In a previous blog, we have given an overview of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This sets out the required standards for learning, development and care for children from birth up to the age of five, which must be followed by schools, childminders and other Early Years providers.
We have also focused on the seven areas of learning and development in our blog: Early Years Foundation Stage – Learning and developing requirements.
In today’s blog, we are looking at the prime areas of the Early Learning Goals.
What are the prime areas?
There are three prime areas in the EYFS Early Learning Goals:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
All three are important for a child to thrive and develop to their full potential.
Communication and Language
Developing language skills, along with the ability to listen, understand and answer questions, are important skills for children as they develop. The three key communication and language skills featured in the prime areas are Listening and attention, Understanding and Speaking.
Listening and attention: this includes listening in a variety of situations, as well as listening to stories being told. Children are expected to develop the ability to respond in a relevant way, whether with comments, questions or actions, and to pay attention when others speak, responding in appropriate ways.
Understanding: from following instructions that have several ideas or actions to answering ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Speaking: learning how to express themselves and how to use the correct grammatical tenses, as well as creating their own narratives that connect ideas and events.
The framework for the physical development of children covers Moving and handling and Health and self-care.
Moving and handling: children should develop confidence in their control and co-ordination as they move through different spaces and manipulate objects, from pencils to equipment.
Health and self-care: this covers healthy eating, physical exercise and keeping safe, as well as activities such as getting dressed and personal hygiene.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The three elements of this prime area are Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour and Making relationships.
Self-confidence and self-awareness: self-confidence allows children to try new activities, communicate preferences and speak in familiar groups. Children should also be able to say whether they need help with an activity or whether they can manage on their own.
Managing feelings and behaviour: this covers understanding what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour and learning the consequences of their actions. Children should learn to talk about how they and others show feelings, work in groups, follow rules and accommodate changes to their routine.
Making relationships: children should play with others and be able to take turns, as well as forming positive relationships with others, including adults. They should also learn to show sensitivity and to be aware of others’ ideas about carrying out an activity.
As described in our previous blogs, young children should be regularly monitored and assessed, and offered appropriate help and support if they are falling behind in any of the prime areas of Early Learning Goals.