Teaching Early Years Foundation Stage
Publication Year: 2009
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) came into force in September 2008 and established a framework for providing learning, development and care for children from birth to five. This book examines the EYFS within the context of Achieving QTS and is a core text for primary trainees covering this stage of children's learning. It links the principles and commitments of the EYFS with the new standards for QTS while covering all required content. The book examines the continuous nature of learning from birth to five, the inter-relatedness between care, learning and development, and the importance of sensitive transitions.
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: The Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice
- Chapter 2: Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Chapter 3: Creative Development and Critical Thinking
- Chapter 4: Physical Development, Health and Well-Being
- Chapter 5: Problem-Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
- Chapter 6: Communication, Language and Literacy
- Chapter 7: Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Chapter 8: ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage
- Chapter 9: Observation, Assessment and Planning
- Chapter 10: Positive Relationships: Parents as Partners
- Chapter 11: Working with others to Support Children and Families: The Importance of Multi-Agency Working
First published in 2008 by Learning Matters Ltd.
Reprinted in 2009
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from Learning Matters.
© 2008 Learning Matters Ltd
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN: 978 1 84445 175 3
The rights of Wendy Baker, Jo Basford, Rosemary Boys, Lynne Clarke, Teresa Curtis, Elaine Hodson, Val Melnyczuk, Tony Poulter, Elaine Spink and Wendy Whittaker to be identified as the Authors of this Work have been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Cover design by Topics.
Text design by Code 5 Design Associates Ltd
Project management by Deer Park Productions, Tavistock
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Printed and bound in Great Britain by Cromwell Press Group, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
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From September 2008, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is recognised as a distinct and unique age phase, supported by its own statutory framework. It is as a result of consultation (and at the time of writing, contentious debate) with key stakeholders in the field concerning the determinants of effective, high-quality Early Years practice. Interestingly the term ‘curriculum’ is no longer evident in the framework and there is now a definite commitment to single, play-based framework for early learning and care. Whether those critics, who felt the guidance was introducing the formal elements of education to very young children too soon, will be appeased, remains to be seen. Previously, the Foundation Stage had been the phase of learning concerned with three to five year old children, and trainee teachers had been required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the curriculum guidance which was pertinent to this age phase. However, EYFS takes account of the care, learning and developmental needs of all children from birth to the end of the Reception Year. As an Early Years teacher, this has significant implications for the knowledge, skills and understanding you will be required to demonstrate to teach in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Although you may find yourself working mainly with the older children within this phase, those between 30 and 60 months, it is vital that you understand the way that young children learn and develop from birth and the fact that they develop at different rates, and in different ways. Young children do not fit neatly into ‘developmental boxes!
The Early Years Foundation Stage is supported by a series of key principles which are underpinned by research into children's care, learning and developmental needs. The principles are split into four key themes, which each have four corresponding commitments.
A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
Enabling Environment – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.
Learning and development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and development are equally important and interconnected.(DfES, 2007, Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage)
Chapter 1 of this book outlines the historical context and development of Early Years practice and provides an overview of the range of settings which represent the Early Years Foundation Stage. It then explores the commitments concerned with each of the themes in further depth. This chapter is mainly concerned with standards Q1, Q3, Q14 and Q15.
[Page x]By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, most children will be expected to reach a number of Early Learning Goals which are linked to six areas of learning and development.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communicating, Language and Literacy
- Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
By developing your knowledge and understanding of how the principles are translated into practice – you will be in a better position to ensure that all children reach their potential, and achieve their Early Learning Goals. The aim of this book is to support and guide you through your own professional journey to becoming a successful Early Years teacher.
In Chapter 2 we recognise the central importance of each child's personal, social and emotional development, and the significant impact this has on a child's care, learning and developmental needs. (Q18 and Q19). This includes the importance of acknowledging and celebrating each child's unique background.
The next five chapters focus specifically on the other areas of learning and development, and address: Communication, Language and Literacy; Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy; Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Physical Development and Creative Development. These chapters relate specifically to Standards Q14, Q15, Q16 and Q17. The underlying principles, themes and commitments pertinent to each of the areas of learning and development are exemplified in each chapter.
We have dedicated Chapter 8 entirely to ICT. Some readers may feel this is contentious, and there are indeed opposing views regarding the appropriateness of using ICT with very young children. We live in a media and technologically driven society. Information and communications technologies are explicit in the everyday lives of our children. They provide a context and motivation for learning for many children, and this is our rationale for committing a whole chapter to this area.
In Chapter 9 we lead you through the practicalities of documenting children's learning through a consideration of observation, planning and assessment strategies which are a key aspect of your role in tracking children's learning journeys. (Q11, Q12, Q13)
The final two chapters of this book are concerned with partnerships and relationships. Chapter 10 explores the fundamental importance of establishing authentic relationships with a child's parent/carer and family. Chapter 11 looks beyond the relationships you build within your typical classroom, and looks at the issues, challenges and ultimately benefits of working in a wider context with other professionals to ensure every child achieves the five outcomes as outlined in Every Child Matters.
We hope that the structure of this book will help you to make connections between the theory of child development, effective pedagogy, and the reality of working in an Early Years context. A number of tasks and classroom stories have been included in each chapter to help you make these connections. We have also provided you with further reading and [Page xi]research which will help you learn more about this important phase of a child's learning and development.
Working with young children requires a high degree of passion, enthusiasm and a genuine interest in what young children are about. You may well find yourself at times working in an environment where standards and target setting compete with a principled belief that children are entitled to a play-based framework where active engagement lies at the heart of the way children learn, develop and reach their full potential. We hope that this book will be just the start of your journey.Manchester Metropolitan University, June 2008, [Page xii]