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The New Development Matters

With the arrival of the new Development Matters and ELGs we have the opportunity to make much-needed changes in the Early Years.



There is a move away from collecting and analysing data and the associated tick lists. Instead the focus is on careful curriculum design, depth of learning rather than coverage, and on your knowledge of each child.

To support this, we are introducing a new approach for early adopters using the new Development Matters and ELGs.

There won’t be the option to tick Development Matter statements. Instead you will be able to ‘flag’ observations which relate to specific Areas of Learning, ELGs, and Checkpoints, as well as other descriptors e.g. Learning Behaviours, Motivation for Learning, and reasons to celebrate.


Screenshot of the flags you can add to an observation. The Development Matters ones have been selected.


This will create a bank of observations to refer back to that can be sorted and selected as required. If you’re interested in the thinking behind this new system, take a look at Ben Case’s article – Development Matters for Early Adopters on Tapestry.

You will also be directed to relevant reference material which can help you with your observations. This includes the Development Matters statements, ELG statements, and Checkpoints, but also a variety of other useful articles and videos which have been handpicked by our education team.


Some of the reference material you will be able to find within observations.


In place of the traditional assessment screens for EYFS, we have created an ‘Areas of Concern’ section. This will allow you to easily refer to observations you’ve made for each child in each Area of Learning and record whether you have any concerns about their development. You can also reflect on their progress and record any thoughts or questions you have.


Judgements for a child in the 'Group View'.


The timeline feature will show when a staff member has recorded judgements, whether that’s confirming that they have no concerns, saying that they do have concerns, or triggering a more in-depth review to look at a child’s development, perhaps with some assistance from a colleague or manager.


List of judgement made by staff members about this child. Goes from the default of 'no concerns', to 'review' to 'concerns'.


By recording concerns in this way, teachers, key workers, SLTs and managers will be able to see the children who need support, and where they need that support, ensuring that each child’s development and progress is considered regularly.

There are two versions of the ‘Areas of Concerns’ screen – the ‘group view’ version, which will show you lots of children at once or the ‘guided view’ which will ask you to look at one child or Area of Learning at a time. In both you can easily see the relevant reflections and observations.


Guided view of the Areas of Concern screen, asking how the staff member feels about the child's progress in Communication and Language.

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