Bristol EY Assessment Guidance & supporting information for the implementation of the EYFS Reforms

Email dated 8.07.2021

Dear Colleagues, 

We are delighted to be able to share the new Bristol Early Years assessment guidance that has been updated in light of the EYFS reforms.

We acknowledge that this much anticipated document is being shared as we near the end of the academic year when your capacity is likely to be stretched. We wanted to ensure that it was available to all schools and settings who may wish to share and discuss it with their teams at the start of the new academic year and for all year-round settings to reflect upon over the summer. We are sure that you will appreciate the lengthy process involved in developing this guidance and the essential research, collaboration and gathering of feedback that is needed. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the guidance.


Please find attached:

  • The Bristol Early Years Assessment Guidance document
  • The Bristol Early Years Summative Assessment Pathway (This document is included in the main assessment guidance but is also attached as a free-standing document for ease of use)
  • An example Summative Assessment Overview Excel spreadsheet

These documents will all be available on the Bristol Early Years website from 12th July Assessment and Transition | Bristol Early Years

We hope you will find the guidance supportive and informative as you reflect on and revise your assessment practices and processes in light of the EYFS reforms.

Network CPD

Lead Teachers will be facilitating Network CPD sessions with a child development focus to support the implementation of the reforms.

The sessions during terms 1 and 2 2021, will look at Assessment, Curriculum, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development and the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

The CPD sessions on Assessment will provide the opportunity to consider the Assessment Guidance in detail and think about what it might mean for your school or setting.

The programmes and dates for the Network CPD will be available for the start of term 1.   


You will notice that both the Assessment Guidance and the Summative Pathway refer to OPAL as a possible tool to support assessment.

Bristol Early Years will be hosting training and information sessions facilitated by Barnet Early Years Alliance who have developed the Observation of Play and Learning (OPAL) assessment tool.

OPAL sessions will take place on: (Dates are below for reference and further details for booking will follow)

  • Wednesday 8th September 4-5pm or 7-8pm
  • Monday 18th October 4-5pm
  • Thursday 21st October 7-8pm


Bristol Differentiated Early Years Outcomes (DEYO) has been updated and aligned to the Birth to Five Matters non-statutory guidance. The draft updated document is currently being reviewed by colleagues and settings with the aim of it being published on the Bristol Early Years Website by September 2021.

The EYFS reforms are an opportunity for reflection -“Evolution not Revolution” – and we look forward to supporting you on your implementation journey. Please continue to link with your Lead Teacher and your Area Consultant for on-going support.

With best wishes,

The Early Years Team


Deborah Brown - (General Enquries)
Dawn Butler - (General Enquiries)
Nicola Theobald - (General and Nursery School Enquiries)
Sharon McDonald - (Childminder Enquiries)