Within the Early Years Foundation Stage the children are working on seven areas of learning and development. Three areas are called ‘prime’ and are essential for building children’s enthusiasm and capacity to learn. The other four areas are called ‘specific’ and through these the prime areas are strengthened and applied. The majority of children will achieve most of the early learning goals by the end of the reception year. Some children will exceed them and adults in the setting will be ready to provide new challenges. Some children may need additional support to achieve the goals during the foundation stage and moving into year 1.
The seven areas of learning and development are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This area involves developing positive attitudes to learning, social skills, respect for others and emotional well-being.
Communication and Language
This area involves developing good listening skills and maintaining attention. It covers how children speak to their peers and adults, using new vocabulary and understanding what has been said to them.
This area involves improving skills in movement and co-ordination, manipulation and control. It covers developing basic skills in handling sports equipment and selecting and using simple tools safely and with control. It also encourages children to understand the health benefits to being physically active.
This area involves developing communication skills such as speaking and listening, enjoyment of stories and poetry, practicing phonic knowledge and beginning to read and write for different purposes.
This area involves basic mathematical skills of counting, matching and ordering numbers. It develops early ideas about adding and subtracting. Children are also encouraged to use mathematical equipment to find out about shape, measuring and collecting information in order to solve problems.
Understanding the World
This area involves developing knowledge, skills and understanding about the world in which they live. It encourages them to observe and ask questions, noticing similarities and differences around them. Children learn about science and technology, regularly using ICT. They find out about themselves and their families, including different cultures and beliefs.
Expressive arts and design
This area involves developing and extending children’s creative skills, making connections between one area of learning and another. It covers skills in art, music, dance, drama and imaginative play.