Still time to nail this early-years misconception

15th July 2011 at 01:00

Although the timing may make it difficult to respond as a team, as many people as possible need to respond to the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework consultation document, which is on the Department for Education's website until 30 September.

The consultation document uses the term "school readiness" quite frequently, but leaves some doubt as to what this means. A large proportion of children in EYFS settings are in school, Reception and nursery classes, and yet the document frequently uses terminology such as "pre-school settings" in reference to its remit.

It seems there is an assumption that Reception classes, which are a part of "school", are also a part of "school readiness", which is a contradiction in terms, and these classes at times appear to sit outside of the pedagogical approach of the EYFS framework.

Either this is a misuse of terminology or a significant and worrying move towards removing the Reception class from the EYFS, which would only occur as a result of a deep misunderstanding of early-childhood development and learning.

Marie Charlton, Curriculum adviser, early excellence development team, Early Excellence Training and Resource Centre, Huddersfield.

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