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Good Level Of Development

What are the EYFS assessment levels?

The EYFS profile is a summary of your child’s attainment at the end of Reception.

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 Measure

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.

In addition to the 17 ELGs, 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.

How are children assessed in Reception?

The EYFS is broken down into four age bands, called Development Matters bands: 16-26 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months.

For each age band, and each area of learning, there is a series of statements relating to a child’s development: for example, ‘notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures’. Teachers will tick off these developmental statements as they see your child demonstrating them.

Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS, but the official early years profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. The Government doesn’t specify what form the assessment should take, but generally, it takes place through teacher observation of children’s learning and development as they take part in everyday activities, and planned observations, where teachers spend time on a specific task with an individual child or small group. Parents and other carers (such as childminders) can also contribute to the Profile, for example by adding comments to the child’s Learning Journal – a record of achievement compiled by the school, comprising photos, pieces of work, observations about the child’s development, and so on.

What level should your child be working at in Reception?

There are three separate achievement levels within each Development Matters age band:

  • Expected: your child is working at the level expected for his age
  • Emerging: your child is working below the expected level
  • Exceeding: your child is working above the expected level

Your child’s teacher will award them one of these levels for each of the seven EYFS areas of learning. On leaving the Foundation Stage at the end of Reception, a child is considered to have a ‘good level of development’ if they have achieved at least the expected level in the Early Learning Goals in all aspects of PSE, Physical development, Communication and language, Literacy and Mathematics.