Assessment for Early Years (EYFS) 2021 &
Development Matters 2020.

Our assessment and evidence products are perfect for use in Early Years settings. They can be used individually or become a powerful combination when used together.

Assessment for Early Years

Our NEW updated Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) assessment covers the range from birth to the Early Learning Goals (ELG). We have used the new EYFS 2021 Framework and the new 2020 Development Matters when developing this framework. Our Early Steps covers the seven areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Literacy
  • Physical Development
  • Communications and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

New Levelling Structure

The leveling structure of the new Development Matters document is different to previous frameworks and wasn’t designed with SEND in mind. It was however designed to reduce the burden on paperwork and assessment. The new Development Matters document has only 3 levels:

  • Birth to 3
  • 3 & 4 year olds
  • Children in Reception

The EYFS Frameworks adds on the additional Early Learning Goals (ELG). We have taken the decision to split the 0-3 into 8 levels, so that settings with pupils with SEND can show progress for these children and help profile their needs. There are 4 levels between 0 and 12 months, each covering a developmental range of 3 months. There are 4 levels between 12 months and 36 months, each covering a developmental range of 6 months.

B Squared EYFS Comparison Chart

Supporting Transition from Reception to Year 1

Our new Early Steps assessment framework is linked closely to our Engagement Steps, Primary Steps and Progression Steps. This means that when a pupil reaches the end of reception, and you use our other frameworks, the pupil will already have skills achieved in the other frameworks. This makes the transition of assessment data from reception to Year 1 easier.

As you asess a pupil in the Early Steps, the data will automatically appear in the Primary Steps, Progression Steps and Engagement Steps if the same skills are there. Teachers can review assessment data in the Primary Steps at the end of reception and decide the most suitable level to baseline the pupil on. The year 1 teacher will then see all the skills on that level the pupil has already achieved.

This also works between settings. If 2 settings both use Connecting Steps, with school A using Early Steps 2021 and school B using Primary Steps, school A can transfer their assessment data to school B. The schools don’t need to use the same frameworks, the system knows what data to transfer.

Assessment for ALL pupils in Primary Schools

To reduce workload and costs for schools, we are developing Connecting Steps to work for all pupils. We have created 2 new frameworks (Development Matters and Primary Curriculum) to allow Connecting Steps to be used in mainstream primary schools for all pupils. Our 4 frameworks for primary schools are:

    • Development Matters – for typically developing students working within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
    • Early Steps – for students working within the Early Years Foundation Stage with SEND.
    • Primary Curriculum – for students following the Primary National Curriculum working at age-related expectations (ARE).
    • Primary Steps – for students following the Primary National Curriculum with SEND working below age-related expectations.

Our new analysis platform being released later in 2022 will allow schools to combine the data for SEN and non-SEN pupils into a single data set automatically.


Connecting Steps

Connecting Steps is the most popular and effective assessment software for pupils with SEND. A wide range of frameworks that are built into Connecting Steps helps schools get up and running as quickly as possible.

Connecting Steps is the standard asssessment system for pupils with SEND across a number of authorities in the UK. The simple interface, powerful features and flexible approach to progress means it works for a wide range of pupils. Connecting Steps V5 brings even more features and now works on iPads and other tablet devices.



Connecting Steps makes recording achievements simple. As well as being able to record the skills pupils achieve, you can also record the steps as they work towards it.


Before pupils can achieve a skill, they need to engage. Connecting Steps can show the engagement levels of pupils and show the progress as engagement increases.


Connecting Steps makes showing small steps of progress simple. Progress can be shown in lots of ways, including engagement and non-linear progress. 

Great Feedback

Demonstrating progress for all our EYFS pupils, including those working at the lowest levels

“We’ve used Early Steps 2021 to help us identify where the different milestones within the revised Development Matters fall within the 0-3 years stage. Consequently, we have integrated the key steps from B Squared and those which feature in Development Matters, into our curriculum. We have now updated our curriculum ages and stages to reflect the B Squared levels. Having them broken down further also means we can illustrate progress for our pupils who are working at the lowest levels.”
Alexis Gardner, Assistant Headteacher – KTS Academy

read case studies

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Hard to Show Progress for pupils with SEND?

The new Development Matters is designed to reduce paperwork, it doesn’t support pupils with SEND.

There needs to be a balance when it comes to assessment and paperwork. It needs to be effective and make a difference. Teachers should not spend time assessing pupils more frequently or more detailed then needed. The new Development Matters has reduced the assessment content so that less time is spent completing assessments.

However, for pupils with SEND who are making smaller steps, it is now even harder to show progress using the new Development Matters. We have created additional levels with the birth to 3 band to help schools identify where pupils are working and to show progress. The samples below will give you an idea of how our assessment content looks.

Early Years Samples

Using our Older Early Steps?

We have created assessment frameworks for Early Years for over 25 years. When new guidance is released, we update our assessment frameworks.

If you are uusing our Early Steps 2012, you can upgrade to our new Early Steps 2021 at a discounted price. For more information on your individual price, please send an email to our sales team –

For more information on transitioning from our older Early Steps to our new Early Steps 2021, click on the link below.

Transitioning to Early Steps 2021 Guide


Evisense is a powerful evidence for learning system. The social media style interface for staff and parents is simple to use, but extremely powerful. Our apps for iPhone, iPad, android (tablet and phone) and Kindle Fire means whatever device you are using, you can use the Evisense app.

A number of features make Evisense the most secure evidence for learning system. A number of controls ensure data is safe and evidence can only be accessed by the right people. If you use Evisense and Connecting Steps together, you can link evidence to the skills in Connecting Steps. You can then view the evidence from within Connecting Steps.


It is quick and simple to capture evidence. Use the Evisense app to capture photos, videos or audio recordings. Tag the evidence to a pupil, add your annotation and click Post.

Powerful Evidence

When you add evidence, you can link the evidence to a range of aspects like EHCP outcomes, IEP targets and more. You can then filter the evidence across the whole school.


Share the evidence you collect with parents to help boost parental engagement. Schools can control parental access. It is up to you if parents can comment or add their own evidence.

Want to Learn More About Our Assessment Products for Early Years?

Click on the button to arrange a FREE online meeting to find out how we can help make assessment easier for your school

Book a FREE Online Meeting