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List of EYFS Articles

EYFS articles

Characteristics of Effective Learning: creating and thinking critically

by Ruksana Mohammed in EYFS

This article is the third and final in our series on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, following on from Play and Exploration in Action and Active Learning in Action.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning: Active Learning in Action

by Ruksana Mohammed in EYFS

This article is the second in our series on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, following on from Play and Exploration in Action which was published on the FSFin July 2013. Please refer to the article for the summary of the characteristics as a whole. This article will concentrate on the second CoEL of active learning, which has been identified by the EYFS as ‘when children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements’ (DfE, 2012).

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Understanding and Developing Reflective Practice

by Penny Borkett in EYFS

This article will focus on the need for early years practitioners to develop their knowledge of reflective thinking. It will focus on some of the history and theory of reflective practice considering and discussing how theory can help develop practitioners knowledge of how and when to use reflective thinking in day to day situations. It will then go onto to discuss how reflective practice relates to the plethora of policy and guidance documents used within early years practice. The final section will draw on specific examples to illustrate how reflective practice has helped make early years practice more inclusive.

 

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Aspects of Art: Sculpture

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

Here is the final article in the Aspects of Art series, looking at how children can be creative in 3D through sculpture. Working in three dimensions gives children the opportunity to practise skills such as planning and problem solving, fixing and joining, shaping and assembling. This is an art form that involves imagination and the technology of transformation as children explore how to change an object, or a collection of objects, into something else. Sculpture can be done on a small or large scale, by an individual or collaboratively. The key to inspiring children to work in 3D is to have a wide variety of interesting and unusual resources available and to embrace each child’s creative ideas.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning: play and exploration in action (available to visitors)

by Ruksana Mohammed in EYFS

Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) are a revived element in the current Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). CoEL advocate that in planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn, and then reflect these in their practice. A child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. The focus of the CoEL is on how children learn rather than what they learn i.e. process over outcome. Underpinning the CoEL is the understanding that during their earliest years, children form attitudes about learning that will last a lifetime. Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years will be creative, and adventurous learners throughout their lives. Children who do not receive this sort of support and interaction are likely to have a much different attitude about learning later on in life. Hence, why the supportive practitioner, and the environment they provide, need to nurture these CoELs to occur, but without forgetting that children are individuals who bring their own needs, talents and histories to the learning environment.

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Aspects of Art: Textiles

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

Here is the fourth in our series on Art in the Early Years. This time the focus is on Textiles. Fabric is a big part of children’s lives. They wear it, they sleep under it and they sit on it. The familiarity of textiles is what makes them so much fun to explore with young children, encouraging them to look closer, ask questions and use fabrics in new and unusual ways. Some children might be interested in the textures of fabrics, brocades and lace. Others might want to investigate patterns and colour on fabric. Or children might enjoy manipulating textiles, weaving and stitching and knotting. Any textile project in the early years will become embellished with the children’s interests as they learn more about the fabric around them.

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Aspects of Art: Printing

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

We continue our series on Art in the early years with a closer look at printing.

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Aspects of Art: Painting

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

Paint is such a versatile and energetic medium for children to explore. It can be thick or runny, pale or bright. It can be layered up with other things and it can be dabbed, spread, brushed, flicked or squelched. This article is the third in a series about art in the early years setting and looks at ways to introduce exciting painting experiences to young children.

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Aspects of Art: Drawing (available to visitors)

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

This is the second in a series of articles about the different aspects of art in the early years. Here we look at ways to approach drawing with young children.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning: Creating and Thinking Critically

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

In the third and final article on the characteristics of effective learning, Martine Horvath outlines the essential components of critical thinking and how we can support children to develop their creativity.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning: Active Learning

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

What is "Active Learning"? The High Scope approach defines it helpfully as ‘having direct and immediate experiences and deriving meaning from them through reflection’. In this way children can better make sense of their world. It’s in the doing that we can make connections, apply our learning and get results in cognitive and practical harmony. Children act on their natural desire to explore as they ask and search for answers to questions about materials, events, people experiences and ideas that arouse their curiosity. They solve problems that stand in the way of their goals and they generate strategies which help them to overcome barriers and challenges threatening to stop them in their tracks.

Active learning includes a variety of teaching methods such as small group discussion, cooperative learning, role play, hands-on projects, and sensitive practitioner-led open ended questioning. Practitioners should advocate active learning techniques which include the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic aspects of learning. By allowing children to be involved in their own learning practitioners are encouraging them to take greater responsibility for their own education. In the active learning enabling environment, a practitioner’s role is to talk less and facilitate more......

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Aspects of Art

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

Art is a rich and magical area of learning. It can open children’s eyes to the world around them and offer them new and exciting ways of seeing, thinking and doing. But this doesn’t just happen; presenting children with the opportunity to use clay, paint or charcoal is not enough. Adults working in the early years need to think creatively themselves, explore ideas and resources with the children and celebrate the artistic process.This is a new series on Art in the Early Years, with activity ideas for six different aspects of art – drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, textiles and collage. It begins with a brief look at how we should approach art with young children.

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Characteristics of Effective Learning: Playing and Exploring

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

In a series of three articles examining the characteristics of effective learning in the revised EYFS framework, Martine Horvath encourages us to consider how to support children's skills in independent learning. Including a link to an inspiring short film, she discusses how we can sensitively and skillfully support child-initiated play.

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Feeling positively positive about the revised Early Years Foundation Stage?

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

Martine Horvath identifies the significant features of the revised EYFS. She states that "It’s important to stress right from the very beginning that all our energies should be channelled into celebrating the positives, continuing to be the confident and positive practitioners that we are, interpreting this revised framework in the spirit that it was intended and acknowledging our own responsibility to use our professional autonomy to keep the children and key principles at the very heart of what we are about; in everything we do, reflect on and work towards, so that we do not unintentionally suffocate best practice with negativity". Read on for inspiration...

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Building an accurate picture: Evidencing the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and the moderation process.

by Kate Cahill in EYFS

Q: How much evidence do I need? It’s a perennial question and one that is asked on an almost daily basis as moderation visits are underway.

Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFSP) is based very firmly on the use of observation. Watching, listening and making notes on what we learn about children’s learning from their activities is the bedrock of our practice and observation is routinely used to inform day to day formative assessments. Ultimately, however, these observations form the basis of our summative judgements and are an essential element in establishing the accuracy of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) data through the process of moderation. Here, Kate Cahill explains how to engage in effective observational techniques to support the completion of the EYFS profile.

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Play and Exploration

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

The importance of play and of practitioners who are "playful"

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Recording children's learning and development in the EYFS

by Helen Edwards in EYFS

Devising a straightforward method of tracking children's learning and development in the EYFS.

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Thinking Creatively about Creative Development

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

Martine Horvath's belief that all children are born creative is one that many practitioners share. In this article she describes what creativity means in the early years and how we can support this crucial area of learning and development.

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Biscuit Box Banter

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

Martine Horvath presents some fun ideas to get children talking, and to help them develop their speech and language skills.

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Motivational Planning

by Sue Ridgway in EYFS

A description of how one setting moved away from topic planning towards a more child-centred approach.

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Looking back: How do we give young children a sense of the past?

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

As adults, we tend to think about time in terms of chronology. Time is linear and ordered. The past stretches into the distance in one direction, the future into the other, and the present sits in the middle. We understand that the past can be recent (yesterday) or long ago (1066). But even as adults our concept of time is subjective – our idea of what was a long time ago or what age a person could be described as 'old' is dependent partly on our own age and experience. Young children are only just beginning to fathom the way we order time.

This article looks at how early years practitioners can introduce young children to the past. It examines how children perceive time and discusses simple ways to explore 'a long time ago' with children.

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Assessment for Learning in the EYFS

by Jonathan Glazzard & Jane Stokoe in EYFS

Jonathan Glazzard, from the University of Huddersfield, provides a broad overview of the key principles of assessment for learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. He outlines the purposes of assessment and describes key approaches for collecting evidence of children’s achievements. The article also identifies approaches for facilitating the involvement of both children and parents or carers within the assessment process.

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The Early Years Foundation Stage is like an Onion!

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

Find out why the EYFS is more like an onion than a tomato...

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Learning about Shape and Space

by Helen Edwards in EYFS

The perceived need to demonstrate children's development in the Early Years can put pressure on practitioners to move to formal methods of education too quickly. This article explains how learning can be achieved and recorded instead through practical activities.

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Cheerful or Cheerless Childminding in the Face of EYFS Challenges?

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

Advice on how childminders can embrace the EYFS. Don't worry, be happy!

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Positive Relationships

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

Martine Horvath discusses critical aspects of positive relationships and how to promote them in your setting.

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A Unique Child

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

What does the EYFS mean by the term "a unique child", and how can we support each child's individual development?

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Enabling Environments (available to visitors)

by Martine Horvath in EYFS

How can we ensure that the environments we provide will extend and support children's development and learning?

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Using Music to Support Foundation Stage Learning

by Mary E. Maunder in EYFS

Mary E. Maunder presents musical activities to support young children's development and learning across the six areas

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Beginning with Books (available to visitors)

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

This article introduces a new series of planning ideas that use a big book as the starting point for a variety of experiences within the Areas of Learning and Development. 'Beginning with Books' examines early reading skills and attitudes towards how children learn to read, as well as how to prepare for planning with a focus book.

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Storytelling

by Juliet Mickelburgh in EYFS

Following on from Juliet Mickelburgh's articles on promoting reading and using stories to plan stimulating activities, she now turns her attention to how young children can be involved in telling their own stories.

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Motivational Planning- a retrospective discussion

by Sue Ridgway in EYFS

Sue Ridgway takes us back to 2006, when her setting decided to discard a topic-based approach in favour of developing children's skills through following their interests. In this new article, she describes the impact this change has had on her provision.

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Music, Personal, Social and Emotional Development......and You!

by Alison Harmer in EYFS

Alison Harmer explores musical experiences in the early years in relation to Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

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The Practitioner as an Explorer: Effective Observation Techniques

by Karen James & Jo Kavakeb in EYFS

Observation is at the heart of effective provision, and it ensures that we keep the child at the centre of our practice. This article discusses various tools and techniques practitioners need to carry out effective observation and to support learning within the EYFS.

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Assessment, Progression and Attainment in the EYFS

by Kate Cahill in EYFS

Life on the Foundation Stage Forum takes on its own seasonal phases and autumn is no exception. As the new academic year commences there are always queries, particularly from school-based practitioners, on how to gather and interpret the progress data required alongside the observational assessment practices required in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. So what do we need to consider and how do we make best use of the assessment information we gather?

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EYFS Survey (available to visitors)

by Stephen Edwards in EYFS

The FSF asked members (and visitors) to fill out a questionnaire on the EYFS in the autumn of 2010. This is a summary and the raw results of that survey.

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Ofsted Inspection Reports for Childminders (Part 2)

by Helen Edwards in EYFS

A selection of Ofsted inspectors' judgements on the quality and standards of childminders' early years provision and outcomes for children.

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Ofsted Inspection Reports for Childminders (Part 1) (available to visitors)

by Helen Edwards in EYFS

What have recent OFSTED reports focused upon? In a two-part article we summarize over fifty childminders' reports from April and May 2010. How does your setting measure up?

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