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Ofsted Early Years Research Review

16 November 2022 (by admin)

Ofsted has published a new research review on Early Years. The review underpins the inspectorate’s new strategic focus on early education and giving children ‘the best start in life’ following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report stresses the value of play and teaching, and the importance of developing communication skills. What matters most, Ofsted argues, is that practitioners have considered what they want children to know and be able to do, before deciding how best to teach. Ofsted states the report does not prescribe how to teach a high-quality early years curriculum. It does include the following features of high-quality early years provision:

  • Practitioners choose what activities and experiences they are going to provide for children after deciding what it is that they want children to learn.
  • The curriculum considers what all children should learn. It prioritises communication and offers plenty of opportunity for disadvantaged children, or those who speak English as an additional language, to learn and practise speaking and listening.
  • Adults think carefully about what children already know and can do when deciding what to teach first.
  • Children with gaps in their knowledge get the additional teaching they need so that they can access the same curriculum as their peers.
  • Practitioners consider children’s interests when choosing activities. They also expand children’s interests so they make progress in all areas of learning.
  • Children’s play is valued and used to teach many aspects of the curriculum. Learning through play is enhanced by skilful adult intervention.
  • Practitioners introduce children to new knowledge through explicit teaching and follow this up with practice through play.

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