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Non-statutory guidance and exemplification

Development Matters

Development Matters is non-statutory guidance which supports all those working in early childhood education settings to implement the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the EYFS.

Development Matters demonstrates how the four themes of the EYFS Framework and the principles that inform them work together to support the development of babies, toddlers and young children within the context of the EYFS framework.  The document also illustrates how the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ may be supported and extended by adults as well as how they underpin the ‘Prime’ and ‘Specific’ areas of learning and development.

Development Matters (pdf 651kb)

Early Years Outcomes 

Early Years Outcomes is a non-statutory guide to support practitioners. It can be used by childminders, nurseries and others, such as Ofsted, throughout the early years as a guide to making best-fit judgements about whether a child is showing typical development for their age, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age.

Early Years Outcomes (pdf 217kb)

Musical Development Matters

Musical Development Matters is a new guidance document published in September 2018. Its overall purpose is to support practitioners, teachers, musicians and parents to see the musical attributes of young children and to offer ideas as to how they can support and nurture children’s musical development by offering broad musical experiences.  Musical Development Matters was written to complement the Development Matters guidance and follows the same format.  

Musical Development Matters (pdf 1MB)

Learning, Playing and Interacting

Learning, Playing and Interacting demonstrates how pedagogy, provision and assessment are interwoven, it aims to help practitioners understand how evidence about children’s attainment can be drawn from a wide range of contexts including child initiated and adult-led activities, particularly clarifying how this supports completion of the EYFSP in reception.

Learning Playing and Interacting (pdf 1MB)

The Exemplification materials

The Exemplification materials is a series of materials for practitioners assessing children's development at the end of the early years foundation stage (EYFS). These materials are split into each of the 17 early learning goals (ELGs) of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) profile. They include a variety of different types of evidence of children’s learning and show how practitioners can gather information that supports their EYFS profile judgements.

Practitioners should use these materials to decide whether a child has met the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS for each ELG or if they have exceeded that level or not yet reached it. The materials also include a number of ‘learning journeys’ that illustrate how a child might progress through an ELG and how their attainment can be recorded.

The exemplification illustrates a child’s learning and development where it best fits the ‘expected’ category. There is currently no exemplification for the ‘emerging’ or ‘exceeding’ categories.

Exemplification materials  

The Early Years Inspection handbook

The Early Years Inspection handbook describes the main activities inspectors undertake when they conduct inspections of early years providers in England under sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006. The handbook also sets out the judgements inspectors will make and on which they will report.

Early Years Inspection Handbook

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