News – Outdoor Matters! Early Years Training and Consultancy on Outdoor Matters Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Outdoor practice at Child First Day Nurseries Mon, 09 May 2011 21:23:15 +0000

During a recent trip to Child First in Northampton I observed outdoor practice that is both inspiring and achievable.   Rather than invest in large pieces of manufactured play equipment the nursery makes great use of the natural environment and low-cost materials such as planks, bricks and tyres.  Although not every setting has access to a large garden and woodland, many of the ideas in use at Child First would also work in a much smaller space, for example outdoor  sleeping and eating areas, loose and moveable play materials, dens and digging.  To read more and see other photographs click on the case study link below.

Case Study: Child First in Northampton


The EYFS Review acknowledges impact of ratios on outdoor learning Thu, 31 Mar 2011 19:27:19 +0000

The EYFS review acknowledges the frustration that reception class practitioners experience where ratios of 1:30  are felt to ‘limit the opportunity for children to enjoy outdoor learning’ (4.11)

Scroll down to see Dame Clare Tickell discussing her findings.

Summary of Recommendations from the EYFS Review: The Early Years Foundations for Life Health and Learning.

Dame Clare Tickell is  recommending that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is radically slimmed down to make it easier to understand, less burdensome and more focused on making sure children start school ready to learn.

Setting out her recommendations, Dame Clare says that while parents and early years professionals agree that the EYFS has had a positive impact on children’s outcomes and helped to raise standards, in its current form there is far too much time spent filling in forms and not enough interacting with children. She says the EYFS needs to be simplified and made even more accessible for parents and practitioners.

To reform the current framework and make it less bureaucratic, Dame Clare’s recommendations include:

  • Significantly reducing the number of early learning goals children are assessed against at age five from 69 to 17.
  • Parents to get a summary of their child’s development, alongside the health visitor check at age two, to help identify any early problems or special educational needs.
  • A new focus on three prime areas which are the foundations for children’s ability to learn and develop healthily: personal, social and emotional development; communication and language; and physical development.
  • Beneath these should be four areas of learning where these skills are applied: literacy, mathematics, expressive arts and design and understanding the world.
  • With the three new prime areas of learning, a greater emphasis on making sure children have the basic social, emotional communication and language skills they need to learn and thrive at school – things like being able to make friends and listen effectively. There should also be a stronger link between the EYFS and what is expected of children in KS1.
  • Freeing the workforce from unnecessary bureaucracy so they can spend more time interacting with children – including scrapping written risk assessments for nursery trips and outings.
  • All early years practitioners to have at least a level 3 qualification (which is equivalent to A level) and the Government should consider applying the ‘teaching schools’ model to the early years.
  • Ofsted should be clearer on what is required of settings when they are inspected to help reduce high levels of paperwork.
  • Independent schools should be allowed to apply to opt out of the learning and development part of the EYFS, and the exemptions process should be made easier.

Click here to read the full report The Early Years: Foundations for life health and learning