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The Early Years Foundation Stage & How JB Fits Into It

The EYFS simply described is a set of developmental stages for the under 5’s that outlines specific educational and developmental milestones for each early years age group that each child is expected to reach. It is a compulsory framework for almost all under 5 providers in England who are expected to provide opportunities planned around each child’s needs and interests which need regular reviews and assessments.

It was of course no surprise to me when I received JB’s first report based on the EYFS. Areas involving working relationships, speech and listening and attention were meeting much younger age groups developmentally. So based on his levels, I have devised a thorough work plan for him to help him reach the expected levels whilst progressing at his own pace. Progress here is the key word, small steps or large isn’t the issue.


I didn’t want JB mainstreamed expecting him to overnight meet all the expected levels. I’m mainstreaming him to give him the opportunities and exposure of everyday language from his peers, high expectations from teaching staff, behaviour and modelling to emulate, goals to reach and accepted and loved for who he is. We have been shown time after time that children with Down Syndrome do better in mainstream schools, so giving it a good go makes complete sense.


As much as the EYFS is criticised for its overly prescriptive and overly assessment demands, I see its point. I think it is particularly useful for parents and teachers of children who have special educational needs. I am using this framework to know which areas of development I need to concentrate on for JB in activities both after school and especially during the upcoming summer holidays. This is to prepare him as best as possible using a variety of activities which repeat a same learning concept in different and creative ways whilst and keeping it flexible.

So at JB’s last assessment combined with my own knowledge of where he is at developmentally and educationally, I have planned a timetable for him which I will share. Firstly, lets look at the EYFS. The EYFS is divided into 7 areas of development which are:

The Prime Areas;

  1. Communication and Language

  2. Physical Development

  3. Personal, social and emotional development

The Secondary areas;

  1. Literacy

  2. Maths

  3. Understanding the world

  4. Expressive arts and design


These are the specific areas broken down and where JB is at present. These are approximations:

Moving and handling                           22-36mths

Health and self-care                             22-36mths

Speaking                                                    16-26mths

Understanding                                        30-50mths

Listening and attention                       30-50mths

Managing feelings and behaviour    22-36mths

Self-confidence and awareness        30-50mths

Making relationships                           22-36mths

Exploring and using Media                 22-36mths

Being Imaginative                                 22-36mths

People and communities                     30-50mths

The world                                                  22-36mths

Technology                                               30-50mths

Numbers                                                    22-36mths

Shape, space and measure                   22-36mths

Reading                                                       30-50mths

Writing                                                        22-36mths


As well as JB’s day to day topics schedule detailed below, outings will address many of the topics and experiences that JB needs, and these will comprise a bulk of the summer. Music is included daily because JB cannot live without it! He shows a great interest in music and this therefore translates into a great need. Books will help to address and reinforce reading, the world, people and communities, numbers, listening and attention, understanding and speaking. Trips to the park, swimming and other forms of exercise will also be incorporated into his daily routine.


Music and movement

Reading and speech (flash cards)


Tactile sensory

Managing feelings

Writing and fine motor



Music and movement

Imaginative play






music and movement

writing and fine motor


tactile sensory

managing feelings and behaviour

The world




Music and movement

Imaginative play