The revised EYFS framework was published this week, the existing framework, EYFS 2008, remains in place until the end of August, the new framework called EYFS 2012 will be mandated from the 1st September. The revised framework aims to reduce bureaucracy and simplify learning and development requirements, reducing the early learning goals from 69 to 17. The framework concentrates on the three areas of learning deemed the most important:-
- Communication and language
- Personal, social and emotional development
In addition to these 'Prime Areas' there are also four futher 'Specific Areas':-
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
At ToucanLearn we will revise our system to tie in with EYFS 2012, ready for launch on 1st September. At the same time we will launch some new features to offer new tools to help childcarers implement the EYFS. We're excited about these changes, while we always felt that the EYFS offered a great platform for early learning, we also think that these revisions help to focus on the important parts of learning and will help those who might have struggled with the breadth of coverage of EYFS 2008. We will write more about the revised EYFS framework over the next few months, and keep you informaed of changes coming toToucanLearn.
You can download the new EYFS framework here.
Encouraging your baby to be a social baby is important - even after just 4 weeks of life babies are learning their first skills in communication. They are hearing conversations, watching people move about, listening to noises and music, feeling vibrations as you talk.
Babies watch adults eyes and faces for cues and can hear different tones of voice when they speak. If you babble with a baby, they will often pause for a reply even though they are not speaking actual words or having a conversation, they have picked up the idea of pauses in conversation and that we take turns to speak.
Smiling is a vital form of communication. If you smile at a baby more often than not they will smile back. If you frown at a baby they are likely to frown back or cry. So, before they even utter their first word they are learning the vital skills of communication through observing and listening to the parents or siblings behaviour.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
As babies get older, tactile and textured toys are a great form of entertainment. Once they can hold and touch things they can learn cause and effect. If they shake a rattle it makes a noise etc. They also get to learn about textures of things and beginning to understand that items feel different. Similarly we can feel different: sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes frightened etc.
When they get older and can use words, they can then begin to notice and describe how items feel. A wooden spoon is hard, a cotton wool ball is soft etc. Once they have mastered this, they are more able to explain how they feel inside. They might feel scared or joyful etc and with this confidence they can go on to share that information and communicate how they feel.
It is very important to try and give children the chance to develop their emotional well-being and to have the confidence to share their feelings with others. So, get all sorts of toys and items that feel and look different. Talk about the texture: are they rough, smooth, fluffy, shiny. Then talk about how we all look different and can feel different when we are afraid, excited, happy, sad, worried etc.
How can you encourage a healthy and enthusiastic learner and good personal, social and emotional development? There is so much that can be done in the home and in the childcare setting to encourage effective PSED. Here are just a few ideas that can be incorporated into your typical day.
- Play games; take turns and play by the rules.
- Share things; share out snacks or toys or bricks and encourage little ones to do so as well.
- Go to local places of interest, history museums or galleries.
- Look at programmes from theatre or festivals visits. Or pick up leaflets from places of interest and local history museums. Look through the information/booklets together when you get home.
- Take photos when out and about and look back a the photos together. Recall the day, where you were, who was with you what happened etc.
- Listen to what your child wants to talk about, especially if they are anxious or worried about something. It may seem tiny to us, but a little problem can escalate.
- Encourage lots of questions and exploring when out and about.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development lies at the very heart of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and in essence every single activity a child does, whether climbing a tree, writing their first letter or counting all the way to 11, influences their own sense of worth and self confidence.
As each hurdle is mastered; each skill practiced and learned, so their emotional well being and self esteem are built up and strengthened thus creating a more confident and happy child.
The best way to encourage personal, social and emotional development is through play.
- It is essential for learning. It brings children's world alive and inspires their imagination.
- Little ones have fun when playing, and enjoy themselves.
- They are active and it promotes healthy living.
- Young children learn a little about themselves and how to communicate ideas and games to others both fellow children and the carers too.
- They experiment in a free environment and try things out without fear of getting it "wrong".
- They are free to explore in their own way whether this be ideas and games or materials and equipment.
- They learn about interaction, negotiation with other children and rules of games etc.
The EYFS has just gone through review by Dame Care Tickell. Amongst her recommendations is that the EYFS is slimmed down and it is likely that the areas of learning will be reduced from six core areas to three. So important is Personal, Social and Emotional Development that it is one of the areas that will be preserved. Dame Clare Tickell's report suggests:-
A new focus on three prime areas which are the foundations for children’s ability to learn and develop healthily: personal, social and emotional development; communication and language; and physical development.