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The focus of this area of learning is now on understanding people and communities, the natural and built environment, and everyday objects with functions created by technology.

A training project to help early years practitioners assess the development of children with English as an additional language has proved highly effective. Julie Cigman explains

Creating a space for two age groups to share can help staff get more from resources and ease transition for children. Anne O'Connor suggests ways to make the most of an area.

Exploration of the world in the early years can be supported with an interactive map of your local area. Marianne Sargent offers some guidance on making one.

Fire can be a useful focal point on forest trips, says Caroline Watts, forest school leader at Reflections Nursery and Forest School, Worthing, West Sussex

As a parent, literacy is probably the area that you are most determined for your child to succeed in. It is important, both in school and in life, and being able to read and write confidently and fluently are vital skills that we all need.

Creating a lasting legacy for our future Olympians is a must, say Hayley Cannell and Nicky Bushell, joint managers of Oakey Dokeys Pre-school in Essex

Controversy over when reading and writing should be taught could persist under the revised framework.Jan Dubiel, national development manager for Early Excellence, reviews the essential principles.

Children can learn far more from stroking a cow than looking at one in a book. Vesela Gladicheva describes what's on offer at urban farms.

On their latest trip to the forest, the children took charge of their snacks, says Caroline Watts, forest school leader, Reflections Nursery & Forest School, Worthing, West Sussex.