Induction issues: developing subject knowledge for colleagues new to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

    Published: 09 July 2020

    Welcoming a new colleague to the team is an exciting prospect. We can look forward to fresh perspectives and new skills that will enhance the provision we make and ultimately improve outcomes for our children. New colleagues will often come to us with EYFS qualifications and experience, but what is the best way to support teachers and practitioners who join us with different skills and bags of enthusiasm, but little experience of working in early years settings?


    Early Years practioner and child


    Friendly and bespoke induction

    As well as planning a warm and friendly welcome for colleagues and providing them with orientation information and essentials on safeguarding and health and safety, it is vital that you develop a bespoke induction offer with a focus on enabling each new colleague to settle in to your organisation and to start having a positive impact with children and families as quickly as possible.

    Helpful documentation

    It is important that you have documentation available to colleagues that gives clear guidance on your setting’s approaches to curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and so on. Make sure your documentation starts with the key information you want colleagues to know straight away, with detailed information later in the document for future reference. You may also recommend books and articles that articulate the practice in your setting. However, do remember that new colleagues are on a steep learning curve and will find too much information at the beginning unhelpful and forgettable, so check that you are not overloading them during the first few weeks.

    Online learning

    To support colleagues who are new to the EYFS or who have limited experience of working with young children, Herts for Learning has developed an online course called Effective teaching and learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

    The course consists of user friendly modules that can be completed at the participant’s own pace. These modules are drawn from the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and Ofsted requirements.

    The course is fully interactive and consists of slides, videos and animations to support effective learning. At the end of the course there is a set of multiple choice questions to complete to help participants assess their understanding of the guiding principles of teaching and learning in the EYFS. On successful completion, a certificate will be available to download and print.

    The aims of the course are:

    • to develop the knowledge and skills of Early Years practitioners to enable effective teaching and learning
    • to equip those new to the EYFS with an understanding of the principles of effective teaching and learning in the Early Years
    • to support leaders as a training tool for the whole EYFS team
    • to provide an accessible and flexible distance learning tool

    Upskilling the wider learning community

    As well as practitioners working directly with children in the EYFS, the online course will be of huge benefit to middle and senior leaders who have had limited experience in early years. This CPD opportunity will enable them to successfully monitor and support improvements across the school or setting. Equally, new committee members or governors will find this training useful in fulfilling their statutory functions of supporting and challenging schools and settings on their provision and outcomes for children. Schools that subscribe to Herts for Learning Governance Services will automatically be able to access the online course. This is also a great opportunity to enable volunteers in your settings to really have an impact as it provides them with high quality training through the course modules.

    Taking the time to invest in high quality induction and training will show your colleagues how much you value them as new members to your team and will pay dividends as they quickly learn effective ways to help children to become happy and successful learners in your setting.

    Effective teaching and learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage

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