EYFS header

Glossary of Terms

The following Glossary of Terms is taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook.

Adult-led activity: An activity defined, structured and delivered by an adult to a child or group of children. It focuses on the direct teaching of skills and knowledge with a specific objective in mind.

Adult-directed activity: An activity defined by an adult that focuses on a specific objective that the child may complete independently or with adult support.

Assessment: Through observing children and by making notes when necessary, practitioners can make professional judgments about children's achievements and decide on the next steps in learning. They can also exchange information with parents about how children are progressing.

Evidence: Any material, knowledge of the child, anecdotal incident, observation or information from additional sources that supports the overall picture of the child's development.

There is no expectation or requirement that such evidence is always formally recorded or documented. Practitioners may choose to record specific evidence in order to secure their own judgements.

Independent activity: An activity completed by a child without support. It may be adult-directed or child-initiated.

Observation: In the context of making a judgement for the EYFS profile this is the practice of watching and listening to a child as they engage in an activity and demonstrate specific knowledge, skills and understanding.

Sometimes the observations can be very short and can occur as part of another activity, and practitioners may be observing children alongside their ongoing interaction. Sometimes observations may be longer and are the result of targeting a scale point or child to gain specific information.

Parents: Mothers, fathers, legal guardians and the primary carers of looked-after children. There may also be other significant adults in children's lives and other relatives who care for them.

Practitioner: Any adult who works with children in a setting.

Self-initiated activity: An activity wholly decided on by the child and that is the result of an intrinsic motivation to explore a project or express an idea. In doing this the child may make use of a variety of resources and demonstrate a complex range of knowledge, skills and understanding.

Setting: Any out-of-home provider of education and care for children from birth to five, such as childminders, local authority nurseries, nursery or early years centres, playgroups, pre-schools, or schools in the independent, private or voluntary sector and maintained schools.


Please contact us if you need further information about EYFS and its terminology:

Angela Jones, Foundation Stage Strategy Manager
Tel: (01482) 392467
Email: angela.jones@eastriding.gov.uk

Amy Bowler, Early Years Improvement Officer
Email: amy.bowler@eastriding.gov.uk
Tel: (01482) 392403

Emerald Grant, Early Years Improvement Officer
Email: emerald.grant@eastriding.gov.uk
Tel: (01482) 392483

Rachel Lewis, Early Years Improvement Officer
Email: rachel.lewis@eastriding.gov.uk
Tel: (01482) 392408

No resources available.
What do you think of the content and resources on this page?
Please enter your comments below