Finding a starting point for your planning can sometimes be hard, especially right at the beginning of the year. As practitioners and teachers we want to ensure all children are making progress from whichever starting point they
may be at therefore, it can be hard to pitch a lesson to support and include all learners. In this blog I will explore and explain the progression documentation we have produced and how this can support your planning, assessment and next steps for all children in your EYFS setting.
Progression planning across the year Schools and Nurseries now are developing a bespoke curriculum for their setting and children. This may have a thematic approach or be more of a child led inquiry based approach – both have their place and as long as progression is clear, either approach can be equally beneficial. When planning your curriculum and your progression of skills across the year the starting point should of course be The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework (2021). This sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe as
well as giving children. The EYFS framework states that there should be “Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind. And “A secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, assessing and reviewing what they have learnt regularly”.
Therefore, it is vital progression is at the heart of the curriculum. Because of this we have developed a range of progression of skills documentation that breaks down each area of learning into objectives and then progression milestones for children to reach from Birth – 3 up all the way up to ELG so that all children can be planned for no matter their starting point. These have been created using EYFS Statutory Framework (2021), Birth to 5 Matters, Development Matters (2021) as well as a collaboration of knowledge with EYFS colleagues with over 40 plus years of EYFS teaching experience combined. For example, the Understanding the World Progression of skills (Page 1):
The area of learning is broken down into ‘Past and Present’ ‘People and Culture’ and ‘The Natural world’. Each area is then broken down further into sub categories for example Past and Present is split into: Finding out about the past and comparing to the present, sequences in time – family history and vocabulary. There is clear progression from each milestone and this can
planned into your Curriculum Progression of skills effortlessly to show clear progression in each half term.
These specifically created progression of skills documents can also be used to support planning and may be especially helpful for those who are new to the EYFS or those who have returned to the EYFS since the new 2021 Framework was released. You may wish to copy sections of the Progression of skills document onto your planning to use as a reference when delivering inputs or when planning your weekly inputs as a reference point to instantly know where children are currently working at and know what the next steps are to adapt your input or questioning to support all children in every lesson.
For example below is the Reception Maths Progression of skills document. If you were teaching ‘One less’ for example you may copy these objectives onto the top of your planning:
When delivering your input you may notice children are confident with counting backwards from 10 to 1 so then use the document to find the next step and then extend your children to count backwards to 20. Or maybe children are struggling to find one less to 20 so again you could adapt and change your input to be one less to 10.
This also feeds into your assessment of your children. Because the expectations now are there is a lot less paperwork, observations and recording in the EYFS you are expected to know and be able to discuss all of the children in your class’ attainment and progress.
Any notes or assessments made shouldn’t take you away from the children or interrupt conversations you
have with your children as Communication and Language is a high priority in the curriculum. These progression documents can be used simply for your children not on track, to note their initials next to the milestone they are currently working at.
All staff within your setting are then aware of the areas where children are not on track and can use the document to support each
individual child with their next steps in learning and therefore support their individual progress. You can also refer to these documents during discussions with your SLT, Local Authority and Ofsted in regards to assessment and
tracking individual children’s progress and the support they receive and why.