The aim of this book is clearly stated as being a support for practitioners who have to deal with the introduction and implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
The chapters are easy to follow with good practical examples throughout. The chapters are divided into an introduction on the area of the EYFS being discussed e.g. what physical development means for children, followed by a section which puts forward the practical aspects of the awareness of what this means for the child/children.
All of the material is very clearly headed throughout, making it easy for the practitioner to access the information they are looking for and how it is linked to the EYFS principles. Within chapters there are useful headings such as specific scenarios, look, listen and note, planning and resourcing, home links etc.
Some of the chapters have a questions section which is specifically aimed at the practitioner, to reflect upon and question their own practice and understanding. Whilst this is a good idea, I do have some concern that where questions are related to practice there could be a situation whereby a practitioner psychologically uses this format to justify their own poor practice, or is unaware they have poor practice. I therefore think it would be useful if such questions required the practitioner to discuss their answer with their mentor or colleague.
One particular area which is covered by the book that rarely appears in other books is thinking about and using equipment and materials along with a section on equipment and materials in practice. The emphasis is very much on the practitioner using the equipment and materials with the children and not just leaving them on a shelf and hoping the children will take them away and play with them.
Also in this chapter an interesting point is raised regarding the fact that there is no legislation in the UK which states that early years provision must have an outdoor play area. It only states that there should be access to outdoor play, for example a local park or green space. However, in spite of this, the point is made within the chapter that the most important aspect of this type of play is the way the outdoor space is used by the children and staff.
Overall this is a very useful book for both practitioners and students who need to update their knowledge and practice of one aspect of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Nurse, Angela D
Physical Development in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Routledge, London (2009)