Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms

Email dated 04.03.2021


To all Nursery School heads, Lead Teachers and the EY Central team.

 Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms

 Dear Early Years Colleagues in Nursery schools,

As you know, the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework will become statutory for all EYFS settings from September 2021. We all recognise that changes to the EYFS present a challenge at this time, but DfE guidance maintains that the reforms are to go ahead as planned. The Early Years team is keen to work with the sector to reflect and review what we know works best to support our children and families and build on the existing strong practice across the city.

Since the start of the 2020/2021 academic year we have been busy learning from the schools that signed up as Early Adopters of the new EYFS framework so that we can support all settings, schools and childminders to implement the new statutory framework from this autumn. In essence, it is our understanding that the key aims of the reforms include workload reduction, an increased focus on communication & language and narrowing the gap.

EYFS Reforms briefings

There are briefings planned for May 2021 to support the implementation of the reforms as well as a programme of in-depth CPD in the Autumn term.

The briefings will look at changes to the statutory EYFS framework as well as considering the two non-statutory documents; Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters. Briefings will also include the key messages from these documents and from Ofsted in relation to assessment, as well as guidance from Bristol Early Years.

All briefings will be facilitated via Zoom, links and more details to follow. The briefing will be repeated on each day below, so you only need to attend one.

EYFS reforms briefings

PVI settings and Nursery schools:


Wednesday 19th May 10.00am – 11.30am or 2pm -3.30pm

Thursday 20th May 4pm – 5.30pm or 6.30pm – 8.00pm



Due to changes in the statutory framework we know that assessment and what this might look like in practice is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

  • Bristol Early Years assessment guidance is being updated to reflect these changes whilst still retaining an ethical and developmentally appropriate approach to assessment.
  • A Bristol assessment tool with a clear format to support the recording of summative assessments will be provided that could be used by schools, PVI settings or childminders to give an overview of progress and attainment for children.
  • Over time we will also be auditing some of the resources that have already been developed by Bristol, such as the Bristol Characteristics of Learning and Differentiated Early Years Outcomes (DEYO) to ensure that they link well with the new framework. 


CPD sessions during 2021/2022

Professional knowledge and understanding of child development is a key aspect of the new statutory framework. To support this, in-depth CPD sessions are being planned for the next academic year around the following areas:

  • Prime Areas of Learning
  • The Characteristics of Effective Learning
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Assessment

We welcome your feedback on what may be needed to support your Early Years teams.

Bristol Early Years website

We would also like to draw your attention to a new page on the Bristol Early Years website that provides links to key statutory documents and other supporting materials and will be added to as more information becomes available.

Planning for the EYFS Reforms | Bristol Early Years

For further ongoing support and sharing of ideas, please continue to link with your lead teacher and with colleagues from other settings through local network cluster meetings.

Best wishes,

The Early Team


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