Tags: eyfs 2012
One of the new requirements introduced in EYFS 2012 was the need to conduct a progress check at some point during each child's second year. The exact timing of the check is left open - the government recommends that it is undertaken at a suitable point that the child moves setting, or at another point by agreement with the parents. The check may even be undertaken after their third birthday but ideally it will be done between 24 and 36 months.
There is no prescribed format for progress checks, indeed they should very much be unique for each child. The purpose is to clock the developmental progress of the child and ensure that any issues are identified and flagged. This will help child carers concentrate on areas that may be lacking, or even to build further on strong areas. The assessment helps to inform parents of porgress and allows both parents and carers to plan for future activities with the child.
The child carer should assess each of the prime areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Communication and Language. Only one assessment is required so if a child attends more than obe setting, the check should be done by the setting that the child spends most time in. The check should be undertaken by the key person who has most exposure to the child and who knows them best.
The report should be drafted in a manner that is easy for parents to understand and that informs them clearly of any action the carer would like the parents to undertake. It would be a good idea to encourage parents to write their own brief response to file with the report to demonstrate that they have read and understood the report. The better you document future actions, the easier it will be to refer back to them and ensure that progress is maintained as planned.
While the check forms a mandatory part of the EYFS, it is only relevant for children who spend time with a child minder or carer. Children who are raised by 'stay at home mums' will not be affected.
Maths would appear to be one of those subjects that you can either do, or you can't, some love it whilst other hate it. Marcus de Sautoy is Professor of Maths at Oxford University, he LOVES maths and he's brilliant at it! He is one of those people who can explain really complex ideas in ways that ordinary people can begin to understand. In 2006, he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, bringing accessible maths to an audience of school aged children.
In one of his TV documentaries, de Sautoy distilled maths into a single, basic concept - the study of patterns. Our ability to discover patterns (whether in abstract numerical groups or physical real world objects) leads us to being able to solve problems, a fundamental reason for learnbing maths. While we usually think of maths as the adding and subtracting of numbers, numbers merely act a labels to more abstract concepts.
Of course, this is a vast oversimplification of maths, but it's premise is in fact and not fiction.
EYFS 2012 introduced Mathematics as one of the 'Specific Areas', breaking down further into Numeracy and Shapes, space and measures. While the specific areas are aimed at older and more develeoped children, you can be sowing the seed for good numeracy early on by encouraging that great foundation of maths - pattern recognition. Babies can learn and spot patterns from a very early age and evidence suggests that stimulating these skills early on will assist numeracy skills during their early years.
Play games that encourage pattern matching such as pairing cards, playing memory games, grouping items into 'classes' and counting items in collections. All of this will encourage cognitive development that will assist numeracy in their early years.
It seems that we've waited forever since EYFS 2012 was published back in March, but it has finally come into force and we have updated ToucanLearn to reflect the revised areas of learning.
One of the changes introduced in EYFS 2012 is a split between 'prime' areas of learning and 'specific' areas. The prime areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development) are the essential building blocks designed to promote healthy development. The specific areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design) are more attuned to future school learning in specific subjects.
You will find that activities for younger children focus more on the prime areas but as they grow older, more and more focus will switch to the specific areas. This follows natural learning and progression and is reflected in the activity programme offered to all preschoolers in ToucanLearn.
A core requirement for EYFS is that childcare providers must give parents information on the types of activities they are undertaking, the daily routine, food and drink provided and, in EYFS 2012, how the EYFS is being delivered.
This is exactly what ToucanLearn's Daily Diary is intended for. Each child has their own unique Daily Diary and you can create entries during the day. Each Diary can be shared between parents and childcare providers which allows parents to log in and see what's going on at any time of the day. Everyone can even add their own entries.
We recently launched our mobile phone service where you can email a photo directly from your mobile into the relevant Daily Diary - what could be easier?!
This service also processes text messages, so, for example, if you want to quickly report on what the children are eating, just send a text email (not an SMS message) to your diary and a new entry will be logged. Remember to name the children in the subject line or the body of the message, and please ensure that your 'from' address matches your ToucanLearn login. Entries should arrive in your diary within 2 minutes and if it fails to match, you will receive a notice back telling you that.
Find out more here: http://www.toucanlearn.com/daily-diary.
The revised EYFS framework was published this week, the existing framework, EYFS 2008, remains in place until the end of August, the new framework called EYFS 2012 will be mandated from the 1st September. The revised framework aims to reduce bureaucracy and simplify learning and development requirements, reducing the early learning goals from 69 to 17. The framework concentrates on the three areas of learning deemed the most important:-
- Communication and language
- Personal, social and emotional development
In addition to these 'Prime Areas' there are also four futher 'Specific Areas':-
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
At ToucanLearn we will revise our system to tie in with EYFS 2012, ready for launch on 1st September. At the same time we will launch some new features to offer new tools to help childcarers implement the EYFS. We're excited about these changes, while we always felt that the EYFS offered a great platform for early learning, we also think that these revisions help to focus on the important parts of learning and will help those who might have struggled with the breadth of coverage of EYFS 2008. We will write more about the revised EYFS framework over the next few months, and keep you informaed of changes coming toToucanLearn.
You can download the new EYFS framework here.