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What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

At St Margaret’s Lee, this refers to Nursery (or Pre-school) and Reception. In both classes, we follow the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

It sets out:

  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
  • Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”

There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.

How will my child be learning?

The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

The diagram below gives examples of the areas of learning and development and shows the links between the way in which your child learns and what they learn.

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As a parent or carer, how can I help with my child’s learning?

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.

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How can I find out how my child is getting on?

The best way is to speak to your child's teacher. This may be:

  • a quick chat at pick-up
  • during the scheduled parent meetings in the autumn and spring terms
  • through a scheduled meeting or phone call with the teacher. This can be requested via the school office (

Is there homework in the EYFS?

Each week, the teachers provide parents and carers with ideas of things that could be done at home to support their child's development. 

We are using a secure and private learning platform called Seesaw. This allows parents and carers to share learning with the teacher digitally and can include photos, videos, audio recordings and pictures.

Where can I find out more about the EYFS curriculum?

The document below, Development Matters, provides a comprehensive outline of the EYFS curriculum.