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs & disabilities.
Practice – Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime & specific areas of learning & development.
They foster the characteristics of effective early learning…
Playing & exploring
Creative & thinking critically
There are 7 areas of Learning and Development in the EYFS
The 3 prime areas –
Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
Physical development (PD)
Communication and language (C & L)
The 4 specific areas –
Understanding the world (UW);
Expressive arts and design (A & D)