What does the removal of the Technology strand from the EYFS curriculum mean for Computing?
The new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is due to come into force in September of 2021, with a few marked changes.
Many will have noticed that the ‘Technology’ strand has now been removed from ‘Understanding the World’ and has not been replaced with any updated guidance. This has caused confusion amongst many teaching professionals who are now wondering whether we should still be teaching Computing in the Early Years or whether the subject has been deemed as unimportant or unnecessary for Reception children.
Should we still teach Computing in the EYFS?
Yes! Computing and technology are still vitally important subjects to deliver to Reception children. Not only will teaching a well-planned Computing curriculum ensure that children enter Year 1 with a strong foundation of knowledge, but Computing lessons in the EYFS also ensure that children develop listening skills, problem-solving abilities and thoughtful questioning — as well as improving subject skills across the seven areas of learning.
We live in a technological world and there is no escape from the reality that technology is integrated into the lives of young children. Just as we ensure the children in our care are ready for the adult world by teaching them maths and literacy, we should also make sure that they are fluent in computer literacy and all-important e-safety.
Is Reception too young to teach Computing?
Computing in Reception doesn’t mean typing out a Word document or creating a code. In fact, teaching technology in the Early Years doesn’t have to involve computer work at all.
Our Computing scheme for the EYFS is centred around play-based, unplugged (no computer) activities that focus on building children’s listening skills, curiosity and creativity and problem solving.
Technology in the Early Years can mean:
- taking a photograph with a camera or tablet
- searching for information on the internet
- playing games on the interactive whiteboard
- exploring an old typewriter or other mechanical toys
- using a Beebot
- watching a video clip
- listening to music
Allowing children the opportunity to explore technology in this carefree and often child-led way, means that not only will they develop a familiarity with equipment and vocabulary but they will have a strong start in Key Stage 1 Computing and all that it demands.
How can we assess Computing without guidance?
Although the technology strand has been removed from the EYFS curriculum, there are lots of other assessment opportunities that arise from delivering a well-planned Computing scheme. Our Computing lessons are largely cross-curricular with strong links to communication and language, mathematics, physical development and the characteristics of effective learning in particular.
As you work through the lessons within and complete observations for each child, you will be able to gather evidence towards the relevant Early Learning Goals (ELGs) for each area of learning. Our scheme includes questions to consider and things to look out for as you complete your observations and assessments of the children during each lesson and ‘next steps’ are included with every plan. These will work together to help you to decide upon a best-fit picture for each child and will ultimately inform the Reception end of year profile when the child is assessed as ‘emerging’, ‘secure’, or ‘exceeding’ the ELG. While there is no longer a specific technology strand, the skills learned in computing lessons will ensure progression across all other subjects.