Moving Forward in Early Years

Positive Vibes

So here we go again… changes are afoot and we need to be ready!

From September 2021 a new Early Years Statutory Framework and Early Learning Goals will be in place. Development Matters has been rewritten and messages about teaching, learning and assessment are showing a different direction. 

Over the last few weeks we have been familiarising ourselves with all the changes by reading all the latest documentation and numerous blogs sharing views and opinions about what is ahead. 

Here are our Top Tips:

  • Read Statutory framework and make sure you are familiar with it and use it as your bible. The Educational programmes have changed significantly and are based on child development which is informative and helpful. 
  • Use Development Matters to support the development of your curriculum. Remember it is not statutory and it is not a curriculum. It should just be used as a reference document to support your own knowledge of child development.
  • Read and cross reference all the relevant documentation together e.g. Statutory Framework, OFSTED framework, Development Matters and Working with the Revised  Early Years Foundation Stage Principles into Practice: Julian Grenier. Reflect on the key messages that come through about Early Years practice and make connections. 
  • Become more informed by reading the relevant documentation and then you will feel more confident and empowered to educate and challenge others.
  • Using the revised information spend quality time reflecting on your current practice. Share your opinions and views and encourage senior Leadership to take part in the reflection process. Together you will need to make some strong decisions and choices about Early Years provision and what it will look like particularly in the area of assessment and professional development. 

We have identified 3 Golden Threads:

  • The development of children’s Communication and Language is a constant theme. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s ability to use and understand vocabulary.
  • The role of the adult is highlighted throughout.  It promotes teaching and supporting children’s learning through modelling, narrating and challenging children’s thinking during directed teaching time and when supporting play.
  • There is a big shift in emphasis on how assessment should be carried out. Multiple sources of evidence are no longer required. The emphasis is on practitioners knowledge of child development and their professional judgements about children’s attainment. 

Our view is that you have two choices. You can either get caught up in the negativity surrounding what is ahead and waste all your energy fighting an agenda that is not under your control or you can embrace it and find a simple approach to ensure that you make a success of your year as an early adopter or put yourself in the best position for September 2021. No time to lose get started now!

MSE Next Steps

  • We are putting together a short presentation about the changes. This will be available to buy on our website in January. 
  • We are also revising our very popular publication Planning for Learning. We have drawn together the educational programmes, the new Early Learning Goals and a pen portrait of what an expected child looks like at the end of Foundation Stage in all areas of learning. It will also include updated learning statements based on child development. This will be available as a download from our website early in the New Year.