On 3rd September, the Department for Education published its EYFS Development Matters guidance as some early adopter schools start the updated EYFS curriculum ahead of its wider release next year.

For clarification, the guidance states: “The non-statutory curriculum guidance supports the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage statutory framework. It offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn, and guides, but does not replace, professional judgement. The guidance can be used by schools participating in the EYFS reforms early adopter year to support changing their curriculum and practice.”

It stresses that the framework is for schools participating in the EYFS reforms early adopter year from September 2020 to August 2021. All other schools and childcare providers should follow the current early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS).

In summary, it sets out the seven key features of effective practice as:

  • The best for every child
  • High-quality care
  • The curriculum: what we want children to learn
  • Pedagogy: helping children to learn
  • Assessment: checking what children have learnt
  • Self-regulation and executive function
  • Partnership with parents

It includes three ‘characteristics of effective learning’, as:

  • playing and exploring’ – children investigate and experience things, and “have a go”
  • active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

It reminds early years childcare providers that “those who are not early adopters may find some elements of this guidance useful, but they will still need to follow the existing EYFS framework until statutory roll out of the reforms in September 2021.

Full details can be found on the government website here.

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