The Statutory EYFS and Exemptions
The Statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Birth–five years, applies to all settings including ours. It sets out both learning and development requirements and safeguarding and welfare requirements for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday. You can find out more about the EYFS in the Guide to the EYFS in Steiner Kindergartens which you will find in your kindergarten or on steinerwaldorf.org. You can also find a Parent’s Guide to the EYFS on the government website.
Because there are areas which conflict with the Steiner Waldorf early childhood principles and practice, we have received some Exemptions and Modifications to the EYFS Learning and Development requirements and Assessment regulations under the Established Principles route for Steiner Waldorf settings. These are mostly to do with the introduction and in some cases formal teaching of reading, writing, mathematics and use of IT/media and electronic gadgetry. There is no exemption from the safeguarding and welfare requirements. (See list of Exemptions and Modifications in the kindergarten).
Children over 5 are of statutory school age, and should be attending kindergarten full time (in full time education). We recognise that they need a more challenging experience, including a programme of work appropriate to their age, (Key Stage 1 in other school settings). In a Steiner school ‘formal education’ begins in Class 1. What we are providing in the kindergarten now has its own curriculum which shows progression from the EYFS, differentiation and expected outcomes for those children of statutory school age. We have a rationale of activities we provide for these children as well as a document which shows what we expect of the older children and what they will learn through the curriculum provided. The documents describing the curriculum for this age are kept in the kindergarten.
Parents will be kept informed of their child’s developmental progress throughout their time in the kindergarten and can be assured of a smooth transition into school.