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EYFS reforms. Thoughts anyone?


mundia
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Well the response to the consultation on the reforms to the EYFS has been out a couple of weeks now, along with the revised framework and profile handbook for early adopters. (2020)

Here if you haven't seen it yet.

I have so many thoughts, sadly most are not especially complementary, but it would be good to hear a range of views here.

I like the addition of OFSTED definition of teaching. 

I still have concerns that shape space and measure will no longer be an ELG, despite it being 'beefed up' a bit in the educational programme. We know from old that frequently, what isn't assessed, isn't taught, or is marginalised as a 'nice extra'.

I am especially concerned about the making into a 'may', the  reporting of the characteristics of effective learning, both to parents and to year one teachers. They barely get a mention in the new EYFSP handbook. I don't recall this being asked about in the consultation. 

I wonder if there are early adopters out there, amongst the membership here. How are you feeling about this, at a time when we don't really know what September will look like yet. What about early adopters with a nursery class? As those schools will have to adopt the new EYFS in the nursery too.

Perhaps it's a sign of the current climate that I'm feeling a bit 'ugh' about the new framework, and in fact, maybe I'm missing lots of positives. Perhaps you can enlighten me, so that I can embrace the new framework with gusto. 

What are others thinking, if indeed this has even crept into your thinking at the moment, because, understandably, there are probably a zillion and one other things on your mind just now.

 

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Hi Mundia,

How lovely to see your post 😃

We've just recorded a podcast about our thoughts (the Education group here at the FSF/Tapestry)- not sure if you've discovered it here

Putting aside the ELGs for another conversation, I think, with the exception of Understanding the World, the programmes are ok. There is nothing there that you wouldn't be offering babies and young children and it gives scope to create a stimulating curriculum. The lack of science and technology really worries me and I hope settings will still continue to offer those investigative activities that we all know are essential to developing children's reasoning and problem solving skills, and an interest in enquiry.

I'm also concerned about the lack of focus on CoEL and, like you, was not aware that was part of the consultation. We all know how essential those skills are.

I'm not too worried about shape, space and measures not being in an ELG- I think it's almost impossible to run an early years setting without having children engaged in manipulating and investigating shapes, and measuring and weighing materials. There'd be hardly anything left if we took all those resources away! It may turn out that as the EYFSP time approaches, teachers don't focus on SSM anymore on a daily basis,  but it will be picked up again in Year 1.

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Hi Helen

Thankyou, great to see you too. 

I haven't my way to your podcast yet but its on my 'must listen' list. 

There are some positives in the programmes and some things I'd have wished to see. Being maths passionate, Id love to have seen the same start to maths as for reading, around developing a life long love of maths, rather than words like positive attitude ,excel, grounding and mastery,.  My aim in my work is get get people to love maths rather than be scared  or anxious about it. This gives it a different 'feel' to me anyway.  I'm glad the PSED has a focus on relationships rather than behaviour. I was listening to Sally Pearse this week talking about relationship mapping and suggesting that settings and school have relationship policies rather than behaviour ones. I wonder how many do?

I agree around the science particularity which is my second passion.  I worry about the  references to what has been learned from books.  I think my way forward on this one is to strengthen the Characteristics because much scientific process comes through that, but that brings me full circle back to that possibly having much less focus particularly at the end of reception. 

But my inherent worry, certainly from what is often current pressure, particularly in schools is how much attention is given to the programmes and not just ending up focused on the ELGS. Certainly this is the case now for many, Im not sure yet how the new programme is going to change things.  Having just seen the latest guidance for KS1/2 maths with the 'Ready to progress' criteria (I think they were called the key objectives in the olden days), I sense that these will largely become the things that are taught, and they are also lacking in hands on experiences of measurement and space (there's a bit of naming orientating shapes in there). I really hope that I am wrong here and can look back in 12 months time and be happily surprised and reassured.

I wonder if what happens next really rests on what the new development matters (or whatever it will be called)  looks like. If it  reflects the breadth and depth of the programme, Ill probably feel a lot more comfortable. I know for many people, the development matters is sort of their 'bible'  and although not statutory I would bet my life on more practitioners knowing the content of that than knowing the content of the actual programme.  It ultimately is the 'go-to' document for I would say, a  majority.  So in order to see a shift in focus to the new educational programme rather than just the ELGS, we need to see that coming through the new guidance.  I am hopeful that with Julian at the the helm there, we will see this, hopefully quite soon. 

What do others think? Do we have any early adopters here? How are you feeling about taking this on early? Especially if you didn't have any say about it. What about schools with nursery classes, how are you feeling about having to adopt this in September if you are doing so?  Excited by the challenge? Wanting to focus on other things after the year we've had?  Not bothered either way?

Ill leap off my tiny soap box now and let others have a say.  Come along and join the discussion.  Id love to hear what you all think. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree that now is the time to perhaps look for the positives- and I, like you, hope the revised DM will have all that we want.

The general government moves towards a knowledge-based curriculum can be counteracted by brave, well-qualified  and experienced practitioners sticking to what they know about child development and best practice. We all need to support the workforce to not turn the next DMs into another ticklist, but to offer guidance, discussion, articles, podcasts, training.....anything we can think of, to dissuade settings from doing all that again. My hope is that pressure from Ofsted, or what we think Ofsted want, and also that from LAs, will not lead to settings feeling that they need to assess individual statements anymore but to look at the broader picture of the child's development and their CoEL.

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