EYFS framework: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

EYFS Framework

Will I have to change my practice now that we have EYFS?
No - as long as you have been using Birth to Three Matters and/or the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage effectively, as the EYFS brings these two documents together. You will now be able to see more easily how your work with any group of children fits into the birth to five continuum. What providers will need to do is check that their provision meets all the statutory requirements. The introduction of the EYFS gives all providers and practitioners the chance to review their current provision and to ensure that they are meeting the needs of all the children in their care.
Have there been lots of changes in Communication, Language and Literacy because of the Rose Review?

Both the EYFS and the primary framework have incorporated the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading carried out by Jim Rose. The whole of the Rose review is available at Teachernet: Online Publications or Review of Early Reading: Recommendations

Below is a summary of some of the main recommendations.

  • It is very important to develop children’s positive attitudes to literacy, in the broadest sense and from the earliest stages, in partnership with parents and carers.
  • Best practice for beginner readers provides them with a rich curriculum that fosters all four interdependent strands of language.
  • Good phonics teaching is systematic, multi-sensory and interactive in order to capture children’s interests and sustain motivation and reinforce learning.
  • High quality, systematic phonic work should be taught discretely and should normally start by the age of five, taking full account of professional judgements of children’s developing abilities.

These recommendations are embedded in CLL. However a more systematic approach to teaching reading does not mean drilling babies or very young children in phonics. Most of the work up to the age of five will be about supporting children’s phonological awareness: the general ability to attend to the sounds and rhythms of language. Knowledge of the alphabetic code and the skills of segmentation and blending (phonics) come for most children towards the end of the EYFS and have to be built upon strong foundations of speaking and listening.

Does the title <em>EYFS</em> mean that <em>Birth to Three Matters</em> has been forgotten?
Children start developing their foundations for future learning from before birth, so this title reflects a more accurate description for the whole birth to five phase. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) brings together Birth to Three Matters and the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, as well as elements of the National Standards for Under 8s Daycare and Childminding, into a coherent document which will help practitioners provide quality and continuity for children
How do I use the EYFS package?

The EYFS is designed to be used flexibly. Providers and practitioners may want to use it in different ways depending on the type of setting in which they work and their professional responsibilities.

  • The poster sets out the Principles and gives an overview of the EYFS.
  • The EYFS Framework Document sets out the legal requirements that providers must meet. The EYFS Practice Guidance provides some additional support on effective practice that will help practitioners implement the legal requirements. It should be used in conjunction with the legal requirements and statutory guidance booklet and with the cards and CD-ROM.
  • The cards are the first level of guidance to support practitioners in putting the EYFS Principles into practice.
  • The CD-ROM provides more detailed information on all the areas covered on the cards as well as links to research and resources.
How do I find out how the EYFS uses terms for which there are sometimes several definitions?
There is an extensive glossary which defines the terms used in the EYFS. This can be located from the home page of the CD-ROM.
Why are there only four Principles?
These four Principles express important values underpinning effective practice in the care, development and learning of young children. They are easy to remember and they summarise all the areas covered by the original Birth to Three Matters and Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage Principles. They are each supported by four Commitments which describe how the Principles can be put into practice.
If <em>Birth to Three Matters</em> is still important why does the EYFS refer to areas of Learning and Development rather than the <em>Birth to Three Matters</em> aspects?

The summative assessment at the end of the EYFS is the EYFS Profile based on the early learning goals for each area of Learning and Development. It is therefore appropriate for practitioners to understand how the work they are doing with the very youngest babies and children contributes in the long term to these early learning goals. This is why some of the curriculum is organised in the EYFS under areas of Learning and Development.

The guidance on the Birth to Three Matters component cards is embedded throughout the EYFS including in the areas of Learning and Development. All areas of Learning and Development are organised in overlapping developmental stages from birth to five plus and under the Birth to Three Matters headings of 'Development matters', 'Look, listen and note', 'Effective practice' and 'Planning and resources'. The text under these headings is taken mainly from either Birth to Three Matters, Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage or the National Standards for Under 8s Daycare and Childminding.

How are the <em>National Standards for Under 8s</em> Daycare and Childminding integrated with <em>Birth to Three Matters</em> and the <em>Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage</em> in the EYFS?
Some of the standards, for example, those to do with the physical environment, are in the registration and welfare requirements. Others, for example, those relating to care, learning and play, have become part of the learning and development requirements.
What has happened to the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage stepping stones?
The majority of them are still present in the areas of Learning and Development.
What has happened to the Foundation Stage Profile? Do we use something different now at the end of the EYFS?
The Foundation Stage Profile will be known as the EYFS Profile but it will still be a summative assessment of each child’s progress towards the early learning goals; it will therefore remain the same. The EYFS scale points 1-3 will still be assessed using the statements originally derived from the stepping stones as they cover important knowledge and skills which are still included in EYFS. Scale points 4-8 are based on the early learning goals which are still there in the EYFS. Scale point 9 continues to be a statement of achievement beyond the early learning goals.

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  • EYFS framework: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)