Care and

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2012

The EYFS is the statutory curriculum designed to be used with children aged 0 – 5years+, it sets out the typical learning and development at different ages and stages.

It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

The EYFS is separated into Prime and Specific areas, containing seven Areas of Learning which are further broken down in to Aspects, see below:

Prime Areas are fundamental, work together, and move through to support development in all other areas.

Area of Learning and Development Aspect

Personal, Social and

Emotional Development
  • Making relationships
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour
Physical Development
  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care
Communication and Language
  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge, they grow out of the Prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning

Area of Learning and Development Aspect
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measure
Understanding the world
  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology
Expressive Arts and Design
  • Exploring and using media and
  • materials
  • Being imaginative

Each Aspect has a number of Development Matter statements describing the typical learning for children between certain ages. As each child is unique and individual growing and developing at different rates, the ages and stages overlap. Please see below for an example from the EYFS;

Communication and Language:  Listening and attention


A Unique Child:

observing what a child is learning

Positive Relationships:

what adults could do

Enabling Environments:

what adults could provide

Birth to 11 months

  • Turns toward a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy
  • Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices
  • Reacts in interaction with others by smiling, looking and moving
  • Quietens or alters to the sound of speech
  • Looks intently at a person talking, but stops responding if the speaker turns away
  • Listens to familiar sounds, words or finger plays
  • Fleeting Attention – not under child’s control, new stimuli takes whole attention
  • Being physically close, making eye contact, using touch or voice all provide ideal opportunities for early conversations between adults and babies and between one baby and another
  • Encourage playfulness, turn-taking and responses including peek-a-boo and rhymes
  • Use a lively voice, with ups and down to help babies tune in
  • Sing songs and rhymes during everyday routines
  • Use repeated sounds, and words and phrases so babies can begin to recognise particular sounds
  • Share stories, songs and rhymes from all cultures in babies’ home languages
  • Display photographs showing how young babies communicate
  • Share favourite stories as babies are settling to sleep, or at other quiet times
  • Plan times when you can sing with young babies and adults, for example, touching, smiling, smelling and listening.
8-20 months
  • Moves whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat
  • Has a strong exploratory impulse
  • Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods
  • Pays attention to dominant stimulus – easily distracted by noises of other people talking
  • Information above.
  • Information above.
16-26 months
  • Listens to an enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories
  • Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations
  • Rigid attention – may appear not to hear
  • Encourage young children to explore and imitate sound
  • Talk about the different sounds they hear
  • Collect resources that children can listen to and learn to distinguish between.  These may include noses in the street, and games that involve guessing which object makes a particular sound.
22-36 months
  • Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories
  • Recognises and responds to many familiar sounds
  • Show interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes
  • Single channelled attention.  Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained – using child’s name helps focus
  • Encourage repetition, rhythm and rhyme by using tone and intonation as you tell, recite or sing stories, poems and rhymes from books
  • Be aware of the needs of children learning English as an additional language from a variety of culture and ask parents to share their favourites from their home languages
  • Keep background noise to a minimum
  • Use puppets and other props to encourage listening and responding when singing a familiar song or reading from a story book
  • Encourage children to learn one another’s names and to pronounce them correctly


To find out more about the EYFS visit; and

Our Early Years Educators use this document in order to plan activities for, observe and assess each individual child’s learning and development; this is then added to each child’s online profile in order to give a clear picture of their learning and development. This online profile can then be used to show children’s starting points, produce two year progress checks, reports for parents evenings and school leavers and also highlight any areas in need of support.