Teaching and monitoring self-regulation in the EYFS

Self-regulation is one of the early learning goals (ELGs) in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Get to grips with what self-regulation means and how to teach and assess it.

Last reviewed on 8 June 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 42830
  1. Self-regulation falls under the prime area of personal, social and emotional development
  2. What is self-regulation?
  3. How do we teach self-regulation?
  4. How do we monitor and assess self-regulation?

This article was written with help from Fiona Holiday, an independent EYFS consultant.

Self-regulation falls under the prime area of personal, social and emotional development

The EYFS framework states (page 12) that children at the ‘expected level of development’ for the self-regulation ELG will be able to:

  • Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly
  • Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate
  • Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions

The DfE says that there's strong evidence emerging that self-regulation skills can predict pre-reading skills and later outcomes in maths and literacy (page 18 of the consultation document).

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