Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) is a UK Government document which sets the standard framework for the learning, development and care of children from birth to the end of the Reception year in school. The EYFS outlines what all Ofsted registered childcare providers must do to support 0 - 5 year olds in their care. To access more information about the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (EYFS) visit the Foundation Years website.

Characteristics of Effective Learning – CoEL

These are an integral part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). The focus of the CoEL is on how children learn rather than what they learn. The individual learning characteristics of a child will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. The learning and development of a child is demonstrated by the way a child thinks, is motivated, and is engaged.

The EYFS describes these characteristics as:

  • Playing and exploring (engagement) – children investigate and experience things an “have a go”
  • Active learning (motivation) – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically (thinking) – children develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things

These are promoted within the EYFS curriculum to encourage those who work with children to observe and reflect on the way children learn. Based on these observations practitioners are expected to plan and guide children’s learning to maximise their development and achievement.

Using the Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) and sharing these with parents is fundamental to promoting positive attitudes to learning. During the Early Years children form attitudes about learning that will be lifelong. The right support during these years will encourage creative and adventurous learners.

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