What will my child be expected to learn in their first years in Foundation?

It’s a key part of your Reception child’s end-of-year report, but what does the EYFS profile actually involve?

Your child’s first school report is a big milestone, but interpreting it can be challenging.  The EYFS profile is completed for every child in the final term of their Reception year, and has three main purposes: 

What will my child learn in their first year in school

  1. to inform you about your child’s development,
  2. to make the transition to year 1 smoother 
  3. help the Year 1 teacher plan a curriculum that will suit all of the pupils in their new class.

The EYFS profile is a summary of your child’s attainment at the end of Reception. It’s not a test, and your child cannot ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ it.

The profile measures your child’s attainment in 17 areas of learning, known as Early Learning Goals (ELGs). These are:

Communication and language development

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding (e.g. following instructions, responding to questions)
  • Speaking

Physical development

  • Moving and handling (showing good control and coordination in large movements, like climbing, and small, like using scissors)
  • Health and self-care

Personal, social and emotional development

  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour 
  • Making relationships


  • Reading
  • Writing


  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measures

Understanding of the world

  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology

Expressive arts and design

  • Exploring and using media and materials,  including. Music and Dance 
  • Being imaginative.

In each of these areas, the ELGs set out what the average child is expected to be able to do at the age of five. For example, the Number goal says that pupils should be able to count reliably from one to 20, place these numbers in order, and say which number is one less or one more than a given number. 

They should be able to add and subtract two single-digit numbers, and count on or back to find the answer. They should also be able to solve simple problems like doubling, halving and sharing.

The learning is simple but an important building block for Year 1

In addition to the 17 Early Learning GoalStarting schools, the EYFS profile will include information about how your child is developing in three ‘characteristics of effective learning’. 

These are:

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically.

These three characteristics play an important part in your child’s ability to learn. 

They also enable their Year 1 teacher to understand their level of development and their learning needs as they move into key stage 1.