EYFS - the themes

The themes of the EYFS (2012) are slightly changed from the themes and commitments which feature in the 2008 version of the document.  You should keep hold of your Principles into Practice cards as they give more information about the themes - you can download them if you do not have a hard copy.

The EYFS says that each theme of the EYFS important and needs to be securely in place before we start to look after children.

Theme 1 says that we must appreciate every child as unique, ensuring we know about child development and inclusive practice and we are committed to keeping children safe and healthy.

Theme 2 talks about positive relationships, telling us to respect everyone (this links to inclusive practice) and helping us to learn how to treat parents as equal partners in their child’s learning and development. We must support children’s learning while acting as each child’s key person.

Theme 3 focuses on the environment, saying that it must be enabling i.e. every child must be able to access our home and play with our resources. While we support each child to achieve (linking again to inclusive practice) we must make sure the learning environment is appropriately set up and we use links with children’s other settings or agencies involved with the child to support them fully.

Theme 4 is, I find talking to childminders, often not understood until you get to the learning and development bit. It is about the processes children go through to learn and develop and how we can support them by enhancing their play.  The revised EYFS (2012) links the themes from 'Learning and Development' to the Characteristics of Effective Learning which focus on HOW children learn. I have written about this in more detail in e-book 59 - see my Knutsford Childminding website for more information.

The 7 areas of learning and development of the EYFS also link here. This seems to be the part of the themes that most people I talk to are worried about.  I think this is partly because we have to use it when we are observing, assessing and planning for children's learning and next steps development. 

We cannot observe or plan without fully understanding what each area means and how it must be used to support children’s learning. The areas of learning and development are split into 2...

The 3 prime areas - 

Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)

Physical development (PD)

Communication and language (C & L)

The 4 specific areas -

Literacy (Lit);

Mathematics (maths)

Understanding the world (UW);

Expressive arts and design (A & D)

E-book 34 looks at each of these areas of learning and development in detail. All my e-books are available on my Knutsford Childminding website.