A Comparison of Early Years Curricula in England and Scotland with a Focus on Planning and Assessment

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In this essay I will outline the curricular systems for the 0-5 age group in England and Scotland. I will examine in detail the planning and assessment provisions of these systems which allow early years practitioners to gain insight into children's learning and to aid them in that regard. I will draw comparison between the practices of these two countries where possible, and provide criticism of each.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was implemented in England in 2008 and applies to all children aged 0-5. This new curriculum combined existing government ideas regarding the care of under 5s including the 'Every Child Matters' (ECM) policy: children's services have to respond to 5 outcomes for all children from birth to 18: being
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The main goals of EYFS are to allow all those who work in the Early Years to comply with the ECM policy and to provide 1st year primary education teachers with information regarding their progress prior to their entering the primary system. The statutory framework for EYFS states that 'Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process' (Statutory Framework for EYFS – DCSF, 2008, p.16). The assessment process is one of the key attributes of the EYFS and is used to determine strengths and weaknesses that children may have in their learning and therefore to plan appropriate activities that will encourage them to achieve learning goals. The culmination of this assessment-feedback process is the EYFS Profile that is generated for each child at the end of their pre-school period.
Individual institutions conforming to the EYFS may track progress of children under 5 measured against the government mandated 'Early Learning Goals' (ELGs) in a variety of ways, as appropriate to the needs of the child. All institutions must submit the profile to their local authority prior to the child's entry into year 1. The profile's main purpose is to inform year 1 teachers of the capabilities of the child before they enter school so that they can effectively tailor their lessons to the needs of the child, even before meeting them. Prior to the introduction of EYFS, it was still required that data of a similar type to that contained in the Profile be

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