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Development Matters The New Eyfs


jowilliams
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now that the stepping stones have been changed to age related steps isn't this quite dangerous as one conversation i have had in discussing a piece of writing completed by a reception child which showed some recognisable letters and meaning put them 10 months behind where they should be in relation to their age i tried explaining its developmental or is that the ages have overlaps i am not sure but want to try and say that they are not behind can anyone help me ?

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The age/stage of development argument is a fundamental problem as soon as you begin to talk about what children of certain ages can do. Yet without the work of Mary Sheridan and others we would have no idea of the developmental norms which broadly speaking identify what most children without additional needs can do by a certain age.

 

As you say, to begin to talk about what children should be doing by a certain age can be dangerous because this brings with it all sorts of insecurities both for parents and practitioners when children appear to be on a completely different developmental journey than that which has been prescribed for their age.

 

To be able to think about this properly could you say how old the child is, and which stepping stone you have highlighted that puts them ten months behind their chronological age?

 

Looking at my EYFS tracker, if you have a child who is writing to show meaning with mostly recognisable letters then I would say s/he is achieving some of the Early Learning Goals for Communication Language and Literacy - writing and handwriting.

 

I've had a quick look at the stepping stones and the only one I can find is "begin to form recognisable letters" (in the 3 3/4 to five years age bracket) which is the last stepping stone before achieving the early learning goal "Use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed".

 

As you say, a child in Reception who is meeting this early learning goal (or the stepping stone before it) would not appear to be 'behind' in their development.

 

Maz

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Hi

This is the only area that I find lets the EYFS down. I will use them as guidelines but some will see the different stages as age related only. I like having the guidance for the development just not sure about using the ages. Although i'm not sure what else I would use.

I would explain about the overlap of age on the boxes and state they are guidelines.

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Thank you so much for that you have explained it much better than me because it was assumed the child was five years old so age wise would be 60 months so if you put them on the stepping stone for 30 - 50 months then that makes them 10 months behind at this point in the year december to other people but on stepping stones would be step 3 does that make any sense probably not

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi

This is the only area that I find lets the EYFS down. I will use them as guidelines but some will see the different stages as age related only. I like having the guidance for the development just not sure about using the ages. Although i'm not sure what else I would use.

I would explain about the overlap of age on the boxes and state they are guidelines.

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Surely the ages are advisory, it is the developmental stages that are critical so the average 5 year old will be working within the 60m developmental characteristics. There will always be fluctuations as we know that children do different things at different times but a 5year old working entirely within a previous developmental band will have learning needs. Likewise the 5 year old who can confidently "perform" at all 60m descriptors will need stretching. If the child is making progress, then I would not be unduly alarmed if some learning/ developmental charateristics are below age but would use that as an indicator of next steps.

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I think what Jo was saying is that people will use the age related stages rigidly. As she has already come across it, she was unsure about how to explain it to the people that do not understand. The trouble is some practitioners are all for the heavy teaching side to early years, as stated on other posts. There are a lot of us who know children learn by playing and will use the stages as guidelines. Our children will not know any difference. You will always get the misguided practitioners who can not see past the labelled boxes.

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I think what Jo was saying is that people will use the age related stages rigidly. As she has already come across it, she was unsure about how to explain it to the people that do not understand. The trouble is some practitioners are all for the heavy teaching side to early years, as stated on other posts. There are a lot of us who know children learn by playing and will use the stages as guidelines. Our children will not know any difference. You will always get the misguided practitioners who can not see past the labelled boxes.

Quite right Lou - just so long as those of us who 'know better' are committed to ensuring the message is not only heard loud and clear by inexperienced/new practitioners, but that we act as role models and ensure that our practice reflects this....

 

Maz

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