FOCUS: Life-long love of reading

Learning to read is probably the single most important academic skill we acquire through formal education, affecting as it does, every other area of learning; from reading instructions in maths, to drawing upon inspiration from stories for art.

Sector update: Thinking curriculum

Curriculum is a ‘hot topic’ at the moment in all phases of education, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the early years. Sue Cowley takes a look at what the DfE and Ofsted have been saying and how settings have responded.

Opinion: We need an ambitious early years strategy

There is no doubt that the pandemic truly exposed the value of the early years, yet concurrently, exposing the fragility of the sector. This is why Rose Porter explains that the need for an ambitious early years strategy is never more urgent.

September book reviews: Professional and picture books

This month I am thrilled to have Aaron Bradbury back again with another insightful review, alongside a fantastic home-learning companion book which I share a snippet from here. As for our picture books, take a look at a hand-picked selection of recently published children's texts focusing on two important areas: friendships and feelings.

FOCUS: Creating a rich reading environment

The days of starting a child's reading development, age five, with an ‘early reader’ are long gone. Children will always pick up a book when it feels interesting to do so, just like adults. With so many great books and resources available, it has never been easier to find the inspiration.

Opinion: Child-centred assessment

Stephen Kilgour, from the Foundation Stage Forum and Tapestry, discusses the problem with moving away from tick-list style assessments for children with learning differences.

News analysis: Where is the joined-up thinking?

It is vital to reflect on our practice and provision and adapt appropriately, but this also requires the government to do the same. Dr Sue Allingham questions why there isn't joined-up thinking about what is important across the sector, including how early childhood education should work.

Transitions: ‘Lockdown Babies’ in childcare

Babies attending settings for the first time this year would have been born or were very young during the various lockdowns. Rebecca Martland discusses the implications of this through theory and young children's development, offering valuable guidance to implement in your settings, as well as recent case studies to reflect on.

Inspection: Intent, implementation, impact

Settings are assessed on the quality of education they provide, which is their curriculum. This article explains what is meant by ‘curriculum’ and how leaders can be instrumental in designing a framework of learning tailored specifically for the children in their setting.

Opinion: Keeping the early years unique

Many PVI settings find themselves in an increasingly schoolified and top-down pressured system. In this piece David Meechan addresses the schoolification of the early years through the new Development Matters guidance.

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