In an earlier blog, we outlined the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), detailing the standards for learning, development and care for children from when they are born until they are five years old.
In subsequent blogs, we looked at: Learning and developing requirements and The prime areas of the Early Learning Goals.
Today we are giving more detail on Early Learning Goals – The Specific Areas.
Who should follow this framework?
Childminders, teachers and other providers of Early Years learning are expected to adhere to these guidelines to ensure that young children develop as they should and reach their full potential.
What are the four Specific Areas?
The four main Specific Areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
All four areas represent important features of a child’s early development.
This covers both reading and writing. Developing language skills are crucial for a child to be able to communicate and understand the world.
Children are expected to learn how to read and comprehend simple sentences, using phonic knowledge. As they advance, they should be able to understand some of the more commonly used irregular words and to converse with others about what they are reading.
Again using phonic knowledge, children should learn how to write down words based on the sound of the word when it is spoken, including some irregular words. Their spelling should be either correct or at least phonetically plausible. Finally, they should be able to write simple sentences that can be understood and read out.
Mathematics learning covers numbers, shape, space and measures. Under the framework, children should be able to count from 1 to 20 in the right order, and to carry out basic addition and subtraction.
When looking at shape, space and measures, children should be able to problem solve and compare quantities using measurements such as size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. They should also have an understanding of patterns.
Understanding the World
There are three segments to this section: People and Communities; The World; and Technology.
People and Communities – talking about events in both the past and the present, children should be able to describe things that have happened to themselves and family members and recognise that there can be differences in what other people enjoy doing, including different traditions.
The world – again, they should recognise similarities and differences in their own living environment and that of others, whether place, object, material or living things, such as plants and animals.
Technology – they should have a basic grasp of how and where technology might be used.
Expressive arts and design
Under Exploring and Using Media and Materials, children will sing, make music and dance, as well as using materials, tools and techniques to experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Being Imaginative is also important: here they can represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings using media and materials. This includes creative activities such as art and design, music and dance, and role play and storytelling.