Early Years Update 13/10/2021

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Early Years

An update from Dan Barton

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

Firstly, thank you to all of who've already circulated the new guidance we sent you last week to parents. 

However, some of the wording included in the original letter to parents may have caused some confusion. 

We've re-written the letter to simplify the guidance and hopefully ensure it's easier for parents to understand. 

I'd greatly appreciate it if you could circulate this new letter to parents which sets out the guidance but also explains why we've issued this clarification. 

Thank you.

Kind Regards,

Dan Barton, Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Updated letter to parents

Please download the updated letter to parents via the link below. This revised version of the letter clarifies the advice related to children aged 4 and under. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Cumbria DPH letter to parents and carers

Early Years Attendance Data Collection Wednesday 13th October 2021 – Action required

The Department for Education Early Years Attendance Data collection is required on Wednesday 13th October 2021 – please count the number of 0-4 year olds (Nursery children) in your provision on this day. If you are not available on Wednesday, please submit for Tuesday.

Please use this link to submit your information: Attendance Survey

Cumbria County Council have been asked to collect this information from you, the information is used to inform government departments on the impact of Covid 19.

The next data collection is week commencing 8th November.

Thank you for your continued support with this work.

Share a book every day – THIS WEEK and beyond……

Share a book a day

Thank you to all of you who have told us about what you are doing this week, it is really great to hear about all the FUN things you are doing. This is what you have told us so far:

  • Our story times will be recorded and shared with parents alongside photos and words capturing the ‘child’s voice’.  We have also invited parents to share photos from home, these will be displayed in our book area for the children to view and chat about.
  • A different book every day, each with accompanying story sack.  Asking parents to share them reading to the children on Tapestry. There will also be creative activities that be themed on the stories and we are turning the outdoors into a themed ‘We're Going on  Bear Hunt’ using all the outdoor equipment as props e.g. climbing wall as the cave etc. It should be a lot of fun, hopefully the weather will stay dry! 
  • Videoing ourselves reading favourite stories and posting to our private Facebook group every day next week. Asking parents to send clips of children enjoying a book at home (whether lone reading, being read to, bedtime story.)
  • We have set up a lending library to access a variety of books, invited parents in to share/read a story, made some story spoons, story baskets and story sacks.  Our preschool is making a visit to the library.
  • Invitations to play using the staff and children’s favourite children’s stories, having a PJ day and a teddy bears picnic. We are also going to do a competition on our Family app for the best photo of reading your book in a funny place.
  • A relaunch of our outdoor lending library, we have new books and props added for parents and children to take and return them when finished.

    Please do keep sharing your plans and experiences this week on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ChildrenandFamiliesInformationService or by emailing: childrens.information@cumbria.gov.uk

    For more information, please go to our Share a book every day web page.

Physical Development Skills Pack

We want children to develop the skills to move well and confidently. Providing fun, interesting, and challenging opportunities to support a child’s all-round physical development is key to a happy and healthy child.

This set of cards is based around skill progression within Physical Development and focuses on opportunities for children to develop their skills and knowledge by engaging in activities based around:

  • Music and Movement
  • Cooking
  • Weaving
  • Gardening

Each activity card breaks down the skills required into three broad sections with examples in each of possible activities, resources and opportunities which could be used to support children to develop their skills. There are no age bands assigned to the sections, as the focus is on where the unique child is developmentally in their own individual learning journey. The cards will be useful to assist practitioners in planning activities that are suitable for each child as they progress from mastering simple actions to more complex ones.

On the back of each card are a selection of supporting materials including home learning ideas, songs, stories, other resources, and useful links.

There is a blank template provided in the pack which can be completed for any area of the curriculum. This is for adults to devise their own sequence of skills for particular activities or use of resources.

The introductory webinar, four skills progression cards and blank template are available from the website here

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook

The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile remains a statutory requirement for schools in the 2021/22 academic year. The handbook has just been released to support Reception EYFS teams in making accurate assessments.

For further information on the EYFS reforms, you can view the YouTube clips on the Department for Education YouTube channel here

Early Years Developmental Journal

The Ealry Years Developmental Journal has now been updated along with guidance on how to complete it.  These documents are now available in the Professional section of the Local Offer- SEND in the Early Years.

Home Learning

Early Years

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'A sailor went to sea'. Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share: A sailor went to sea

For a range of fun activity ideas for children and families, please share What Can I Do This Week? This week's activities all involve yoghurt pots. Remember that the activities contained in this communication are for the week starting next Monday.

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday   Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday

Free sector event

The Nuffield Foundation are hosting a webinar on 20 October, 11.00-12.15

Early education and care: where next for an effective system?

This webinar will explore the role of early childhood education and care, how it has changed over the last twenty years and how it can be improved through changes to policy and practice.

Reminder about the Early Years SENCO Networks

We would like to invite you to attend an Early Years SENCO Network via Teams on either Tuesday 19 October or Thursday 21 October 2021.

  • Tuesday 19 October 2021 Session 1) 3:30-5.00 pm or Session 2) 6.30-8.00 pm
  • Thursday 21 October 2021 Session 1) 3-30-5.00 pm or Session 2) 6.30-8.00 pm

The session will include a focus on –

  • some relevant SEND updates
  • Observing and assessing children with SEND – a positive approach
  • Exploring tools to support children with sensory processing difficulties
  • Offering parental support
  • Finding out about portage and social care for children with SEND

There will also be the opportunity to discuss any queries and/or questions you may have with the Area SENCOs leading the meeting. Please note due to confidentiality we will not at this session discuss specific children by name, but we can answer questions around general issues, strategies, support, and inclusive practice. These SENCO networks are now county events which gives you the opportunity to meet with colleagues from across the county.

Please can you confirm your attendance with your name, the name of your setting and state your preferred date and time by emailing:

LIS.EarlyYearsBusinessSupport@cumbria.gov.uk by Friday 15 October 2021


Effective Communication training – the first of this 3-part training is Wednesday 3rd November 4:00 – 5:30pm. We will let schools and settings know before half term if you have a place on the Autumn training.

Developing Early Phonic Skills - Reminder about our Developing Early Phonics Skills training for all Nursery teachers and practitioners. This training is face to face. Places are still available.

Developing Early Phonics Skills

EY 103 A


3.00pm - 5.00pm

St Gregory and St Patrick’s Catholic Community School, Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, CA28 8AJ

EY 103 B


3.00pm – 5.00pm

Morton Community Centre, Wigton Road, Carlisle,


EY 103 C


3.00pm – 5.00pm

Outback Hall, Leven Valley School, Backbarrow, Ulverston, LA12 8QF


EY 103 D


6.00pm – 8.00pm

St Gregory and St Patrick’s Catholic Community School, Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, CA28 8AJ


EY 103 E


6.00pm – 8.00pm

Morton Community Centre, Wigton Road, Carlisle,



EY 103 F


6.00pm – 8.00pm

Outback Hall, Leven Valley School, Backbarrow, Ulverston, LA12 8QF


Please book the phonics training through School Development –

School Development Team

Tel: 01228 221354

Email: schooldevelopment@cumbria.gov.uk

Upcoming Events

Save the date


Thurs 14th - Barrow/South Lakes & Allerdale/Copeland PVI Manager networks 6:30-8:00pm

Tues 19th and Thurs 21st - SENCO networks (virtual) 3:30-5:00 or 6:30-8:00pm