The EYFS at Penny’s Place   5 comments

I have just commented on a post on the UK Childminding forum about planning  – and put a link to my blog.

In doing so I  realised that my blog about my planning and recording for EYFS  – in fact had a vital bit of follow up missing.

In that blog I mentioned that I intended to write a document for my Parent Pack – and I did. However I have not shared it and a few people have asked if I did write the document – and on hearing that I did – want to know what it says.


So here it is – copied and pasted from my Parent Pack – so as it is – no changes or fine tuning.

It is of course only applicable for my setting – but some of you may find it helpful, if you are thinking of doing something similar.


Implementation of EYFS 2012

at Penny’s Place


Within the Parent Pack, there is a copy of the ‘official’ parent’s guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and I have to say I agree with most of its content – and in particular the statement

‘Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors’

This is what your child will be doing at Penny’s Place – PLAYING, and through that play exploring, being active, being creative and therefore developing their critical thinking skills.

Your child will not be doing circle time, very many table activities or worksheets – there is plenty of time for those activities once in school. However they will be making choices about what they do, they will learn to share and take turns, they will learn by their own mistakes – including those made when learning to manage their own risks. They will learn respect and manners, they will learn that sometimes they cannot have what they want or do what they what to do – but will also learn why. They will be supported and encouraged, but allowed to find out for themselves how things work, what things do, what happens if …., and they will do all this both inside and outside.

Their interests will be supported – if additional resources are needed – they will be brought (within reason), they will not be hurried on to the next thing and will be allowed time to explore.

Extensive communication both verbal and non verbal through talking, stories, rhymes and music will be evident because being able to communicate effectively to others and to self, is an essential life skill and key to all other learning.

In essence they will be allowed to be children – and as a result will be ‘ready not only for school but for life’

Records about your child

As part of the requirements for EYFS I will keep the following records about your child

Child Record Form


Permission Forms

Starting Assessment

2 – 3 year old progress check

Leaving Assessment

Child Evidence Diary including informal observation and comments from parents

Photographic evidence

Creative work (or photo’s of creative work)

Accident and medication records

If need arises,  formal observations


Please note that although I note the Development Matters documents and the Early Learning Goals – I will only reference assessment to the 7 main areas of learning (3 Prime areas if under 3 years of age)










Posted December 30, 2012 by psw260259 in Revised EYFS

5 responses to “The EYFS at Penny’s Place

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  1. It’s interesting that you reference only the 3 prime areas for children under 3 (which I totally agree with), however, there doesn’t seem to be any definitive guidance on what age we should start referencing all 7? I’ve read quite a few reports that have cited the lack of referencing to all 7 AOL’s… I start referencing all 7 from birth in their Termly Progress Review, but predominately the 3 prime areas in their monthly reviews.

    • My understanding Lucy is that you start referencing to 7 areas once they are secure within the prime areas (and for some children this may never occur or not until much later).

      My understanding comes from pg 6 – 1.7 Practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas.

      and pg 10 2.3 …….. short written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas.

      Therefore as the progress check needs to be carried out between 2 and 3 years of age – it would appear (my personal understanding) that up to 3 years of age, it is the 3 prime areas are required as a must.

      However as I provide the free entitlement, I do reference to 7 areas once the children are 3.

      I had noticed the reference about 7 AOL in reports but it is not clear from the reports what age the children concerned are – so maybe it was the inspectors judgment that the children were secure in the 3 prime areas and so should have been assessed to the 7 areas? Or maybe the inspector misunderstood that practitioners do have a element of choice about assessment? As far as I know the only legal requirement to assess to the 7 areas is the end of EYFS profile – or if required by LA’s as part of criteria for the free entitlement.

      I note that you do far more formal assessment than me Lucy – but again that is personal choice as the requirement is to ‘know where the child is developmentally and know the child’s interest. some find it helps to write this down formally, and some hold the information in their head or within less formal documents, such as notes in child and / or setting diaries.

  2. My interpretation of 1.7 is that all 7 areas need to be assessed but a more detailed assessment/focus on the 3 prime areas for younger children, and then an equal focus from 3+. My monthly assessments are only a few lines per child 🙂

    • Thank you Lucy for explaining your interpretation of 1.7, I am sure many others will have a similar personal view / understanding.

      Within EYFS 2012, there are a lot of things that are either not clear, or have different aspect in different sections making it difficult to ensure have linked these aspect, or are just open to personal interpretation (both practitioners and inspectors)

      I think the only difference between your understanding and mine is that you formally assess and record to 7 areas, where as I note development in the diary and use information to help plan environment provided but I don’t formally assess or record.

      And I think we are both right – because it says we must assess and plan but does not state, when, how or if needs to recorded in writing or not!

      I think my interpretation is influenced by my dislike of assessment and belief that children should not be labelled as having achieved or not achieved developmentally – unless there is a concern that development is significantly delayed and support/ intervention maybe needed.

      I also think that as a childminder there is less need to record things in writing because I work alone and the people who need to know about the child’s development are the parents and myself – and this is done on a daily basis verbally and through the child’s evidence diary.

      However if working in larger settings, or as a childminder with other professionals then the circumstances would be different and more records would be needed to ensure information is shared.

      My personal view is under ‘normal’ circumstances, children don’t need to be formally assessed against a ‘list’, and assessment does not need to be recorded in writing in order to make progress.

      Which is why I only do formal written assessment when a child starts (for a starting point), for the progress check (legal requirement), and when a child leaves (to inform next setting), should I be the main provider when a child reaches the end of EYFS, I would of course complete the EYFS profile.

      However Ofsted may disagree – time will tell – and if they do find my systems ineffective I will challenge and ask them to provide evidence of the impact on the child and where it states in EYFS that assessment should be in writing.

      However as already mentioned – I think we are both right – and that is what I love about EYFS 12 – there is more than one right way. We just need inspectors to recognise this and to value practitioners knowledge and professionalism, and to make their judgments on the effective practice they see and not on statements in development matters or pre set ideas about what is effective practice.

  3. I googled childminders and circle time, which is something I don’t do, but thought I “should” be doing. Reading your description of your day sounds like my practice.

    My daughter went to a playgroup where circle time commenced 10mins after arrival. Parents had to be gone by then, and my daughter hadn’t settled after a full term, screamed when I left everytime.

    Now goes to a Steiner/Montessori influenced setting which is play led. Children are brought together after atleast an hour and in a gentle approach after play of their choice. No screaming child when I leave.

    I don’t do circle time at my setting. We join.together for stories and musical instruments and rhymes and the children.are ready and join in. One of them will ask for songs and music, and the others follow usually.

    I’m relieved circle time is not fixed in all settings and that what I do isn’t unusual.or wrong.

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