Moving the Early Learning Goal Posts: Geography

Sep 16, 2021

Ah yes, I’d heard there are new Early Learning Goals. But geography isn’t in the EYFS Framework, is it? Not explicitly, no. However, you will likely have been supporting your Early Years team with their understanding the world (UW) area of learning as a precursor 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 new ELGs that connect to geography are:

UW: People, Culture and Communities

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps

UW: The Natural World

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter

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 geographical exploration.




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