As you prepare to implement the revised EYFS framework, there’s no need to abandon the good advice of the last four years, says head of early years at 4Children, Sue Robb…
Despite the deserved attention that the publication of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage framework has received, it is encouraging that the sector has recognised that the reformed EYFS does not herald an ‘all change’ approach. In many respects, the delivery of the framework remains the same at heart; however, the arrival of the new document does provide an excellent opportunity for practitioners to take a step back and reflect on their practice and identify areas for refinement and improvement.
It’s important to note that many of the existing EYFS resources are as helpful now as when they were first published. The Foundation Years website (foundationyears.org.uk) is home to a number of ‘historic’ resources produced over the last four years, which many will find a useful reference to support their current practice, as well as to inform the implementation of the new framework this coming September.
Said resources can be found in the library and I have highlighted a few here:
1. Published in late 2011, the Learning, Playing and Interacting guidance considers the best approaches to play and learning for young children, and clarifies the role of adults who support and enhance young children’s learning through a wide range of contexts including child-initiated and adult-led activities.
2. Also published in late 2011, the Mark Making Matters guidance explores how an improved understanding of the importance of mark making can strengthen provision for communication, language and literacy (CLL) and problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN).
3. The Social and emotional aspects of development guidance is still as relevant as when it was published due to the importance of all aspects of personal, social and emotional development. This booklet contains materials designed for practitioners working with all children in the foundation years.
4. The Every Child a Talker guidance continues to provide plenty of vital information for practitioners in developing high-quality language provision in all early years settings. Of particular interest are the ECaT monitoring sheets to track children’s progress.
5. The Early Years Quality Improvement Support Programme (EYQISP) is still just as vital as it was when first published for providing local authority early years consultants and leaders of early years settings with tools to support continuous quality improvement in line with the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS).
6. Another addition to the list is an electronic version of Birth to Three Matters – a piece of guidance that provides practitioners with a worthy set of materials to support their practice with younger children in the foundation years. With the introduction of the extended two-year-old entitlement this will be a helpful resource to support practitioners.
Although it was published 10 years ago in hard copy, many practitioners have not had the opportunity to refer to the material despite it having some excellent guidance on how to support those working with younger children. This material is underpinned by a variety of trusting relationships beyond just parents and families, which are vital for improving a child’s wellbeing, and stresses the importance of the shared process with which children learn from birth.
The importance and popularity of the Birth to Three Matters guidance remains and practitioners have consistently asked where they can find the original packs. With the packs still offering a valuable resource, the Foundation Years Strategic Partnership have converted the previous hard copy booklet and accompanying cards into an easy-to-access electronic format which will be completely free of charge.
The key thing to remember when getting ready to implement the reformed EYFS Framework for this coming September is: do not ‘do away’ with any previous resources. Despite there being the revisions to the EYFS guidance, many of the older resources are just as crucial for parents and practitioners supporting children as when they were first published.