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A slimmed down EYFS?

EYR Water Ways TowersHaving just read Dame Clare Tickell’s recommendations for the EYFS, I am surprised to find that I agree with her suggestions. She says, that whilst parents and early years professionals feel the EYFS has had a positive impact on teaching and learning, and helped to raise standards, it needs to be simplified so less time is spent filling in endless paperwork and more time is spent interacting with children – Halleluiah!

Dame Clare’s recommendations include:

  • A reduction in the early learning goals, from 69 to 17.
  • A new focus on 3 ‘prime’ areas of learning: personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development.
  • Beneath these, 4 areas of learning, where the skills acquired in the prime areas of learning are applied: literacy, mathematics, expressive arts and design and understanding the world.
  • From the 3 new prime areas of learning, a greater emphasis on making sure children have the skills they need to thrive at school ie, being able to make friends and the ability to listen effectively. Also, a stronger link between the EYFS and the expectations of children in KS1.
  • Eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, including scrapping written risk assessments for nursery trips.
  • To reduce high levels of paper work, OFSTED to be clearer on what is required from early years settings.
  • All early years practitioners to hold at least a level 3 qualification (equivalent to A level).
  • Parents to receive a summary of their child’s development in addition to the health visitor check at age two.

I think you’ll agree, this is definitely a move in the right direction. I’ve taught in Reception since the beginning of the EYFS and, whilst embracing the principles and philosophy, have found the day to day management of the 69 early learning goals a nightmare. My biggest complaint is the amount of time spent planning, assessing and pen pushing is quality time I could have spent with the children.

I am, however, thrilled that they’re not throwing the baby out with the bath water, and that the emphasis on learning through play will continue to improve the experiences and outcomes for young children in the care of child minders, schools and nurseries, giving every child the best possible start in life. Here at Early Years Resources we will endeavour to supply exciting, open ended resources which will support teaching and learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

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