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Counting is important for learning mathematics.

Early years organisations have written a joint letter to Sir Michael Wilshaw to air their concerns ahead of Ofsted’s early years annual report on Thursday, which will be published alongside a report on school readiness.

Tomorrow Sir Michael Wilshaw is set to reiterate the need for early years providers to improve how they are preparing children for the academic challenges of school.

Children will be assessed using a baseline check when they start Reception, and the EYFS Profile will no longer be compulsory, the Department for Education has confirmed.

The education secretary’s insistence that children should be taught to read using synthetic phonics is almost ‘a form of abuse’, a leading academic claims.

The revised Early Years Foundation Stage and its Characteristics of Effective Learning provide an opportunity to change practice in Key Stage 1 - and the new Ofsted inspection framework allows for flexibility, says Kim Porter.

Sensory exploration is central to early learning and our new series of posters will explore materials that feature regularly in our daily lives but may pass largely unnoticed, such as plastic, wood and glass.