Curriculum guidance for the revised EYFS published by the DfE


The updated Development Matters has been published just in time to support schools which are early adopters of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Curriculum guidance is now available for the 2,800 schools which are implementing the revised EYFS ahead of its statutory introduction for all early years providers in September 2021.

The guidance has been developed by Dr Julian Grenier, lead of the East London Research School and headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre.

While schools which are not taking part as early adopters may choose to use the guidance, they will need to adhere to the existing EYFS framework until September, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

The non-statutory curriculum guidance for the EYFS states that it has been written for all early years practitioners, childminders, staff in nurseries, nursery schools and nursery and Reception classes in schools.

According to the DfE, the guidance 'offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn, and guides, but does not replace, professional judgement.'

The introduction to the guidance states, ‘Development Matters sets out the pathways of children’s development in broad ages and stages. However, the actual learning of young children is not so neat and orderly. The main purpose of these pathways is therefore to help you assess each child’s level of development. Accurate assessment helps practitioners to make informed decisions about what a child needs to learn and be able to do next.

‘The document is not a tick list for generating lots of data. You can use your professional knowledge to help children make progress without needing to record lots of next steps. Settings can help children to make progress without generating unnecessary paperwork.’

It sets out the seven key features of effective practice as:
  • The best for every child
  • High-quality care
  • The curriculum: what we want children to learn
  • Pedagogy: helping children to learn
  • Assessment: checking what children have learnt
  • Self-regulation and executive function
  • Partnership with parents

It includes three 'characteristics of effective learning', as:
  • playing and exploring’ – children investigate and experience things, and 'have a go'
  • active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Read the full article from Early Years Educator here and Development Matters here.

Hear from Dr Julian Grenier, lead on revising the EYFS guidance Development Matters, in the Nursery World Show CPD masterclass 'Future play and learning: helping every child to achieve under the revised EYFS and guidance'.

Author: Early Years Educator