The EYFS is a year old, but many of us are still coming to grips withit. So this is a good time for a readable and accessible guide to theEYFS to appear.
Unfortunately, while the timing may be good, this handbook disappointsin many respects. In attempting to cover every aspect of the EYFS inless than 300 pages, it is can be a little too brief. For example, Iwould caution any practitioner against relying on the section onsafeguarding. While this covers the main legal issues, there is littledescription of multi-agency work, family support, or approaches topromote children's welfare outside of making referrals to socialservices.
The sections on the six areas of learning mostly repeat what is alreadyavailable in the EYFS pack, although I was surprised to see that theemphasis on nursery children having a 20 minute discrete syntheticphonics session. There are numerous references to play, but overalllittle insight is given into how play might promote children'sdevelopment and learning, or what the role of the practitioner is. Forexample, much of the chapter on Play and Exploration covers how to teachchildren the skills of using a hammer, risk assessment and other healthand safety issues.
There are some interesting and useful references to ICT, and the booktakes a forthright and practical approach to equalities issues, which isto be welcomed. But overall, the handbook tends to reflect rather thandevelop established practice in primary school nursery and receptionclasses. I think most practitioners would probably benefit more fromreading the EYFS and its guidance in the original form, rather thanturning to this book.
- Motivate to Communicate! 300 Games and Activities for Your Child withAutism. By Simone Griffin and Dianne Sandler (Jessica KingsleyPublishers, 12.99, ISBN 978-1-84905-941-8)
Easy-to-implement games and activities that use everyday objects increative ways to promote functional communication and facilitate socialplay for children with autism and related disabilities. Ideal forparents, educators and therapists.
- Learning through Child Observation (Second Edition). By Mary Fawcett(Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 14.99, ISBN 978-1-84310-676-0)
This fully updated edition is a useful handbook for early yearsprofessionals and students preparing to work in children's services.Fawcett examines the value of observation, its use in assessment andmethods of observational study. New chapters include Views on Childrenand Childhood, looking at European perspectives on education, and TheHundred Languages of Children, which considers creativity in itsmultiple forms.