Ofsted: We want to hear from you!

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The education inspection framework consultation presents an opportunity for childminders, nursery providers and managers, says Gill Jones


That’s because you can read and comment on our draft early years inspection handbook before it’s finalised.

This proposes a shift to focus inspection on what children learn through the curriculum. But what does that mean when we’re talking about babies and young children?

Put simply, we want you to focus on what’s best for the child. While Ofsted wants to see how children are getting on, we do not want to see nurseries with paperwork aplenty. And I’d urge you to ignore the emails you’ll receive from early years consultants telling you what to change in order to prepare for our visit. We publish information about how we conduct our inspections and what the inspector will see and do.

How will we judge your curriculum and the quality of education you provide for your children?

Our inspectors will consider:

  • how well staff watch, listen and respond to children;
  • how well staff read aloud and tell stories to children;
  • how well staff support children to recognise and respond to their own physical needs;
  • how well staff enable children to explore and solve problems;
  • how they support children to express their thoughts and use new words.

It’s really important that children develop a good vocabulary. We know that young children learn through first hand experiences, but they also learn lots through hearing stories, learning nursery rhymes and singing songs – it’s through these joyous activities and their play that children learn to understand new words in their proper context.

Much stays the same; evolution, not revolution, is our mantra. The EYFS will still be the curriculum framework (educational programmes) and we intent to keep our definition of teaching. If you are already delivering the EYFS well, through a rounded curriculum for early years children, you have nothing to fear from the new framework. But we want to hear from you about our proposals.

So please take a close look at our consultation (open until 5 April) - all responses will be considered carefully.


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