The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a comprehensive framework which sets the standards for development, learning and care of all children from birth to five years of age.


The new framework is based on four principles:


A Unique Child

Positive Relationships

Enabling Environments and

Learning and Development


In addition the framework puts the focus of planning to meet each child’s needs and interests, based on the observations made by the staff in the playroom – usually his or her key person.  These written observations are carried out regularly and are used to help complete the child’s individual Profile (see below).  Examples of the child’s art, writing etc are kept for evidence as well as occasional photographs to support these. 


As well as carrying out regular observations, your child’s key person will begin a Personal Profile for him.  This profile will be regularly updated and will be available for you to see whenever you wish.  The profile will be passed to any new providers (including any LEA Nursery) and shared with any provider that your child may attend at the same time as The Courtyard..  This profile will be with him until the end of the Foundation Stage (end of Reception year at school).  It covers all the seven areas of learning, a brief description of each is as follows:

Prime Areas


Personal, Social and Emotional Development


Developing the skills to help understand the world in which we live and help children be aware of their own needs and those of the people around them.  To respect differences and consider the consequences of their words and actions to others and to themselves.


Communication and language


Listening, speaking and written language are key skills that all children should show competence in.  Exploring printed material such as books and reading simple text can help improve skills in this area.

Physical Development


Encouraging skills such as balancing, co-ordination, movement, manipulation and control can contribute to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, which in turn will have a positive impact on their future.

Specific Areas



Encourages children to listen to stories in a group or independently and help children to begin to make marks on paper leading on to name writing




Covering areas such as number recognition, pattern making, counting, shape and colour and developing mathematical ideas to problem solve.  It is a useful discussion tool to describe position, shape and space.


Understanding the world


Developing a child’s observation and investigation skills are crucial to raising awareness and understanding of their environment.  It helps to form the basic foundations for future work in other subject areas such as science, design and technology and ICT.


Expressive arts and design


Using a broad selection of materials a child should be able to express and communicate their feelings and ideas.  This also helps the child to understand the connection between one area of learning and another.  This includes, art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play.