EYFS ‘The Unique Child’ Explained
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a unique framework that provides parents, teachers and caregivers with numerous tools to ensure the positive development of a child on many levels. While this represents a generalised approach, it is important to highlight that every child will develop at a different pace. This leads us to a concept that is sometimes referred to as “the unique child”. What does such a perspective entail? How can it affect the ways in which the EYFS is implemented? Whether you are a new parent or you are hoping to hone your teaching skills, it is wise to address this question in greater detail.
The Unique Child Explained
It is a foregone conclusion that babies and young infants will developmentally mature at different paces. It, therefore, stands to reason that the approaches embraced by parents and caregivers should never represent a “one-size-fits-all” mentality. On the contrary, skills must be honed so that the discrete needs of the child in question are met. This helps to ensure a positive learning experience and it also enables the child to be included within the overall framework.
What is the Role of the EYFS Practitioner?
Perhaps the main takeaway point in this respect is that the uniqueness of each child should be embraced and celebrated. This will inevitably help them to establish their own sense of identity and to be proud of the traits which separate them from the masses.
Another point to mention here is that practitioners should also be able to identify any areas that require greater attention (such as maths, communication skills or reading). When these factors are identified, steps can be taken to help the child. This is also when tools such as the Educater pupil profile will come in handy, as it is much easier to record, interpret and share important data in regards to the development of the child.
Teaching Equality Alongside Diversity
Children do not normally exhibit signs of discrimination nor will they actively exclude others from their social circles. However, parents and teachers who treat a child differently because of his or her traits may unwittingly pass this tendency on to other children (remember that children often learn by modelling). This is why it is important to equally value and respect all children.
The Unique Child: One of Many Concepts Found Within the EYFS Framework
Please note that the concept of the unique child will work in conjunction with other core EYFS principles including:
- Developing positive interpersonal relationships.
- Creating enabling environments.
- Proactively monitoring the rate at which a child learns new concepts.
Thankfully, we live in a culture that has tended to increasingly celebrate diversity and uniqueness. This will provide young children with the confidence and self-respect necessary to overcome future obstacles and to respect their peers. These are some of the reasons why uniqueness is one of the many facets of the EYFS which can lead to positive developmental growth.
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