Art and design

Moving the Early Learning Goal Posts: Art & Design

Sep 16, 2021

Ah yes, I’d heard there are new Early Learning Goals. But D&T isn’t in the EYFS Framework, is it? Not explicitly, no. However, you will likely have been supporting your Early Years team with their expressive arts & design (EAD) and physical development (PD) areas of learning as precursors to your KS1 and KS2 curriculum area, so it’s important you are aware of the changes. As of September 2021, new Early Learning Goals (ELGs), drawn from the updated 2021 EYFS Framework are in place. The development towards these goals is explored in greater detail in the new non-statutory Development Matters.

OK, but presumably they aren’t that different? Not hugely, no!  The most up to date ELGs that connect to art & design are:

EAD: Creating with Materials

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used

PD: Fine Motor Skills

  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery.
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing

OK, that was easy! Anything else I should be aware of? Yes, just one other thing: the new guidance for EYFS practitioners has removed the ‘exceeding’ categorisation for the EYFS Profile. However, this is for paperwork purposes only – an attempt to reduce the workload of teachers – not a removal of the need to challenge and extend able children. The DfE explains: “Teachers will be expected to continue to identify and stretch more able children.”

In a nutshell… Support Early Years teachers to reflect on and implement arts education.

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