In a previous post I mentioned the threat to play based learning. It is beginning to look increasingly like it is to be expunged from the early years with Nursery World reporting that the “Development Matters” non statutory guidance has disappeared from the DfE website. This guidance was produced by Early Education at the launch of the new curriculum framework last year was welcomed by Sarah Teather (Children’s Minister at the time) and the sector. It has become evident that Teather’s successor, Elizabeth Truss favours a more traditional, didactic approach to the teaching of young children so further erosion of exploratory learning and a developmental approach to learning in the early Years seems to be on the cards.
All may not be lost though. Nursery Education in England has a long history of campaigning for the rights of young children and there is a large body of evidence to support the developmental, play based approach. This is one area where the real enemies of promise (Truss, Gove and Wilshaw) cannot be allowed to prevail. “Development Matters” is still available for download from the Early Education website.