Bridging the Gap in Early Years Education

A recent report on the state of education in the UK from The Times was fairly damning, particularly regarding EYFS. Despite a gradual increase in early years spend-per-pupil since 1990, it still lags significantly behind other educational funding (primary, secondary, further, and higher education).

There are huge questions as to why this is when the early years are arguably the most crucial point of development. Perhaps this is something underestimated in the UK, in that the majority of funding is put into the academic prowess of upper age groups.

The Finnish Model

That said, money is not the only issue here. The report contains glowing praise for Finland’s model, in which children do not start school until aged 7. In the meantime, Finnish nurseries are a place to explore rather than simply absorb and regurgitate information. Children spend their nursery years outdoors in the forests and woodlands, learning things that they would ordinarily learn in the classroom in completely new and exciting ways. Children learn about shapes, sizes, and fractions simply by looking at leaves, pinecones, and needles for instance.

Further on in the report, it says that ‘[n]o other developed country’s teenagers sit as many high-stakes tests as ours do and the focus on academic attainment has unbalanced the system.’ Essentially, the UK system is focused only on what brings academic success, and this ethos seems to be in place from an early age. The spend-per-pupil increases with each age group, which emphasises that the aim is to get students into university rather than ensure they feel a sense of belonging in the world.

The focus should in no way be diminished elsewhere along the educational journey, but early years needs to have more of a voice in the discussion. 1decision’s early years programme recognises the importance of early intervention – children in their early years can’t thrive and adapt with the bare minimum. Our EYFS programme is built with this in mind, allowing children to enjoy their early years. This doesn’t have to be to the detriment of learning anything – quite the opposite in fact.

How our EYFS programme makes a difference

Our EYFS programme allows children to immerse themselves in the joy of reading. All the while, a sense of empathy is encouraged, as our EYFS characters, the Rainbow Drops are found in relatable situations. Best of all, these books are accessible in multiple forms – hard copies, Kindle versions, read-to-me moving picture books, and animated picture books. With this, we cater to an array of learning styles.

This variation is crucial in how we move forward with Early Years education in the UK, as no two learning styles or preferences are ever the same. Furthermore, each child will undoubtedly have different needs. Take for instance one particular story called ‘Why Does Purple Play Differently?’, which helps children to understand autism. You can view a brief snippet of this particular storybook here.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.