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Out now: Working with the revised Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice (updated July 2021)

Julian Grenier led on the revision of Development Matters for the Department for Education. He has independently written guidance to support practitioners, teachers and settings in understanding and implementing the updated Development Matters.

Our new publication is available to download free as a PDF by clicking on the blue Download button. Or you can buy it as a published book, with full colour photographs and illustrations by Juli Dosad.

This book is published by Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre. It’s a finalist in the Nursery World awards 2021.

As an Amazon Associate, Julian Grenier earns from qualifying purchases if you click the Amazon link on this page.

This guidance is strong, evidence-based and most importantly prioritises disadvantaged children. The equalities and SEND sections are particularly important. I know that teachers and early years practitioners will welcome it.’ Iram Siraj, professor of child development and education, Oxford University.

I think this document is invaluable for practitioners and will certainly be using it with the team at Busy Bees.Deena Billings, Quality Director, Busy Bees Nurseries.

Download “The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice”

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DOWNLOAD “What to Expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: A Guide for Parents

‘I love the presentation of the book. The illustrations add BRILLIANTLY to the clarity and ‘user friendliness’ of the ‘enjoyable to read’ script. Vygotsky’s 1978 terminology of Zone of proximal development is beautifully depicted and links seamlessly to support scaffolding techniques & sustained shared thinking (Siraj- Blatchford et al 2002). This guidance document affords the opportunity for discussion and help at every level, with the ‘child’s experience’ central to the thinking of all involved in the joy, privilege and responsibilities of the EYFS.’ Early years teacher

‘This is really helpful comprehensive resource. I really like the links to research so providers can look into them more. I think it is clear and concise and written in plain English. Excellent resource, especially for new staff and equally as useful for a manager when setting priorities. I can imagine it was a very difficult job so thank you to all involved.’ Early years practitioner

‘As an EYFS Leader, I have found this document invaluable in supporting the EYFS team focus on key ideas within the revised framework. The focus on research and evidence based strategies supports the staff to know and feel confident that they are focusing on what matters most – the children and their learning.’ Kim Cooper, Assistant Headteacher and EYFS lead, Langford Primary School

‘I found this a really useful document which explains in detail the principles and intentions behind the revised framework. It also provides a useful insight into the most effective early years pedagogy, assessment and curriculum development. I believe that both experienced early years practitioners and leaders, as well as those with little EYFS experience, will find it helpful and informative.’ Local authority primary adviser with an early years specialism.

‘As a leader in a large special school, this document is very helpful for us. Our learners (aged 11-19) are on their own journey that we have the privilege of being a part of and our assessments are based on the principles of child development. As your new document states, progress is certainly not linear for us. Much more like a fragile web, so as professionals in our school we need to navigate this knowledge carefully to ensure we provide the best guidance and opportunity for all our young people. The scope of this research is huge and we are using it in our amazing sector too.’ Joanna McDonagh, Vice Principal, Abbey Hill Academy

‘This document explores the rationale and context behind the changes and elaborates the guidance to fully inform everyone involved in EYFS provision. It details the thinking behind these developments and plots the course of how we create, support and sustain a responsible and informed approach to delivering the EYFS.Jan Dubiel, Independent Early Years Consultant.

‘Relevant for those new to EYFS as well as experienced practitioners. Love the ‘Find Out More’ links.Mrs Jones, EYFS lead, Bricknell Primary School, Hull.

The Principles into Practice document is an excellent tool. We can see that being extremely valuable to the providers in Northumberland.Rosy Dickinson, Early Years Consultant, Northumberland.

‘As an EYFS Leader, I have found this document invaluable in supporting the EYFS team focus on key ideas within the revised framework. The focus on research led and evidence based strategies supports the staff to know and feel confident that they are focusing on what matters most – the children and their learning.’ Assistant Headteacher and EYFS Leader in two London schools.

‘I like the accessible language and the slimming down of the content as well as the move away from levels. The practical nature of the advice. The content also reflects the reality of the children I work with and is grounded in experience. I like the greater emphasis on science in Understanding the World and the clear guidance on numerical concepts in Mathematics.’ Senior leader in a maintained nursery school

Development Matters 2020

In September 2020, The Department for Education (DfE) published Development Matters.
This revised guidance is non-statutory and supports the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework.
The guidance was redesigned to make it more reader-friendly in July 2021 and some minor changes were made.
Read a summary of those changes and download a document showing what’s different.
Who is the guidance for?
The guidance has been written for all early years practitioners, for childminders and staff in nurseries, nursery schools, pre-schools, and nursery and reception classes in school. 


Find out more about Development Matters 2020

Guidance, blogs and vlogs (selected)

Help for early years providers (DFE website)
What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents
Early Adopter Facebook group
Foundation Years Website
Foundation Stage Forum
ICAN: supporting children’s communication with the revised Development Matters video interview
Blog: Asses
sment beyond levels in the early years – improving learning for all children
Your thumbnail guide to the revised Early Years Foundation Stage: FAQs for school governors.
Nursery World: EYFS guidance – the big picture (£)
Getting ready for the revised Early Years Foundation Stage in September 2021: a brief guide for senior leaders and governors
Getting it wrong in the early years? A discussion of Getting it right in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a review of the evidence
One nursery school’s curriculum (working draft)
Vodcast from the Foundation Years for headteachers, senior leadership and governors
Vodcast from the Foundation Years for Private, Voluntary and Independent settings (PVIs) and childminders

What do you think about – Working with the revised Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice?

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this document and that it supports you as you develop your practice. But like everything else we do in the early years to keep improving, this can only be work in progress and never the ‘final word’.

We’d love to hear back from you. What do you like about the guidance? What could be better?

We’d especially like to hear from you if you’d like to help us to improve this document. If your contribution is published, we’ll acknowledge your authorship and send you a free copy of the next edition.

Share your feedback and suggestions on our Google Form.

No-one was paid to write this document. We made it free to download as a PDF and we published it at the lowest possible price, just to cover costs.

We think we’re better when we all work together to improve things for children and practitioners in the early years.

If we make a small profit, that will go straight back into improving the services we offer for children and their families at Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre.