Early Years

Early Years Areas of Learning and Development

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in the early years setting.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-related.  Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for their learning, and for building their capacity to learn from relationships and thrive.  These three prime areas are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

Early years providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.  The specific areas are:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Early Learning Goals

Each of the seven areas of learning has a number of Early Learning Goals which set our what children are to achieve by the end of their time in the EYFS, that is at the end of reception and before they move to Year 1.  The Early Learning Goals are the statements against which children are assessed at the end of reception.  The are 17 Early Learning Goals as follows:

ELG Area of Learning Early Learning Goal
ELG1 Communication and Language Listening and Attention
ELG2 Communication and Language Understanding
ELG3 Communication and Language Speaking
ELG4 Physical Development Moving and Handling
ELG5 Physical Development Health and Self-Care
ELG6 Personal, Social and Emotional Devt Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness
ELG7 Personal, Social and Emotional Devt Managing feelings and behaviour
ELG8 Personal, Social and Emotional Devt Making relationships
ELG9 Literacy Reading
ELG10 Literacy Writing
ELG11 Mathematics Numbers
ELG12 Mathematics Shape, Space and Measures
ELG13 Understanding the World People and Communities
ELG14 Understanding the World The World
ELG15 Understanding the World Technology
ELG16 Expressive arts and design Exploring and using media and materials
ELG17 Expressive arts and design Being Imaginative 

Characteristics of Effective Learning

In addition to the above seven areas of learning, we aim to develop three key learning characteristics.  These are:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and thinking critically

You see the detail of the above in our EYFS Summary document (2 pages, PDF)


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