Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

Introduction

Early child learning and development encompasses the various skills, knowledge, and preschool experiences that are important for children during the early years. The early learning programs apart from promoting learning on top of promoting physical, mental, social, and emotional development. In addition, children, from age

Research carried out by Bronson, Pierson, & Tivnan established that there is an association between children’s earlier environment influences later life outcomes with regard to behavioral problems, affected cognitive development and educational attainment (1984, p. 342). Therefore, the curriculum during the early years, apart from providing basic skills, should be able to nurture their emotional and social welfare, which is important for their cognitive and behavioral development.

Blakemore and Frith (2005, p. 27), commenting on the importance of early learning write: the early learning experiences have a direct impact on the development of the child’s learning, emotional, and social skills. Therefore, schools that provide early education should also cater for the emotional and social needs of the children.

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Schools that cater for children from birth to the age of five years old have to adhere to 69 structured learning and development guidelines known as the Early Years Foundation Stage or the EYFS (Qualification and Curriculum Authority [QCA] 2010, p. 5).

The Early Years Foundation Stage comprises of six Early Learning Goals (ELGs), which provide basic skills, knowledge, and understanding that young children should have by the age of five (Department of Children and Family Services [DCFS] 2007, p.2).

Early Years Foundation Stage, implemented in 2008, aims at providing basic knowledge including language, communication, and numeracy to promote the child’s understanding of the world. It also promotes social, physical, and creative development of the child. As a result, a preschool curriculum should incorporate the various aspects of early childhood development.

The Rationale for the Early Years Foundation Stage Policy

The aim of the EYFS is primarily to aid young children to achieve basic knowledge through play-based learning in the early education settings. The EYFS framework is founded on the belief that, the child’s experience in early years has a major impact on the future learning and development of the child.

In this respect, the DCFS (2007, p.3) emphasizes the importance of a safe and secure childhood in providing a foundation for children to explore their talents and abilities later in life. The EYFS framework has set standards for the children learning, development, and care in educational settings away from their home or family.

In addition, the EYFS provides for equality to deter discrimination based on ethnicity, culture, language, physical disabilities or religion. To ensure that the educational settings meet universal standards, EYFS framework provides for partnership between the various stakeholders involved in early child learning and development including professionals and parents.

Apart from ensuring quality standards for early childhood learning and development, the EYFS framework prepares the children for future learning by laying a secure foundation. This involves planned learning and development that take into account the individual needs and interests of the child (Garrick et al. 2010, p.41).

In this regard, the Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) promotes continued monitoring of the EYFS curriculum with help of observational assessment to establish an ideal curriculum that can facilitate the achievement of these goals (QCDA 2010, p. 3). In addition, the EYFS aims at improving quality and consistency of the early childhood education by providing for regular inspection and assessment of the current curricula.

The EYFS forms part of the childcare strategy that came into force following the enactment of the Childcare Act in 2006. This act mandated the EYFS to ensure that early childhood education providers meet the necessary requirements when handling children from birth to five years of age (DCFS 2007, p.1).

The EYFS builds on recent developments in the early years learning and development, which determine the implementation of new strategies to improve the outcomes from the early education sector and reduce the inequalities experienced in the sector. There are three frameworks that forms the basis for the EYFS framework viz. the birth to three matters, the curriculum guidance for the foundation stage and the national standards for the under 8’s daycare.

Currently, the providers have the responsibility of ensuring that the education settings meet the learning and development requirements as stipulated in the child welfare regulations.

The Early Years Foundation stage policy provides four principles on how the providers should promote the learning, development, and care of children within education settings. The principles are meant to promote effective practice by the providers in as far as child learning and development is concerned (DCFS 2010, p.4). Firstly, the EYFS recognizes the importance of positive relationships in early child learning and development.

It describes how secure relationships between the child and the parent, providers or any other key person contribute to a child developing independence later in life. Secondly, the EYFS advises the providers to recognize that all children are capable of learning so that they commit themselves towards ensuring safety and well-being of the children without discrimination. The third principle explains that the learning environment is very vital in supporting learning and development of the child.

To achieve an enabling environment, regular observation, assessment and planning is important. Lastly, the framework recognizes that learning, development varies among different children, and therefore, the practitioners should consider this when implementing the curriculum. Moreover, this principle recognizes that learning and development are inter-connected processes in early education.

The standards set by the EYFS ensure that the early education providers practice, in addition to promoting learning, provide childcare same like the care provided at home by the parents. Individualized learning and development is an essential practice embraced by both the parents and the childcare providers (DCFS 2007, p.5).

In this regard, every child should get individualized support to promote his/her progress. Because children learn at different rates, individualized support would ensure that a child fulfils his/her potential. Additionally, the providers should ensure that the child’s individual needs are met with regard to early education through helping them to overcome barriers to their learning and development.

The EYFS gives the providers the responsibility of ensuring that children learn to appreciate diversity at an earlier age by being inclusive and not discriminating against the disadvantaged (DCFS 2007, p.6). Furthermore, to promote the child’s appreciation of diversity and difference, the providers are required to offer equal opportunity to all children irrespective of their ethnicity, culture, or religion.

To promote the standards of early childhood education, EYFS supports partnerships between the various stakeholders in childcare. The providers must share relevant information with other providers or parents to ensure that learning and development in the various settings remains uninterrupted and coherent (Qualification and Curriculum Authority [QCA] 2005, p. 2).

Close partnership between the parents and the providers allows easy identification of the learning needs of the children to provide support for extended learning at home. Additionally, the providers should liaise with professionals from community health services to identify the needs of the children and devise ways to meet them. This would ensure that the best learning opportunities under enabling environments are accorded to children.

Prior to the introduction of the EYFS in 2008, research had shown that children achieve success in educational settings that integrate childcare and education. In addition, the research established that children’s early learning and development improves in settings that include educational and social development (DCFS 2007, p.7).

Therefore, the rationale for the introduction of the EYFS in 2008 was the recognition of the close connection between social welfare and educational development in children between birth and age of five. In addition, an assessment prior to the introduction of the EYFS by the Center for the Use of Research and Evidence Education (CUREE) established a lot of support for a unified framework to cater for the learning and development needs of children (QCA, 2005, p.6).

The single framework would also ensure equality and non-discrimination of children in the different educational settings they attend by providing for equality regardless of the ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds of the child.

The EYFS Development and Learning Requirements

The early year’s providers have to adhere to particular learning and development requirements, which reflect the individual needs of the children under appropriate educational settings (DCFS 2007, p.9). Every child has the potential to learn; therefore, the practitioners, having appreciated this simple fact should consider every student’s needs by coming up with ambitious but gratifying learning modules.

The Childcare Act of 2006 provides the requirements for early learning and development that should be followed by the providers (National Children’s Bureau [NCB] 2010, p.2).

The EYFS learning and development requirements comprise of three elements; firstly, the early learning goals, which entails the skills and knowledge projected that the child would have acquired by the age of five, the educational programmes to be incorporated in the curriculum including the skills to be taught and the assessment criteria to evaluate the progress of the children.

All these elements are essential for promoting early learning; however, the early learning goals tied with the physical and emotional development of the child.

The early learning goals are aligned with the educational programmes to facilitate a balanced child learning and development. To promote social, personal, and emotional development, the educational programs must be tailored in a way that allows the children to learn social skills and respect for others (NCB 2010, p.5) Therefore, the providers must support the children’s emotional well-being in a way that allows them to know themselves and their capabilities.

With regard to communication and language, the providers should support reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of the children in accordance with the EYFS (DCFS 2007, p.9).

In addition, the children should be granted the opportunity to use their communication skills with confidence under different settings. To achieve this, the providers should encourage interactions among the children that would improve their speaking skills. The providers should ensure that by the end of the EYFS, there should an improvement in listening and communication skills with respect to music, poems, and stories.

These EYFS assessment guidelines provided are recommended for use by the practitioners to evaluate the children’s learning and development. However, effective assessment depends on the ability of the providers to assess the child’s knowledge prior to teaching them. In this way, appropriate and challenging activities can be devised to promote child learning and development.

With regard to problem solving and numeracy, the providers should support the children’s understanding of problem solving concepts, reasoning and numeracy by providing them with opportunities to learn and practice these concepts. In addition, the providers are required to support the child’s understanding of the world by using a variety of teaching aids (DCFS 2007, p.10).

Through frequent exposure to different objects, animals, and plants in their natural environments, the children’s understanding of the world is improved. Consequently, the children are able to identify some key features of these living things and objects, which allow them to understand the world better.

In addition, they are able to tell the similarities or the differences between a range of objects, animals, or plants (Garrick et al. 2010, p. 21). The exposure to the EYFS program also enables the children to develop cognition of their surrounding environment and select objects or features they like. By exposing them to different objects, the children begin to recognize their cultural practices and are able to distinguish them from those of other people.

Under the EYFS, the physical and creative development is promoted by proving opportunities for interaction. To achieve the physical development of children, the providers should provide interactive opportunities whereby, children learn coordination, manipulation, and control skills through play-based learning (NCB 2010, p.6). They must also have the opportunity to engage in physical activities and have access to healthy foods that would promote their physical growth and development (DCFS 2007, p.10).

However, safety should be guaranteed under the play based learning to promote the children’s confidence of participating in physical activities. To promote creative development during the EYFS, providers are required to support play based learning in order to enhance curiosity and exploration. In addition, the children should have the opportunity to express their feelings and ideas with respect to what they learn.

The learning and development process requires continuous assessment during and after the EYSF. The providers should monitor the children, respond appropriately to their needs, and be able to assess the child’s development.

During the assessment process, care should be taken to ensure that the children make progress with respect to early learning (Broadfoot 2007, p.11). Therefore, the practitioner’s assessment should be based on the child’s activities and response to the educational programs with respect to the early learning goals.

Since the assessment relies on evidence collected from a variety of educational settings including home and school, the people who interact with the child like the parents should provide the information for the assessment. The EYFS encourages partnerships between the parents and the providers particularly with regard to the child’s learning and development (DCFS 2007, p.13). The educational settings should contribute to the children’s learning and development progress.

During the EYSF, the practitioners should be able to assess each child’s progress and learning abilities, which then should be used to plan specific learning method for each child (Broadfoot 2007, p.14). Additionally, careful observations allow the practitioners to realign their instruction methods with the child’s learning pace.

Through the assessment that practitioners carry out at the end of the EYFS, a profile outlining the learning and development advancement of every child is developed. The final assessment encompasses all of the ongoing assessments in different aspects of learning and development. At the end of the EYFS, the providers should ensure that children are assessed “against the thirteen assessment scales developed from the early learning goals” (Broadfoot 2007, p.19).

However, since children who have special needs may not meet the requirements for this scale and therefore, an alternative approach should be used. In my opinion, the assessment should incorporate the information from parents/guardians who spend much time with the child. In addition, gathering information from other settings prior to learning would prove to be vital in the assessment exercise.

The EYFS has had an effect on the way the assessment of the child is conducted. The assessment involves people who frequently interact with the child and it entails close observation and evaluation of each child’s interests and learning capabilities. The assessments are then used to identify the specific measures that can promote learning for each child (Blakemore, & Frith 2005, p.54) In addition, the observations and assessments are matched with the early learning goals to identify deficits and seek ways to address them.

Before conducting the final assessment, a qualifies practitioner evaluates the children’s advancement during the closing year off EYFS and the providers then issue a summary on the child’s performance relative to learning objectives rolled out at the start of an EYFS (DCFS 2007, p.14).

The provider can also avail the EYFS profile to the parent on request and facilitate discussion involving the practitioner and the parents. The EYFS provider also is required to provide relevant information to a new provider in case the child moves to a new provider. This should include the EYFS profile of the child and the assessment of the child as performed by the provider.

EYFS Statutory Welfare Requirements

The EYSF welfare requirements provide relevant information that allows providers to meet the legal requirements with respect to early learning and development. The welfare requirements are derived from the Practice Guidance for the Early Years to ensure that the individual needs of the children are meet taking into account the learning environment (QCA 2005, p.16). Proper learning and development among children occurs when they are safe, healthy and have established stable relationships with people surrounding them.

Therefore, the welfare requirements specifically aim at providing ample educational settings where the children enjoy play based learning and grow in confidence to attain their fullest potential with regard to early learning and development (DCFS 2007, p.17). The welfare requirements have a legal force and thus all the providers must comply with these regulations.

Among the welfare requirement that have a legal force is the requirement that the providers should protect and promote the well-being of the children. The provider is required to ensure that the children are of good health and in case of infection, take necessary measures to curb its spread to other children.

In line with the responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of all children, Rudduck and Flutter (2005, p.49) hold the opinion that, the provider has the responsibility to manage the children’s behavior effectively to promote the development of their individual needs. Indeed, this would promote discipline and moral development of the children that is vital for children’s learning and development.

By extension, the providers are required to ensure that people taking care of the children in different settings other than the educational settings, are well suited for that work, meaning that the practitioners and the parents should have appropriate skills and knowledge to meet the needs of child with regard to early learning and development.

Another statutory requirement of the EYFS involves the suitability of the learning environment and equipment for learning. The practitioners are required to provide sufficient playground both indoors and outdoors and provide safe and suitable play toys for the children (DCFS 2007, p.18).

The providers should also ensure that the learning environment is enjoyable and yet provides a learning and development experience that is challenging. The welfare requirements also demands that the providers manage effective documentation of the early learning and development. They are required to keep records and procedures that are necessary for the proper management of the educational settings.

The sole purpose of the EYFS welfare requirements is to promote an enabling environment that allows children to interact freely in order to meet their learning and development requirements (DCFS 2007, p.21). Therefore, providers have the obligation of continuously assessing the learning environment and the learning programs to make necessary changes that promote learning and development.

In my opinion, the EYFS has immensely contributed to improvement in teaching and learning in schools. In contrast with the earlier curriculums, current school programs now focus on areas of social development, which was not adequately addressed in earlier learning programs. This contributes to progress in as far as child learning and development is concerned.

The Early Years Foundation Stage provisions, particularly the use of assessment and monitoring practices that culminates in an EYFS profile has enhanced quality teaching and assessment. The EYFS profile contains an assessment guidance involving 13 assessment scales, which are important for quality assurance of the early education. The partnerships developed between the teachers, parents, and adults who interact with the child, greatly contribute to the evaluation and assessment process.

The local authorities’ involvement under the EYFS program means that they effectively support improvements in teaching, learning, and assessment (Rudduck, & Flutter 2005, p.63). I particularly single out the EYFS provision, which ensures that children from disadvantaged background are identified early and supported, for it has had positive impact on the quality of learning and teaching.

EYFS promotes equality in educational settings to deter discrimination based on ethnicity, culture, language, physical disabilities or religion. By ensuring a close working relationship between the various stakeholders including the parents, early year’s providers and the health people have contributed to the improvements achieved in this area.

Additionally, I think the emphasis by EYFS on personal, social, and emotional welfare of the children has contributed to improved learning and success shown in many early learning and development settings. Through the emotional and social support, the children’s learning is enhanced with respect to acquiring new skills and knowledge.

Under the EYFS framework, the providers are required to ensure children safety. This has contributed to improved play based learning since children can engage in extracurricular activities safely. The practitioners carry out risk assessment prior to allowing children to play in order to minimize risks and promote confidence that is essential for learning and development.

Implications of the EYFS for Curriculum Change

DCFS proposes an independent review of the EYFS to align it with the aims and values of the policy and curriculum development. The review will be in line with the stipulations of the Children’s Act, which forms the basis for EYFS. Many changes have been suggested including reducing the 69 early learning goals to 17and in the process reduce overload (Fullan 2009, p.62).

However, since the curriculum is usually dynamic, it should be subjected to periodic review to ensure that it lies in line with the national and global requirements (Kelly 2004, p.154). Following a comprehensive review of the EYFS, a new curriculum proposed promotes challenging extra-curricular activities as well as high quality subject teaching.

The Independent Review Commission proposes different learning areas that are derived from the EYFS framework to ensure a smooth transition from the foundation stage to key stage 1 (DCFS 2010, p. 2). According to the Kelly, the curriculum should emphasize on promoting children’s understanding of languages particularly English, communication and understanding of basic mathematical concepts (2004, p.12). The curriculum should also promote understanding of scientific and technological developments.

The social and environmental understanding is another area that the commission recommends that the new curriculum should focus on (Fullan, & Stiegelbauer 2009, p.47). The review also recommends that the curriculum promote the children’s understanding of their physical health and well-being. Additionally, the existing curriculum is being reviewed, with the help of professional groups, to ensure that it covers the important skills and knowledge necessary for the children’s later learning.

Based on the EYFS, the independent review commission emphasizes that literacy and numeracy alongside Information Communication Technology (ICT) should have a priority. Under the existing curriculum, less attention is given to the spoken communication (Kelly 2004, p.162). Consequently, the new curriculum as proposed by the review should promote speaking and listening skills, which are essential skills that can promote literacy, numeracy and general learning in educational settings.

In addition to promoting literacy, which involves listening, reading and writing, the review considers scientific and economic literacy as essential components of the primary curriculum. With regard to EYFS’s personal development, the review promotes moral, cultural, physical and mental development of the children, which is important for their future learning and development (DCFS 2010, p.4).

The personal development of the children is derived from the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) program (Craig 2007, p. 26). The SEAL program covers the various areas that raise concerns in the society with regard to emerging issues of drug abuse, sex, and behavior among others.

The EYSF framework has implications on the school development plan, which is different from the earlier curricula. Providers now emphasize on the principles of the framework in developing their curricula. The practitioners now focus on promoting the child’s personal, social, and emotional development alongside learning (Fullan, & Stiegelbauer 2009, p.76).

Communication and literacy to improve listening and speaking skills is now part of the EYFS curricula developed by schools. In addition, the creative and physical development is core to EYFS curriculum in line with the EYFS framework. The children are also exposed to new things in the environment to promote their understanding of the world.

To improve their reasoning and problem solving ability, the curriculum provides for numeracy through mathematical problems. Most importantly, the curricula developed in line with the EYFS framework also focus on the children’s welfare to ensure that children stay safe and healthy.

To ensure that children’s learning is effective and makes progress, the EYFS planning is important. The EYFS has had implications on the way practitioners assess the individual children’s progress throughout the EYFS program (Broadfoot 2007, p.111) The EYFS provides that long-term planning encompass the six areas of child learning and development.

The long-term plan acts as a guide towards the achievement of the ELGs. The medium-term planning bridges the gap between short-term plans, which are made on a daily or weekly basis and long-term plans. The practitioners are required to have effective planning to promote children’s progress with regard to learning and development.

The EYFS framework supports the principle that children should learn through play based learning settings, something that defines the teaching methods applicable under the EYFS to suit play requirements. Practitioners keep records and observations regarding the child’s progress in the various settings that the child attends (Fullan, & Stiegelbauer 2009, p.121).

The primary care providers are required to keep an EYFS profile of the child and are thus allowed to teach formal reading and writing skills to the children. Additionally, the primary providers are required to offer ICT based teaching of communication and literacy skills. This has an impact on learning programs in that the curricula have to be tailored to include ICT skills in child learning and development.

The EYFS framework also influences the CPD programs, whereby, under the CPD programs, many ways have been explored to attract male practitioners in early education through workshops and sessions that advocate for collaborative support in early education (Rudduck, & Flutter 2005, p.34).

To cater for the needs of children with special needs, the practitioners are required to establish a close working relationship with the parents. The early CPD programs aim at attracting professionals into the early education sector. Practitioners are required to work closely with the children and their families in order to promote learning, development, and welfare of the child in accordance with the EYPS.

Curriculum Development as a Social Process

The EYFS was influenced by the Every Child Matters report, which laid the basis for the development of the EYFS framework. The Every Child Matters report came into being following the tragic death of a student, Victoria Climbie, while in school (Kelly 2005, p. 34).

The event necessitated the need to reform the curriculum to ensure safety and security of all children. In addition, the emphasis by the society on literacy and numeracy formed one of the core principles on which the EYFS is based indicating that curriculum construction is a social process.

According to the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, the ideal curriculum goes beyond the formal schooling context and includes the objects that children see, feel, or hear under different settings (QCA 2005, p.2). Therefore, the curriculum in the early years includes all the experiences that the child goes through during learning and development.

Curriculum development is a social process relying on the social and cultural settings to promote child learning and development. Rudduck and Flutter argue that, the curriculum models reflect the beliefs and values that the society considers important for child learning and development (2005, p.138). As a society, agreements concerning the components of an appropriate curriculum are reached after much deliberation.

The agreement relies on the experience, research evidence, and aim at promoting the needs and well-being of the children. Therefore, the educational curriculum for early years is not entirely about schooling but considers the child as part of the wider community, which should be reflected in the child’s culture.

In this regard, the curriculum must be able to develop in response to changes in the society and the understanding of the child’s learning and development processes. This means that the curriculum must be able to grow and evolve in response to the dynamics of the society taking into account the technological and scientific developments.

England adopted the EYFS, a single framework that combines the earlier approaches including the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage (CGFS) and the Birth to Three Matters (BTTM) in order to suit the new trends in the early education sector (Fullan 1999, p.132).

Both of these documents reflected the society’s belief that early year’s education requires that practitioners have necessary knowledge, skills, and insights to promote learning and development in children. However, the two documents lacked coherence with regard to their principles and content.

The disparity between the BTTM and the CGFS necessitated the establishment of a single framework, the EYFS curriculum that could promote high quality learning and development in children from birth up to the age of five as contained in the ten-year childcare strategy (White 2004, p.121).

The EYFS framework seeks to promote an integrated approach towards child development and learning. Consequently, all providers are required to adhere to the EYFS framework to ensure that children get quality learning much to the expectations of the parents.

Curriculum Development and Aims of Education

Curriculum development entails the organized preparation of learning and teaching over a given duration in a given year. The curriculums act as guides to teachers to promote learning in schools (White 2004, p.85). The curriculum enables the teachers to identify what to teach the children as well as how they can structure their lessons.

The curriculum is made compulsory for use for teachers. However, the teachers have the sole responsibility to determine content of the lesson and the method of teaching to use. In structuring the curriculum, the basic aims of education to the child are reflected in the curriculum.

The basic aim of education is to promote child development and integration of personality, which is important for personal freedom. Education, therefore, enables an individual to exploit his/her talents and capabilities with respect to the surroundings for hi/her own use as well as for others.

Education has two main goals: development of an individual and the contribution to the society because the society comprises of individuals (White 2004, p.115). Education fosters independence, effective decision making and critical evaluation of a situation prior to making a decision.

Through education, individuals acquire knowledge useful for problem solving, cooperation and adaptability to different situations. It also allows individuals to make proper utilization of the available resources for their own good and for the welfare of the society.

In line with the EYFS framework, the curriculum developed by providers must be able to address the children’s social, emotional, and moral development in the different settings. The aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum are to provide a quality learning experience to children through play-based learning (DCFS 2007, p.2).

The curriculum also takes into account the children’s developmental needs and allows them to make progress in relation to their learning and development abilities. The EYFS curriculum ensures that the children have positive experience, which could later transform to better learning in the future. The curriculum also supports children to achieve the expectations of Every Child Matters (ECM), which include safety, healthy and enjoyable learning, and development (White 2005, p.51).

The early learning goals supported by the Qualifications and curriculum Authority is another major aim of the EYFS curriculum. The curriculum also provides equal opportunities for all children in as far as their learning and development is concerned. Additionally, the EYFS curriculum supports partnership between practitioners and the parents to enhance learning and development in their children.

The Principles of Effective Implementation of Curriculum Change

Curriculum change involves a gradual process whereby the teachers adjust to the new curriculum. Improved implementation of a new curriculum into practice demands that the teachers and the early year’s providers develop a clear understanding of the new curriculum (QCA 2005, p.32). Successful curriculum development requires better manageability of the new concepts.

The policy makers and teachers should focus on understanding the factors that lead to successful change of curriculums in schools. In addition, curriculum change requires that teachers and pupils acquire new approaches for teaching and learning respectively (Kelly 2004, p.107) Therefore, extra on-job training of the teachers would arm them with important skills to manage curriculum change.

Partnerships between teachers and professionals in children growth and development as indicated in the EYFS framework would allow teachers to learn from each other regarding the teaching approaches to be acquired following the curriculum change.

During curriculum development and implementation, continued monitoring and evaluation is important in determining the success of the curriculum change process. Under the EYFS policy, continuous assessment of the children allows the teachers to gauge the success level of the curriculum.

Under the EYFS curriculum, the providers are required to monitor the children and assess their progress in relation to the early learning goals (Broadfoot 2007, p. 123). The assessments for the young children are based on the daily observation of the child’s activities. In addition, the adults who interact with the children provide vital information for the assessment process.

During the monitoring and evaluation process, the children’s achievements with regard to the early learning goals provide a basis for rating the curriculum change as successful or not. Individual learning and development achievements, at the end of the EYFS in six key areas are recorded as an EYFS profile against the thirteen assessment scales.

Tensions between external requirements and internal curriculum development

Internal self-evaluation involving the various stakeholders such as the parents, teachers, and pupils forms an important part of curriculum design and development (Rose 2006, p. 47).

However, the move to increase the involvement of parents and the community in school governance means that the teacher’s accountability is put to test exerting more pressure on schools. Blakemore and Frith argue that an appropriate school evaluation process creates an enabling environment that allows the school community to tackle both internal and external pressures (2005, p.65). To achieve this, an all-inclusive communication and participation from all stakeholders is important.

The internal evaluation allows teachers and students to assess themselves regarding their progress. Under the EYFS framework, internal and external inspection by Hofstede’s complements each other giving rise to a comprehensive evaluation process (DCFS 2007, p.4). However, tensions between the external inspection and internal self-evaluation still exist.

Conclusion

The Early Years Foundation Stage framework aims at promoting the social and emotional development and learning of the child at the different educational settings that a child of between birth and age five grows. All the childcare providers including the parents, teachers, and adults who interact with the child are required to observe the regulations as laid down in the EYFS framework.

The framework has had an impact on the existing curriculum with the introduction of new methods of teaching and learning methods. However, the curriculum development is affected by many factors among them the challenges of curriculum change.

To promote successful implementation of the EYFS curriculum, continuous monitoring, and evaluation is important (White 2004, p.27) In conclusion; the EYFS provides a plausible framework to address the physical, emotional and health needs of children taking into consideration the dynamics of the modern society and better prepares the children for future learning.

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