• Changes to the EYFS (September 2021)

  • What is the EYFS?

    The EYFS is the statutory Early Years curriculum. This is mandatory for all schools, settings and childminders to follow from birth up to the end of reception. The EYFS sets out our legal obligations regarding things like adult:child ratios, suitable people, safeguarding and welfare, staff qualifications, and learning and development.

    What’s changing?

    • Most of the changes are regarding Learning and Development, with some minor adjustments to Safeguarding and Welfare.
    • Fundamentally, what we teach children is very similar, albeit worded differently.
    • The new framework also specifically talks about the pressures of Early Years staff and wants to remove unnecessary paperwork requirements which result in time spent away from the children. It says the following: “Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.” – EYFS 2021

    Changes to Safeguarding and Welfare

    • The changes to Safeguarding and Welfare are largely wording based. For example “Local Safeguarding Children’s Board” has been changed to “Local Safeguarding Partners” to reflect some recent change in structure.
    • A requirement for promoting the good oral health of children has been added.
    • A specific requirement for promoting staff and children’s online safety has been added. This reflects the technological advances we have made since the EYFS was last reformed in 2012.

    Changes to Learning and Development – Educational Programmes

    • The Educational Programmes lead up to the Early Learning Goals – a description of what we want children to know by the end of Reception.
    • These are divided in to 7 areas of learning. The ‘Prime’ areas form the basis for all learning, and the ‘Specific’ areas build on those skills and broaden children’s understanding, experiences and knowledge. In nursery, we always focus on the Prime areas in the first instance as they really do form the foundation for everything else.
  • What does all of this mean at Whittington Preschool?

    “Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.” – EYFS 2021

    These changes and the removal of the requirement for a lot of evidence based tracking means that we are making some adjustments to the way we observe, assess and plan at Whittington Preschool.

    The team here work hard to ensure they know your children extremely well, we observe their play, development and interests, we assess what they know and what we want them to learn and then we plan activities and provision which will extend their development and teach them something new or help to bed in the skill they are already mastering. All of these things are done by using our understanding of child development and our knowledge of your child as an individual person.

    At the moment, we produce written observations which are sent to you through Baby’s Days and are designed to help us ‘track’ the children’s learning and development. These observations are lengthy, time consuming and require staff to spend time away from doing what they do best every day. Up until now it has been a requirement for us to produce evidence based tracking. Now this requirement has been removed, we have decided to use our Practitioners’ time more effectively.

    We still want to keep parents up to date with their children’s learning and development, and give you snapshots of their nursery day, so we plan to offer the following from the end of the Summer Term.

    • We will continue to complete the 2 Year Progress Check. This is a statutory progress check to be completed between 24 and 35 months. Due to the impact of the pandemic, the government disapplied it for quite some time but it is now back in effect.
    • When your child moves from one room to another, we will complete an ‘All About Me Now’ in conjunction with you to allow fully up to date information about your child to pass between key people.
    • When your child goes to school, we will continue to produce Transition Documents to support this.

    We understand that this information is lengthy and complex. I am happy to offer an information evening for parents if this would be of interest. Should you have any questions, concerns or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email, Baby’s Days message or phone.

    Want to find out more?

    Take a look at the non-statutory framework