How children learn

The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning while at pre-school. Your child will be learning new skills, acquiring knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning.

These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. They help to guide staff when planning for developmentally age appropriate activities that incorporate your child’s unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which can take place in the indoor and outdoor environments.

The ‘prime areas’ are those most essential for your child’s development and learning. As children mature the three prime areas will help them to develop skills in the four ‘specific areas’.

Communication and language Listening and attention

Prime Areas

Physical development Moving and handling

Children should mostly develop the three prime areas first.

Health and self-care


Personal, social and emotional development Understanding Emotions
  Sense of self
Making relationships


Literacy Reading

Specific Areas

Mathematics Numbers

As children mature, the prime areas will help them develop skills in these four specific areas.

Patterns, shapes, space and measures


Understanding the world People and communities
  The world


Expressive arts and design Creating with materials
  Being imaginative and expressive