Early Learning Goals Explained
ELG (Early Learning Goals)
The level of progress children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by seventeen Early Learning Goals, which are spread across the seven Areas of Learning and Development. The EYFS ELGs go hand in hand with the EYFS outcomes that can guide parents and practitioners on the level of developmental progress that their child is making.
What Are The ELGs?
In July 2020, the DfE announced new Early Learning Goals to be made statutory for all EYFS users from September 2021. 'Early adopters' were given the option to sign up to use these newly reformed goals as of September 2020.
What are the EYFS (ELG) outcomes?
Until this wider implementation of the new ELG's, the current statutory EYFS outcomes for the ELG's are:
Communication and Language
- Communication and Language (Listening and Attention): Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
- Communication and Language (Understanding): Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
- Communication and Language (Speaking): Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
- Physical Development (Moving and Handling): Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
- Physical Development (Health and Self-Care): Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness): Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Managing Feelings and Behaviour): Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Making Relationships): Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
- Literacy (Reading): Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
- Literacy (Writing): Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
- Mathematics (Numbers): Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
- Mathematics (Shape, Space and Measures): Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Understanding the World
- Understanding the World (People and Communities): Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
- Understanding the World (The World): Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
- Understanding the World (Technology): Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Expressive Arts and Design
- Expressive Arts and Design (Exploring and Using Media and Materials): Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
- Expressive Arts and Design (Being Imaginative): Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
How the ELGs link to the EYFS outcomes:
EYFS outcomes for children are the aims of the individual areas of the EYFS Statutory Framework.
They are used at 2 major milestones of a child's development: once when they are two-years-old and once when they are at the end of Reception.
EYFS outcomes are the result of observations and assessments of individual children, ensuring that they are developing at the rate expected and spotting any areas where the child may be struggling.
While EYFS outcomes are based on the EYFS framework, EYFS outcomes are not statutory and more to give indications of development.
Within individual outcomes, you can have differing levels of development with emerging, which is falling below expected levels, expected which is achieving the outcomes and exceeded which is going beyond what is expected.
Seeing children's level of development gives a good indication of what to expect from their future educational potential.
The Early Learning Goals (ELGs) can inform the EYFS outcomes to help practitioners decide on the children's next steps and aid them in guiding children's overall development and learning targets