Last month we reported on our customer and industry research into the imminent EYFS Framework changes and how these will affect our Footsteps 2 EYFS tracker, advising that we would be incorporating the new Development Matters framework into Footsteps 2.
We would like to thank everybody again who took the time to answer our survey and attended our Q&A workshop; your participation and feedback so far has been invaluable.
What framework will Footsteps be using in September?
As a result of our research and your feedback we have decided to incorporate the new Development Matters framework into Footsteps.
How will updating the Development Matters framework affect Observations in Footsteps?
From September all new observations will be linked to the new framework; the main changes you will notice in the system when creating an observation are that the EYFS aspects have been removed, and that there are now only three age bands:
Viewing & Editing Existing Observations:
You will still be able to view all of the existing observations in the system, but you will not be able to edit them.
To ensure you are able to continue accurately tracking the learning and development of your children, it will be necessary to re-do a Baseline observation to create a new starting point for the updated EYFS guidance.
You may find it useful to save a copy of the Statement Gaps report for each child to help you quickly complete the new Baseline observations.
How will updating the Development Matters framework affect Assessments in Footsteps?
The Assessments section of Footsteps has been simplified based on the changes in the new Development Matters framework, meaning they should be quicker to complete.
2 Year Check Assessment:
The main change to this report is that there will only be one text box per EYFS area, and you will no longer have to select which age band the child is working in. We have temporarily removed the ‘View Progress’ buttons whilst we are working on updating these.
NEW Progress Check Assessment:
We have added a new generic Progress Check assessment which you will be able to use at any time to record a child’s learning and development, such as end of term/year reports for parents. There will be a text box for you to enter comments for each EYFS area and their Characteristics of Effective Learning as well as highlighting areas of good progress and any areas the child may require extra support.
COMING SOON – Updated EYFS Profile Assessment:
We will be updating the EYFS Profile assessment to reflect the new Early Learning Goals. You will be able to enter comments about a child’s learning and development for each EYFS area and assess whether they are at an ‘Emerging’ or ‘Expected’ level in relation to the Early Learning Goals.
Viewing & Editing Existing Assessments:
You will still be able to view all of the existing assessments in the system, but you will not be able to edit them anymore.
What else has changed in the system?
During our research we discovered that the report which is used the most is the Learning Journey report; consequently, we have ensured that this report has been updated to work with both the old and new Development Matters frameworks. The Wellbeing & Involvement report was not affected by the EYFS guidance changes and will also be available to use in September.
The following reports will initially only show progress based on the old Development Matters framework and will only run up to 31st August 2021 (but rest assured we are working very hard on updating these for you!):
- Learning Overview report
- Progress report
- Tracker report
- Next Steps report
- Statement Gaps report
- Characteristics of Effective Learning report
Please let us know by emailing email@example.com which reports you use the most in Footsteps to help us prioritise our order of development.
NEW Observation Shortcut:
We have also added a shortcut to the tiles on the Children page to help you quickly record an observation:
You will still be able to view a child’s details by clicking on the tile.
When will we have access to the updated system?
It is our aim to give you early access to the system so that you have time to familiarise yourself with the changes and begin adding new Baseline observations, so that you are ready for the start of the new academic year in September.
In our current timeline we are hoping you will be able to trial the system in the week commencing Monday 2nd August 2021. Please keep an eye on your inbox at this time for more details.
We are interested in any feedback you have on the changes we have made and would encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything that I need to do before switching to the new curriculum?
Before switching to the new Development Matters framework, we recommend that any draft observations and assessments are completed, and any observations or assessments that are awaiting approval are reviewed and either approved or rejected.
We are planning on hosting training sessions on the EYFS changes in Footsteps in the week commencing Monday 9th August 2021, we will send out more details closer to the time.