How To Follow Development Matters In Computing

Written by Dan

In today’s education world, integrating technology into the early years of learning is crucial.

As a result, following Development Matters in computing is essential for educators and early years practitioners to ensure that children develop the necessary skills in line with their overall development.

The Development Matters framework guides for educators to understand how children’s computing skills can be developed in the context of the EYFS .

By implementing Development Matters in computing, educators foster children’s growth in various areas, including personal, social, and emotional development, physical development, and understanding the world.

This holistic approach ensures that children will be well-equipped for the technological challenges they will inevitably face in future educational stages and the world beyond.

Key Takeaways

  • Development Matters in computing offers valuable guidance for educators in the early years.
  • The framework builds computing skills while supporting overall child development .
  • Implementing Development Matters prepares children for future technological challenges.

Understanding Development Matters

computing development matters

Key Principles of the EYFS Framework

The Development Matters document is an important part of England’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. It outlines the key principles and goals that early years practitioners should aim to achieve in children’s learning and development.

The EYFS framework is built on four guiding principles:

  1. A Unique Child: Every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent through secure and supportive relationships.
  3. Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
  4. Learning and Development: Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates, and all areas of learning are equally important and interconnected.

by following these principles, early years practitioners can effectively support children’s learning and development in computing and other areas.

The Role of Early Years Practitioners

Early years practitioners have a crucial role in implementing the Development Matters framework. They must be able to:

  • Observe children’s interests and progress: Continuously monitor children’s development to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Plan activities and experiences: Design learning opportunities catering to children’s needs, considering their competencies and interests.
  • Support children’s learning: Offer appropriate guidance, encouragement and resources to help children explore and develop their skills.
  • Assess and record development: Use observations to evaluate children’s progress, making informed decisions about their next steps and experiences.

Practitioners should have a comprehensive understanding of the Development Matters document to ensure they provide the best learning opportunities for children in their early years.

By closely following the principles and guidelines outlined in the EYFS Framework and Development Matters, early years practitioners can create a supportive, engaging and enriching learning environment for children’s growth in computing.

Curriculum and Assessment in the EYFS

Curricular Themes and Educational Programmes

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework provides a comprehensive curriculum for young children, focusing on seven key areas of learning.

These areas are categorised into two groups: Prime areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Communication and Language) and Specific areas (Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts and Design).

One aspect of Understanding the World, which is relevant to computing, is the development of children’s computing skills.

This involves fostering algorithmic thinking, understanding patterns, and logical reasoning, among other abilities. The Development Matters guidance offers an overview of the skills and milestones practitioners should aim for when delivering the EYFS curriculum.

Educational programmes in the EYFS are designed to help practitioners provide activities and experiences that adhere to these learning areas.

For instance, the document by Twinkl highlights how computing subject leaders can understand which statements in the Development Matters document contribute to children’s computing skills development.

Assessing Progress and Developmental Checkpoints

The EYFS framework advocates for continuous assessment through observation and structured learning activities to track child progress and ensure a solid learning foundation.

Educators should keep records of each child’s development, using these observations as evidence to support planning for individual needs.

Developmental checkpoints are crucial for assessing progress in the EYFS. The Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in the EYFS statutory framework and the Development Matters age ranges for three and four-year-olds demonstrate which goals and statements are most relevant to computing.

These checkpoints serve as benchmarks for educators to evaluate and plan for a child’s learning journey.

As stated in this PDF on Building Foundations in Computing, it’s essential to determine which statements and skills are prerequisites for the subject, ensuring a smooth transition into the Computing National Curriculum.

This approach is vital for the holistic development of early years pupils, preparing them for more advanced learning in later stages.

By using the guidance provided in the EYFS framework, educational programmes, and developmental checkpoints, practitioners can confidently and effectively support children’s development in computing, while also monitoring their progress and addressing their individual learning needs.

Engaging with Parents and Community

Effective Communication Strategies

To effectively follow Development Matters in Computing, it is crucial to establish strong communication with parents and the community.

Regularly updating parents on their child’s progress helps to maintain a positive relationship and encourages involvement in their child’s learning journey. This can be achieved through multiple channels:

  • Newsletters: Send out regular newsletters to inform parents about the curriculum and activities planned for the Computing classes.
  • Parent-teacher meetings: Schedule parent-teacher meetings to discuss the child’s progress and address any concerns.
  • Online portals: Implement an online portal where parents can access information about their child’s progress, view class materials and receive updates.

Additionally, information-sharing sessions and workshops can be organised to educate parents about computing subject matters, showcasing their importance in today’s world.

Community Resources and Support

Involving the local community can provide additional resources and support for following Development Matters in Computing. Schools can collaborate with community centres, libraries, or organisations promoting digital skills to create a cohesive learning environment and foster enthusiasm for computing among children.

Some strategies include:

  • Guest speakers: Invite professionals from the IT industry to share their experiences and knowledge with children, parents, and educators.
  • Workshops and clubs: Partner with local organisations to offer workshops and clubs focused on computing outside of regular classroom settings.
  • Volunteers and mentors: Engage local community members with expertise in computing as volunteers or mentors to support the learning process.

By combining effective communication strategies with community resources and support, schools can successfully follow Development Matters in Computing, creating an enriched learning experience for children in the early years foundation stage.

Approaches to Early Years Learning

how to follow development matters in computing

Promoting Active Learning Through Play

Active learning through play is a critical aspect of the early years computing education. It encourages children to explore, experiment, and engage with technology in a fun and interactive way.

Incorporating play in the computing curriculum not only helps in the development of skills, but also fosters the three main characteristics of effective learning: playing and exploring; active learning; and creating and thinking critically.

Allowing children to experiment with various devices and technologies can stimulate curiosity and enhance problem-solving abilities.

For instance, using mechanical toys, such as wind-up toys, can help 22-36-month-old children acquire basic skills in operating ICT equipment, while 30-50-month-old children can learn to operate simple equipment like CD players and remote controls.

Balancing Structure and Child-Led Activities

In the early years foundation stage (EYFS), it’s essential to strike a balance between structured activities and child-led exploration.

The Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage stipulates that all areas of learning and development are interconnected. To achieve an effective blend of structure and child-led activities, educators can use a combination of adult-guided tasks and open-ended exploration.

For example, teachers can introduce specific software, apps, or games with clear learning objectives, while also allowing children to explore these tools independently.

Through this approach, learners can develop both technical skills and the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning: strong pedagogy; subject knowledge; and professional behaviours.

To support the early years computing curriculum, educators can utilise resources such as Twinkl, which offers materials to understand the prerequisite skills developed in EYFS and how they feed into the national curriculum.

By promoting active learning through play and balancing structure with child-led activities, early years practitioners can effectively follow Development Matters in computing, ensuring that children gain the foundational skills and competencies necessary for their future education.

Preparing for the Next Stages


Transition to Reception and Primary Education

It’s essential to prepare children for their transition from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Reception and Primary Education effectively.

This process involves supporting the continuous development of computing skills, which are fundamental to success in modern-day education. To facilitate a smooth transition, early years practitioners should engage children in activities that promote their:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Understanding and use of Basic Computing Concepts
  • Communication and language abilities related to computing.

A helpful approach to implementing this is introducing age-appropriate activities incorporating computing concepts alongside the EYFS curriculum.

For instance, children can be encouraged to follow instructions as part of their personal, social, and emotional development.

Longitudinal Support and Tracking

Longitudinal support and tracking are critical aspects of fostering the continuous growth of computing skills as children progress through primary school.

By closely monitoring students’ progress using a well-structured framework, educators can identify areas where support is needed and ensure effective interventions are implemented.

The Development Matters guidance offers comprehensive information on milestones and age-appropriate outcomes for the various aspects of the EYFS curriculum, including computing.

Educators should keep track of each child’s computing abilities by regularly assessing their:

  1. Knowledge of Computing Concepts: Including, but not limited to, algorithms, coding, and data representation.
  2. Practical Skills: Using and navigating devices, software and digital applications. Exposure to computing-related activities and relevant 2020 Development Matters statements can help in both delivering targeted learning experiences and evaluating children’s progress throughout their educational journey. Regular assessments will enable teachers to adapt their approach, targeting specific areas where children may need further support or development.

By preparing children for their transition to reception and primary education while focusing on longitudinal support and tracking, educators can ensure that their students are equipped with essential computing skills to succeed in today’s digital world.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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