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Glossary and FAQs

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

Please tap/click on the desired glossary entry to open the definition panel. 

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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.
An activity defined by an adult that focuses on a specific objective that the child may complete independently or with adult support.
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.
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 judgments.
An activity completed by a child without support. It may be adult-directed or child-initiated.
In the context of making a judgment 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.
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.
Any adult who works with children in a setting.
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.
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 ,, playgroups, pre-schools, or schools in the independent, private or voluntary sector and maintained schools. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the staff:child ratio in the EYFS/KS1?

The Staffing Ratio booklet is available to download below. The information is taken from the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (amended by the Education Act 2002).

EYFS Staffing Ratio (word 40kb)

Is Religious Education (RE) statutory in EYFS?

The EYFS sets the standard for learning, development, and care for children from birth to 5 years. While the statutory requirement for RE does not extend to children under compulsory school age, it can form a valuable part of the educational experience of children in the EYFS. 

Visit the RE in EYFS page for more information.


Glossary of terms to download and print (pdf 79kb)


Contact the EYFS team


Click/tap on the resource to download.
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