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Observation provides a lens through which to view the child's world, so it needs to remain at the heart of a setting's planning cycle under the revised EYFS if practitioners are to meet the developmental and learning needs of every child, says Ann Langston.

How to make the most effective use of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is explained by Marie Charlton and Jan Dubiel, Early Excellence Development Team.

When is a box not a box? When it's a bus, a train, a boat or a bed. Michael Jones describes one innovative nursery project using both child-initiated and adult-led activities.

Researchers have used a variety of innovative ways to gather children's experiences of the EYFS in their early years setting, a new report shows.

Observations of children captured in the practitioners' own words produced some surprising findings for a research project undertaken by Julian Grenier.

The upcoming review of the Early Years Foundation Stage needs to look carefully at worldwide studies of effective pre-school approaches, says Oli de Botton of the CfBT Education Trust.

Only meaningful dialogue between the Government and the early years sector will avoid ideological swings in policy and achieve a balanced approach to reform of the EYFS, say Margaret Edgington, Richard House and Kim Simpson of the Open EYE Campaign.

What do children really get out of playing outdoors? An action research project into children's fascinations and explorations in nature, described by Annie Davy and Jennie Creese, found the evidence.

Find out about the principles behind the renowned early years centres in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and see how they have inspired practice at settings in the UK with early years consultants Linda Thornton and Pat Brunton (www.alcassociates.co.uk)

Good practice in observation, planning and assessment can always be improved, with the right training, says Mary Evans.