Understanding The Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms From September 2021
This September the Department for Education is introducing changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These changes will impact on every early years provider and through them, on every child in their care
The changes are designed to make the stages within the Development Matters document, the Department for Education’s EYFS curriculum guidance, clearer for professionals making judgements on children’s achievements and progress and also easier for parents to understand. They reflect the latest child development evidence, and the Early Years Team at Little Crackers Nursery and Crackley Hall are looking forward to bringing the changes to life.
Sue Glen-Roots, Assistant Head (Early Years and Key Stage 1), explains some of the more important changes that parents will be interested in here:
It is important to remember that the EYFS includes the children’s Reception year as well as their time in Nursery and the reforms should help align EYFS learning more closely with that which takes place once children move into Year 1. At Crackley Hall we are fortunate that our on-site nursery Little Crackers has qualified teachers who lead the educational activities for the children, they work closely with the Reception teachers to provide a programme of joined up learning across the EYFS.
Of course, the EYFS is still all about the individual child and teaching through play-based learning but the 2021 reforms are prompted by a number of goals.
The main focus is to improve outcomes for children at 5-years-old, by ensuring that the curriculum puts early language and literacy at its heart. So, there will be a greater emphasis on speaking and listening skills and greater value placed on books, with stories being used as a starting point for learning across all areas of the curriculum.
The changes also look to strengthen numeracy outcomes to ensure all children have a good mastery of maths in preparation for moving into Year 1. The key for early years provision will be the need to focus on exploring concepts in depth and giving children the time to practise and consolidate their early maths skills. At Little Crackers and Crackley Hall we follow the White Rose Maths approach making sure all children have the same opportunities to learn and the time and support they need to grasp numeracy concepts as well as fostering an excitement for mathematical investigations.
In addition, the curriculum area Understanding the World has been broadened and the topics now include, past and present and a more in-depth focus on the natural world. A rich and varied learning environment supports children’s development and outdoor learning has always been a crucial element of the EYFS Framework. The increased focus on the natural world will ensure there are many more opportunities for children to explore and experience the world around them.
For me, the Early Years is where the joy and magic of learning begins, and I am truly excited by the reforms. It is particularly wonderful to see a greater emphasis placed on stories which will fire our children’s imaginations in all curriculum areas. I am also delighted to see the focus on the natural environment and our staff are looking forward to bringing the new curriculum alive through outdoor activities, including Forest School. It is so important that children are given the opportunity to develop awe and wonder about the world around them.
Parents should be reassured that the changes are about keeping the children at the heart of all we do.