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Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning Early Years

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Early years providers must guide the development of children's capabilities with a view to ensuring that children in their care complete the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them.‚Äč

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected (EYFS).

Teaching should not be taken to imply a 'top down' or formal way of working. It is a broad term that covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes: their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities; communicating and modelling language; showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling; providing a narrative for what they are doing; facilitating and setting challenges.

It takes account of the equipment that adults provide and the attention given to the physical environment, as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations. Integral to teaching is how practitioners assess what children know, understand and can do, as well as taking account of their interests and dispositions to learn (characteristics of effective learning), and how practitioners use this information to plan children's next steps in learning and to monitor their progress. 

Useful links

Help for Early Years Providers | An online service which features resources to support childminders and staff in PVI settings to understand and implement the reforms: Help for early years providers - Department for Education

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage | Guidance for parents on what to expect in their child's development to help practitioners engage with parents about their child's development: What-to-expect-in-the-EYFS-complete-FINAL-16.09-compressed.pdf (foundationyears.org.uk)

EYFS Reforms implementation videos | A small suite of videos with direct messages from DfE, Ofsted and early adopter schools talking about their experiences in delivering the reforms and how they have changed their approach to the EYFS and assessment: Implementing the early years foundation stage reforms - Case study - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

EYFS Profile handbook | Guidance for local authorities and early years providers on completing EYFS profile assessments at the end of reception year to support practitioners to make accurate judgements about children's attainment: Early years foundation stage profile handbook - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 



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