Early Years Update 31.8.21

From: Ask CYPS <askcyps@bristol.gov.uk>
Sent: 31 August 2021 13:37
Subject: Early Years Update 31/8/21


Dear Early Years Leaders in schools,

We hope all is well with you and your teams and that you have had a restful and well-deserved summer break and are feeling ready for the term ahead.

We wanted to share some key documents and information that have been published over the summer break in case you haven’t seen them and to make sure you have them available to inform any discussions and planning that may take place at the start of term.


 ‘Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak’ was updated on August 27th. Please see link below:


CO2 monitors.

As you may have heard, it is being suggested that all Education settings will be provided with CO2 monitors to help identify where ventilation needs to be improved and help prevent the spread of COVID. We will be in touch as soon as we know more about how and when these will be delivered to individual settings.


The EYFS reforms become statutory from the 1st September 2021. The Bristol Early Years website is a useful source of information and support for all settings. Planning for the EYFS Reforms | Bristol Early Years

Development Matters

A number of small amendments were made to the revised Development Matters on 29 July. Please note that these are minor changes and if you have already printed the version that was uploaded on 23 July, there is no need to re-print the document.

The changes made on 29 July include:

  • A typo correction on page 19
  • Formatting incorrect line breaks on pages 26, 33, 41 and 78
  • Removal of duplicated text on page 54.



The DfE and the National Children’s Bureau have produced a new vodcast on implementing the EYFS reforms that has been published on the Foundation Years website. The vodcast shares messages from the DfE and early adopter schools talk about their experiences in delivering the reforms and how they have changed their approach to assessment under the new EYFS. This vodcast delivers important messages about the new EYFSP assessment, including discouraging an overreliance on data collection or the creation of tick lists to track progress against each distinct ELG throughout the reception year, as well as on the importance of professional judgement and discussion when making assessments and basing this on knowledge of each individual child’s overall development. This vodcast will be helpful for schools as they prepare to adopt the reformed EYFS from September.

A summary document to accompany the vodcast can be found here.


Assessment in the 2021 EYFS

The Bristol Assessment Guidance was updated at the end of last term together with some useful assessment documents for making and recording assessments. 



OPAL Training 8th September at 4pm

Free training to support schools considering using the OPAL assessment system is taking place on September 8th at 4pm and 7pm – Zoom details to follow asap.



Ofsted have produced updated guidance for EYFS in schools:




The reception baseline assessment becomes a statutory assessment in September 2021. The purpose of the reception baseline assessment is to provide an on-entry assessment of pupil attainment to be used as a starting point from which a cohort-level progress measure to the end of key stage 2 (KS2) can be created.

The reception baseline is not intended to:

  • provide on-going formative information for practitioners
  • be used in any way to measure performance in the early years, evaluate pre-school settings or hold early years practitioners to account
  • provide detailed diagnostic information about pupils’ areas for development

Reception baseline assessment – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


If you have any questions, please contact the reception baseline assessment helpline on 0330 088 4171 or email receptionbaseline@nfer.ac.uk



Bristol’s SEND Local Offer is the central place for information about services for children and young people with special educational needs and disability in Bristol. 



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)