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Coming out re the Foundation Stage Profile

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by debbiehep, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    The letter was also accompanied by a CD of examples of evidence - the usual ott photographs, word-for-word statements, post it notes - oh well he we go again!!!!
     
  2. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Not happy with the "threat" included twice in the letter but don't feel upto "rocking the boat" ...

    Stopping thinking about it now - Eurovision Song Contest will be on shortly and that will keep my mind FULLY occupied ...!!!
     
  3. I have reason to believe that we are seriously rattling some cages.

    Good.

    So we should.

    The immediate issue for me is that we have raised the advent of the TES early years petition with Lord Andrew Adonis and Alan Johnson and both departments have tried to swat this aside with bureaucratic responses stating that they have consulted widely about the EYFS.

    The issue was, however, that we are asking for discussions about this and DRAWING ATTENTION to the considerable dis-ease of so many practitioners - people with different philosophies and different settings but with similar concerns about developments and expectations in the early years.

    So, we continue to ask for discussions and we continue to describe our experiences and our views, feelings etc. on these threads.

    Meanwhile, I am going to start a loose organisation to provide an umbrella under which we can all express these views more collectively and more officially.

    I need a sensible name for this organisation and I would like this to reflect a group who wish to come up with an alternative, practical vision for the way forward.

    We need a re-think, even a 're-birth' of our working conditions and the manner in which we are treated, policed, monitored, told what to do - and we need to develop that concept that I keep batting on about - UPWARDS EVALUATION.

    Some of you are now describing being braver to raise your issues in these moderation meetings and amongst colleagues at school. More people need 'to bother' to do this.

    But we need, at the same time, to draw attention to moderators, advisers, senior managers, Ofsted inspectors, the DfES, politicians, ministers, bureaucrats, union leaders, that we mean business - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    The basic premise is that we expect to be respected in describing our issues and complaints and we need to be taken seriously.

    No government can purport to be a 'listening' government if it tries to swat its ordinary professionals to one side with bureaucratic letters. This will not do.

    I may sound irreverent (OK - there is no 'may' about it) but I keep drawing attention to the fact that politicians are there to REPRESENT US, not to rule over us.

    So, we would like representation and we would like to be HEARD in the first instance.

    One or two of you have contacted MPs etc. and have got some response of sorts, but now I suggest that we put ourselves into an organisation which will provide us with a more organised and cohesive group.

    Anyone interested?
     
  4. Furthermore, I wish to get hold of someone's evidence for their profiles which gives us a model of just what is involved in the many observations.

    Who has literally undertaken the mammoth task of post-its, photographs, per child per profile point?

    I recently saw one person's file and I was gobsmacked. The time that this lady must have put into her evidence file was unbelievable. This is such nonsense. I argue that her time would have been far better spent on practical matters and interacting with the children instead of observing and recording such minutiae.

    Remember that we all observe virtually all the time and that this informs our normal, general practice.

    I am going to cut and paste two recent postings on the Reading Reform Foundation message board which relate to this thread.
     
  5. CUT AND PASTED FROM THE RRF MESSAGE BOARD - WRITTEN BY ME:

    "I urge all early years practitioners to put down their clipboards and post-its and spend the time that would normally be spent on formal 'observations' to evidence the Foundation Stage Profiles to engage with the children instead.

    This engagement can be through more structured group and class routines and through more individual interactions - but please engage rather than "observe".

    Observation takes place in any event virtually 100% of the time - the difference is that this is natural and normal practice and not practice based on fulfilling modern demands to fulfil national expectations of monitoring and evidencing. This natural type of observation genuinely informs practice in an ongoing way - the stuff of normal teaching and provision that has always taken place.

    Nowadays, the advisers seem determined to make all normal, routine practice into something high-faluting and scientific.

    We must all vote with our actions and return to our normal (perfectly good) practice - minus the clipboards."
     
  6. KELLY'S RESPONSE TO MY RRF POSTING:

    "I agree Debbie.

    In New Zealand they are currently bringing out a new assessment process (no doubt cost millions to put together, test and then to teach ).

    Basically what is expected is even MORE, yes MORE learning stories, observations and general recording of a 'snap shot' of a child's day. All used of course as evidence that the child is being appropriately taught.

    I have had many discussions with many parents about this and they think it is great! I have yet to convince anyone that:

    a) Surely the teachers role is to support, interact and teach children not be performing endless clerical duties (resulting in pretty pages for portfolios).

    b) The teacher learns nothing about the child by actually typing out the observation. What they learnt about the child was from the interaction and observation of the child.

    c) Potentially we will end up loosing the inspirational teachers (because they dislike the constant recording) and we only end up with teachers that can meet the clerical requirements of the job (and enjoy it).

    d) Any findings from the observation/interaction mean nothing, even if written down, unless those are put into action.

    I think the bottom line is: What is the best use of a teacher's time? If the Ministry of Education (in NZ) wish to have this endless paper trail they should give education providers more money for clerical staff.

    I think eventually the professional name of Teacher will need to be changed to Assessor."
     
  7. I could set up a website for our new organisation with an open message board.

    Please register your interest on this thread.
     
  8. The 'organisation' could take up the issue of things like local authority moderators using a tone which is unacceptable. Anyone who is happy could raise their issue through the organisation and then a communication could be sent out under that umbrella.

    This can be kept very polite at all times. It would simply be a process of expressing our views and the idea is that this is always undertaken as professionally as we can.

    Any other suggestions for the role of such an organisation would be welcome.

    For example, I know of people who have been bullied by those in various positions of authority and the union process has been found to be sadly wanting, and the bureaucratic processes, appeals, hearings, etc. are sadly wanting (to the point of being inept or even corrupt).

    These are serious issues where personnel can be badly let down by the very institutions which are there to represent their best interests.

    Hum...!
     
  9. http://juliangrenier.blogspot.com/

    Please scroll down to the article about the cost of the EYFS.

    I believe there is an issue of accountability as to how much the government and local authorities spend on glossy publications.

    We ought to do a count-up in our staffrooms as to the layers of publications, past and present, which we have been subjected to in the last decade.
     
  10. Personally, I am also very unhappy indeed about the concept (and flaws of philosophy) about the latest gifted and talented register and the accompanying guidance on this.

    Dearie me....so many flaws. Whoever thought of it may well have been full of good intention but it is not an acceptable development in my opinion for so many reasons which school personnel ought to discuss.

    What a can of worms it opens.
     
  11. I am absolutely in favour of the setting up of such an organisation. I think this a great idea. Teachers need to have the confidence to have their voices heard, unfortunately we have been led to believe that we shouldn't. Being able to send a message under the umbrella of an organisation many well give teachers more confidence.

    As an example, I am very cross with the treatment by an LEA advisor (very high up) of some of my colleagues. I now think that the LEA needs to be told how cross I am. But how do I go about this? I have begun to try and gain support from other teachers in my school. Perhaps if such messages could be send through a new organisation, this process would be easier, make more of a difference and give teachers more confidence to do it.

    Sorry, no thoughts on a good name yet.
     
  12. Thank you for your response!

    Keep thinking of a name etc. for this organisation. I shall definitely by putting this idea into practice.

    I do think that practitioners will gain confidence through an organisation but also, we are aiming to change the very teaching climate in which we work.

    An organisation will give heart to those many people who think they must comply to everything because it isn't worth making a fuss as 'nothing will change'.

    It will change if we do something about it.

    Not only that - it is our children who will become teachers in the future - we must pave the way for them to have a sensible and truly inspiring and supportive profession to join!

    Not an intimidating bureaucratic profession where people feel unappreciated, policed, downtrodden and exhausted.
     
  13. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Up

    We are getting somewhere? keep up the good work all.
     
  14. I find the pre-occupation with post it notes both hilarious and ridiculous. I have done all the profiles so far this year without using a single one. I have confidence that I know my children, that my systems for assessment (with appropriate observations) work because they feed my planning, and the children are progressing. What more do people want? Education needs to pop this bubble of ?this is the only way? and let us breathe. Creative teachers inspire creative children.
     
  15. I think it's high time more people like Debbie stood up and said what a ludicrous tyranny the early years observation/assessment bandwagon has become. In my early days as a nursery teacher I didn't write a single observation or post it note and formal records were more or less restricted to an end of year report - I'm sure some early years experts would recoil in horror to hear this. I honestly believe that the children I taught then had just as good an experience in my class as those I teach now - the lack of written observation didn't mean that we weren't noticing what they were interested in, discussing individuals and providing activities that reflected what we had observed. I and my colleagues were, however, much less tired and fraught, and had more time to make resources and improve the classroom because we weren't weighed down with crazy paperwork. We now have bulging files of stuff on each child, and despite what early years advisers etc say, there's no way on earth that the reception teachers are ever going to want to look at it. Even the most conscientious teachers really barely have time to keep this stuff up to date and have to work themselves into the ground to do it. I know it sounds like a lazy cop-out but I think it really is true to say that the most worthwhile way of passing information on the next teacher is by talking about the children. This obsession with observations seems partly to be nurtured by 'experts' who either haven't worked in the classroom properly for years, or whose experience is mainly in children's centres etc where the ratios are really good. To try and replicate this ideal in a normal state nursery class, let alone a reception class, is madness. We're having to do it to prove to the world that we're actually doing something, not just hanging out with a bunch of children playing. I know there are issues about the quality of practice in many early years settings, but why should this mean that all those who are doing a good, sensitive, positive job of working with young children should be subjected to this farrago of nonsense? I'm loth to say it, but I think the reason it's reached this pitch is because early years educators are overwhelmingly women - we are eager to please, don't like to rock the boat and go along with new things when we're told to do them- that includes a whole tranche of early years advisers too,many of whom are actually very careerist and have got where they are by being seen to be doing whatever is the latest early years vogue (see Reggio Emilia, willow sculptures, persona dolls, whatever). Every time I go on a course where you have to bring along examples of assessment or planning and someone proudly displays their carefully-thought out, intricate sheets I suppress a weary sigh - do we honestly think that all that stuff really makes a jot of difference to whether a child is happy at nursery and has a positive attitude to learning? Of course it doesn't - what makes the difference is kind, intelligent, sensitive people with the time to spend talking with the children and doing some nice things. Put more intelligent, well-paid staff into early years settings and stop the observation/post-it silliness.
     
  16. well said sinica - i usually only note down really major achievements, cetainly not the banal 'little ellie said goodbye to mum and hung up her coat' that i read from my feeder pre school.If anyone, even Ofsted, my headteacher or LEA advisors tell me to do any different i will fight my corner and tell them where to go....in the nicest possible way of course! with only 2 adults in reception its hard enough to cover all the curriculum , give the outside the 50% its supposed to have as well as mass observation.
     
  17. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    For a name what about
    rate my advisor .com

    Only joking!
     
  18. wow!
    i've only just come across this topic and all the associated threads, i never realised,(till now) that so many people feel the same as i do.
    i had a visit from my early years advisor just a month ago, she noted my concerns about the FS profile.
    when she visits again in september i'll speak to her again about them, maybe she'll get 'sick and tired' of listening to the same old moan and express her concerns to her team!
    debbie, well done.
     
  19. EVERYONE should read this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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