The DfE has published exemplification materials to provide support for schools when completing the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) assessment for children at the end of reception year. These are a collection of case study videos that demonstrate teachers and leaders having professional discussions about individual children’s development and their EYFSP judgements. A vodcast for schools, multi-academy trusts and local authorities has also been published alongside the videos to explain the changes and what is different this year.

The videos are designed to help schools understand and use the new early learning goals (ELGs) and profile assessment under the 2021 EYFS framework. Schools do not need to replicate the discussions held in the videos. The videos include a combination of children who have met and not met the expected levels of development across the ELGs, with teachers discussing how they came to those judgements. The EYFSP handbook sets out the statutory requirements for the EYFSP assessment in the 2021/22 academic year.

DfE have deliberately taken a different approach to these exemplification materials to be clear that teachers, schools and settings should move away from excessive tracking and evidence collection and to avoid giving schools additional criteria to consider when completing the EYFSP, beyond what is set out in the new goals themselves. The exemplification materials demonstrate how, over the course of the reception year, practitioners build their knowledge and understanding of what children know, understand and can do. Practitioners show how they can draw on this knowledge and their own expert professional judgement to make an accurate summative assessment at the end of the year. This is sufficient to assess a child’s individual level of development in relation to each of the ELGs. Teachers are not expected to record evidence for each of the ELGs or provide proof of the child’s level of development for the purposes of completing the EYFSP. What matters most is providing information to parents/carers and Key Stage 1 teachers in order to support each child’s development and next steps. Local authorities will also still collect the data to form the national dataset on early years children’s outcomes.

DfE previously published a small suite of videos with direct messages from DfE, Ofsted and early adopter schools talking about their experiences in delivering the reforms and how they have changed their approach to the EYFS and assessment. These earlier videos are also part of efforts to ensure a shift in culture away from unnecessary assessment paperwork for teachers and are available here.

If you have specific queries about the EYFSP or the ELGs after exploring the new materials and the vodcast please send them to us at [email protected] and we will share them with the DfE.