There has been a lot of concern in the early years sector about the make-up of the group who have been asked by the Department for Education to write them … and there is some comment that they are ‘top down’ expectations from school (year 1 and above) which is worrying for our early years children.
The Department for Education states that they are aimed at ‘closing the word gap’ which has been identified between disadvantaged children and their peers and to support children who start school with lower than ‘typical’ language and social skills.
DfE also talk about cutting down on the paperwork burden, allowing teachers to use more professional judgement and freeing up teachers and staff to interact with their pupils, which will help them to develop a rich vocabulary (observing that children use new vocabulary is mentioned 4 times in the suggested revised ELGs) and skills and behaviours for ‘school and later life’.
The 7 areas of learning are the same but it is interesting to see how the wording has changed for some of the aspects of the 7 areas…
The prime areas:
- Communication and language has been pared back to 2 ELGs – listening and speaking; understanding has disappeared (I imagine it is felt to be implicit within the others)…
- Physical Development wording is ‘gross motor’ and ‘fine motor’ rather than moving and handling and health and self-care has moved back into PSED …
- PSED revised ELGs are likely to include self-regulation (which is linked to behaviour), managing self and building relationships; It is also good to see I was spot on with my recent ‘Behaviour and Self-Regulation’ webinar!
The specific areas:
- ELGs for Literacy have been expanded from reading and writing to ‘comprehension, ‘word reading’ and ‘writing’…
- Mathematics now includes ‘numerical patterns’ and the current shape, space and measures has disappeared with a focus totally on number…
- In Understanding the World, technology outcomes are missing and the wording of the aspects has changed to ‘past and present’, ‘people, culture and communities’ (presumably to encourage children to embrace our multicultural and diverse society) and ‘the natural world’…
- Expressive art and design aspects have changed to ‘creating with materials’ (less wordy than the original) and ‘performing children’.
Note: these are the PROPOSED new Early Learning Goals which will be piloted in 25 schools… they are NOT in the ‘EYFS yet… and they are for schools rather than childminders and nurseries.
However, early years providers will need to keep an eye on them because it is likely that changes to the ELGs will eventually impact on Ofsted inspectors perceptions of what we do with the little ones and will lead inevitably to changes in our practice in the early years.
Communication and Language
- Listen carefully and respond appropriately when being read to and during whole-class and small group discussions;
- Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
- Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teachers and peers.
- Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using new vocabulary;
- Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of new vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
- Express their ideas using full sentences, with modelling and support from their teacher.
Gross Motor Skills
- Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
- Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination;
- Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
- Hold a pencil comfortably using the tripod grip;
- Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery;
- Show accuracy and care when drawing and copying
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and regulate their behaviour accordingly;
- Have a positive sense of self and show resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;
- Pay attention to their teacher and follow multi-step instructions.
- Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing and going to the toilet;
- Understand the importance of healthy food choices;
- Explain the reasons for rules and know right from wrong.
- Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;
- Form positive attachments and friendships;
- Show sensitivities to others’ needs.
- Demonstrate understanding of what they have read and has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and new vocabulary;
- Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems;
- Use new vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
- Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs**;
- Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;
- Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including common exception words.
**Diagraphs are ‘voiceless’ combinations of 2 consonants: for example, th in ‘that’, st in ‘stuck’ (and ‘ck’ at the end), sh in ‘sheep’, ch in ‘cheese’, wh in common question words like ‘why?’ and ‘where?’, kn in ‘knee’, gr in ‘green’, cr in ‘cream’, br in ‘bread’ etc, Words with diagraphs can be tricky for young children to learn because they have to see them – they cannot always be spelled out. Children need to blend the letters an put together what they hear into one sound: for example they see ‘t’ and ‘h’ and blend it to say ‘th’.
- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
- Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
- Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
- Have an understanding of number to 10, linking names of numbers, numerals, their value, and their position in the counting order;
- Subitise** (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
- Automatically recall number bonds for numbers 0-5 and for 10, including corresponding partitioning facts.
**Subitise is a term originally introduced by Piaget (theorist). It means children need to be able to recognise the number of objects in a small group without counting them first – 5 fingers on a hand, 5 bears at a picnic, 3 frogs on a log etc.
- Automatically recall double facts up to 5 + 5;
- Compare sets of objects up to 10 in different contexts, considering size and difference;
- Explore patterns of numbers within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds.
Understanding of the World
Past and Present
- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society; know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Recall some important narratives, characters and figures from the past encountered in books read in class.
- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Understand the effect of the changing seasons on the natural world around them.
Expressive Arts and Design
Creating with Materials
- Draw and paint using a range of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;
- Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
- Make use of props and materials when role-playing characters in narratives and stories.
- Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;
- Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – move in time with music;
- Co-construct, invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.
The pilot materials can be downloaded from here: https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/2018/06/independent-evaluation-of-the-eyfs-profile-pilot/.
What do you think of the proposed changes? Sarah