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The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

The EYFS at Dalestorth

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the statutory standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

It supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework gives parents and carers confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.


The EYFS Framework seeks to provide:
quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
a secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly
partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported


An updated EYFS Framework came into effect on 1st September 2021.

You can read more about the latest EYFS Framework here…

Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters

These are both non-statutory curriculum guidance that we use to support us in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS.

The EYFS Framework details four guiding principles that should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
• children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
• children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).


At Dalestorth, we use both the Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters documents to help inform our daily practice and create our own benchmarking checkpoints to monitor children's learning and development over time. Our benchmarking checkpoints are intended to be used as a guide to support practitioners in making best-fit summative judgements, in collaboration with parents/carers and colleagues across agencies, about whether a child is showing typical development, may be at risk of delay or is working significantly behind age-related expectations. In making these informed judgements, we remember that young children develop at their own rates and in their own ways. We work hard to ensure that all children are given the appropriate challenge or support to reach their full potential.


You can read more about the Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters guidance here...

What to Expect in the EYFS: A Guide for Parents/Carers

Parents and carers have a vital role in supporting their children’s learning and development, especially during their formative early years. Parents/carers need to know what to expect in relation to their child’s development through the different areas of learning & development and age bands of the EYFS.


The EYFS consists of 7 areas of learning and development, made up of 3 prime and 4 specific areas. Children first focus on the 3 prime areas of Communication & Language, Personal, Social & Emotional Development and Physical Development, which are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The 3 prime areas are strengthened and applied through the 4 specific areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design.


You can read more about how to support your child's learning and development in the EYFS here...

EYFS Profile

The level of development children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by the 17 Early Learning Goals (ELGs) set out in the EYFS Framework. The ELGs should not be used as a curriculum or in any way to limit the wide variety of rich experiences that are crucial to child development, from being read to frequently to playing with friends. Instead, the ELGs should support practiitoners in making a holistic, best-fit judgement about a child’s development and their readiness for Year 1. When forming a judgement about whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, teachers will draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. 


All early years providers (including Dalestorth) must complete an EYFS Profile for each child in the final term of the year in which they turn 5. For most children this is the end of the Reception year in primary school (the end of Foundation Stage 2).

The main purpose is to provide an accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS. The profile describes each child’s attainment against 17 Early Learning Goals, together with a short narrative about their learning characteristics.


You can look at the lastest EYFS Profile Handbook here…..

The EYFS at Dalestorth

At Dalestorth, FS1 (Nursery) and FS2 (Reception) work together to deliver an ambitious and engaging 2-year curriculum whilst the children are in our Foundation Stage. We use high-quality key texts as a basis for exploring all areas of learning and development as set out in the EYFS Framework. Each half term begins with a key question to kickstart our learning and you can find more details about our topics by accessing the knowledge mats on our class webpages.


Please click on the links below to see our curriculum maps...