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Foundation stage assessment levels explained

Foundation stage curriculum levels explained
Struggling to make sense of your Nursery or Reception child’s school report? We explain how to decode those baffling assessment levels.

What are the EYFS assessment levels?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile is a report of your child’s development and achievement at the end of the Reception year. There are three main objectives: to inform parents about their children’s development, to ease the transition to Key Stage 1, and to help Year 1 teachers plan for the year ahead to meet the needs of the entire class.

The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven specific areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Within each of these areas, there are specific Early Learning Goals – for example, in the case of Communication and language, these are Listening, Attention and Understanding, and Speaking. Your child will be given an achievement level for each area of learning.

How were the EYFS assessment levels established?


The EYFS Profile and assessment levels were developed in 2007 and amended and updated in 2012 and in 2021 by the Department of Education.

The Profile was put together by the Department for Education working in conjunction with educationalists including Dame Clare Tickell, chief executive of the charity Action for Children.

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