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Can you use Development Matters as a tick list?


FSFRebecca
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We are often asked about using Development Matters as a tick list. Nancy Stewart, one of the authors of the Development Matters guide, has written extremely brilliantly for us explaining why practitioners should put the uniqueness of each child at the centre of their planning rather than view child development as a linear progression that occurs in predictable stages. See what you think, and come back and tell us! You can read Nancy's article here.

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What a fantastic read. I will be sharing this at our next training day. I totally agree that all children learn in different ways. What's important for me is that children are safe, secure and valued. By providing this nurturing environment should enable the children to make their own unique progress and that practitioners can support and provide experiences to help this.

So in answer to your question no to the tick list.

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It was never written as a curriculum or a set of criteria - just a range of skills a child may or may not show at different stages of development.

I often get practitioners to tell me the stages of writing development or drawing a figure or developing the concepts of quantity - the stuff we should know because we have studied child development. Without Dev matters they can still decide what they should focus on next if a child has say a palmar grip, and they can say how they would do it. There is too much emphasis on a document which is used as a straight jacket - I am always working with practitioners tellling them to write their learning intentions for an activity in their own words, not in DM speak!

cx

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