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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by debbiehep, Feb 27, 2007.
yes I whizz through and tick too
I totally agreee with all that has been said and ido not write post its or waste my time standing and observing the children as i have too much teaching to do. My problem is we have another ASR in 2 weeks time, now do i play the game to avoid special measures and say why i don't use post its and show the other assessments i use? or spend some weekends making up my observations? The ASR inspectors are not the airy fairy Early years advisors but might have beeen told thats what they need to see as evidence?
It would also be helpful if you wrote professional reports - perhaps which I could collate for you all to pass to ministers, describing your practice, the pressures you feel under, the pressures you are put under for what you consider to be over-the-top and unnecessary practices. Perhaps in these reports you could describe what you feel you are being prevented from doing which you think would be time better spent.
It might also be helpful if you were to post some or all of these reports, or at least post on the message board that you have sent a report to me, so that others can appreciate what is going on to support our protest.
If you don't do any of these things, I shall just look very foolish and will be wasting my time 'coming out'
Debbie, I like the idea of these reports and will put thought into compiling one. Thank you for saying that you would collate them and pass them on to appropriate ministers. Before I sit down and do so, would any particular style be useful or as it comes, straight from the heart?
I hope that others will respond to this and that you will never 'feel foolish'.
I'm not great at 'brevity' but brevity, I think, is the key.
Identify the issues upon which your report is based. There must be no 'wriggle room' for misunderstanding.
For example, is your issue that the FSPs are too detailed and inappropriate in the first place?
Or is it that the pressure to do the observations and evidencing is skewing your normal practice and taking you away from what you would prefer to do?
Perhaps start your report with a bullet pointed statement. Introduce it by saying that it is a response resulting from the long-standing unhappiness described and discussed on the TES early years online forum by a growing number of practitioners.
Follow this by a description of your own experience.
Conclude the report stating what you would like to see.
Personally, I want the FSPs scrapped and replaced by something which is extremely simple and appropriate for everyone - including those poor people who run local pre-schools and who get a few pounds an hour for their troubles. These settings, arguably, need to be given back to their communities! Far greater respect and confidence should be afforded to these people who are virtually volunteers.
All official expectations should be doable within work hours for everyone. They certainly are not as things stand.
Early years guidance has become nothing short of a cross between a nanny state and a police state. Why do we all have to have the same approach and to be accountable to other people's vision of early years provision?
re; post 61 - what are ASR inspectors? I've never heard of them before. I've been following this thread since it began and agree that the profile as it stands is too cumbersome, that a lot of the points are open to interpretation( and therefore too much variation in scorings between settings )and that the whole process takes me hours and hours and hours every 1/2 term. I've just received a letter from our moderators to say I will be receiving a moderation visit in the summer term. I'm mildly panicking because in the past I've just attended group moderation within our cluster. What's the 1:1 moderation like? They've asked for 9 pieces of evidence - 3 each for KUW, ED and DA.
Are you FS2?
I was moaning the other day about baseline assessments for FS1. With Ofsted looming the very next day and our HT calling for Evidence, my fellow FS1 practitioners and I were worried because we had produced a grid [unwillingly] that contained no reference to points on the scale of 9, as required by our EAL. When it transpired that the scale we had made up ourselves, based on our own judgment, matched the official version, my co-ordinator [knowing my aversion to the SSs and ELGs] asked me if I didn't think that justified the SSs.
Am I alone in thinking that, as justification for the SSs, this is a very circular argument?
Now, I have great respect for our coordinator and [if she ever reads this] I mean no offfence. But I couldn't help but wonder whether this wasn't a circular argument.
I do hope that if there are people reading this thread who are perfectly happy and supportive of the Foundation Stage Profiles and they are happy to do the observations and evidencing that they will feel comfortable to contribute their opinions and experiences also.
This issue is 'not personal' and it is essential that we can form an true reflection of a range of professional views.
I also hope to achieve the opening up of some minds.
You see, my suspicion is that many people nowadays are, in reality, both bullied and brainwashed and overawed by the paperwork and the advisory system.
I think, as we do hear now and again, some people have been relieved to hear that some of us oldies think much of what goes on in over the top and beyond common sense. It is barely doable and really, often, simply unnecessary.
The children are simple souls setting out on their journey of learning, learning, learning.
The most valuable gifts we can give them are a zest for life, notions of caring and respect, the concepts of fun and enjoyment and appreciation, but teaching, teaching, teaching all manner of everything for their sponge-like brains.
We are looking after them physically, we are caring for them emotionally and filling them with knowledge and skills. We are modelling how to develop and sustain relationships, how to enjoy the notions of order and not chaos and yet how to be relaxed, confident and creative in our activities.
If we, as adults, don't also enjoy these gifts through our everyday working lives and relationships, how can we really give of our best for these children? How can we be natural and instinctive and bring to bear all that we have ever learnt which may or may not be encapsulated in current prescription?
I suggest that we are bowed over and weighted down with nothing but a sense of big brother and how our settings and practice 'ought to be'. I suggest our time and activity choices are seriously skewed by complying with other people's visions of what is the most effective and appropriate practice for the under five year olds.
Not the best scenario in my book.
So, who runs a household exactly like yours? My homelife seems quite unique. I know of no family like ours. I am pretty sure I do loads wrong as a mum, grandmum and wife. But we're happy. It suits us. Lots of activity, love, creativity, not enough chores undertaken efficiently - who cares?
Who is to judge us. It works for us. I would like to change some things, to make some things better, more efficiently run, time balance changed and so on. But we are happy and growing as individuals and as a family.
I am trying to make a point but I don't know whether I am making sense to anyone else.
I wouldn't want anyone telling me what to do and judging me. My sister sometimes throws in a little advice and I go, I know, yeah, yeah, yeah, but we carry on regardless.
Would we pass muster by government standards? Hum?
Thank-you Debbie, we are being "moderated" soon so we are reviewing the reams of stuff and evidence,so many photos to show little so and so achieving his /her highlighted statement! I find the PSHE statements a pain. WE don't do much of the post it bit, we have a targetted group each day during choosing time to focus on a CLL or MD staement and the rest just fits in with planning or anecdotal obs. Sometimes the information is useful as it really highlights some individual needs but it is so time consuming... Also we are in a school with difficulties so the big stick gets down to us, books scrutinised for AFL, layered targets, grids etc. Hello! Some of us are still four years old!! It's all about "playing the game" and people like you should be blazoned in lights, but until EVERYone stands firm against all of this (and so much else in today's education) it's a hard battle to win. Best wishes anyway I hope TES pick up on this one in the light of the latest report re four year olds in school full time
NASUWT has been asked to look at this thread and the others which are growing.
I think there's also a knock-on effect in private nursery schools. A friend runs an idyllic, very over-subscribed school and was taking a lot of children who came via social services. She made the point that's been made so eloquently here - ie how can you devote time to the children if you are constantly doing paper-work, observations. I don't know if she's given up and is now only taking children whose parents can afford to pay - she certainly didn't want to. Have moved from the area so never heard the final decision. But there must be others.
I quite agree with your friend! Surely our job is to educate these youngsters and help them to become motivated independent learners, and we can't do that if we're wrapped up in paper work. We are the children's most useful tool, yet we are being forced to distance ourselves for the sake of providing sufficient evidence to back our judgements. Hello!! We are supposed to be recognised as professionals, shouldn't that 'professionalism' count for something?
I watched a programme on Teachers tv yesterday that really depressed me. Don't know if anyone else saw it, but it was about 'nursery' schools in Sweden. And I now want to go and live there.
Children allowed to settle in one group of adults and children for those important first few years, and adults not under pressure from above to tick boxes and make and write endless observations. It really struck me when they mentioned their curriculum document being a slim booklet. Slight contrast to ours.
Having read many of the posts on here, I am feeling slightly better. Debbie, I really admire you for doing this. Thankyou. Am off to find a Swedish dictionary.
Didn't we once have a slim blue booklet when the jargon was 'Desirable Learning Outcomes'? Was this about ten years ago?
Has anyone still got this booklet please?
If so, can you have a look at it, read it and see what you think of its contents and then let us know.
I'm still pondering upon this notion of 'non-compliance' with all this burdensome over-the-top rubbish, but wouldn't it be amazing if we could, between us, come up with something very simple as a basic agreement/guideline for early years practitioners?
Then, we could make it available as the 'alternative advice' to the government's, the local authorities' and the early years advisers.
If we all contributed to, and then agreed to respect the guidelines, then we will have worked as some form of democracy, arrived at a consensus and 'voted with our feet'.
What an amazing thought.
Anyone else like that idea?
I've probably got the DLOs booklet - compulsive hoarderer!!! I'll have a look - may be at school; in my mobile filing cabinet (i.e. my car boot); or on a shelf here!!!!
In fact, why don't we try to get hold of the slim booklet from Sweden?
Anyone got any contacts in Sweden?
It would be interesting, at least, to know more about it. I am fed up of these other countries being flagged up as 'the ideal' whilst we drown under ludicrous paperwork and observations/evidencing.
When I attended that recent local authority moderating session, nearly every other word of the early years adviser was 'justifying'.
I HATE that word. Why should we have to constantly 'justify' ourselves to anyone?
It seems to me that the word 'justifying' has different connotations than simply being 'accountable' per se.
Of course we are all accountable. But to what and to whom?
I am also a parent and grandparent as you know. I am horrified at the thought of my beautiful little one year old granddaughter being put under the microscope in the nursery she will soon be attending.
I went with my daughter for a visit the other day and as we approached, there was the practitioner outside watching the little 'cyclists' with a clipboard in her hand. Well, for her sake I wish she was snatching a moment to write her shopping list - of course she was observing and making notes about her charges.
For goodness sake.
All I want is that my granddaugher is well cared for physically and emotionally, and that she develops good relationships with children and adults alike and is able to learn, learn, learn.
This one year old is amazing. Her rate of learning and growth is staggering. When she is with her family, we are constantly interacting with her and teaching her new things which she loves. Of course she is touching things, putting things here and there, in and out, crawling and exploring, and you should see her funny attempts at trying to walk! She has clearly watched us all walking and when you help to take her weight, she lifts each leg up in turn (very high!) to try and propel herself along.
Would I want her carers to simply watch her from afar writing everything down for their records.
No, just get stuck in there and enjoy my wonderful grandchild. Help to teach her loads.
They should be able to help :www.swedish-chamber.org.uk/ and you can e-mail them via the site under 'Contact us'.
What a very, very good idea - and how sad that the DfES has become so bloated and Mr- Toad -like that it probably cannot help itself. I think this would be a brilliant way to show the media exactly how badly messed up things are and how damaging for children.
Count me in for developing 'alternative guidelines'.
People have been talking about moderation meetings and providing evidence to justify FSP points. Is this actually requied legally? Or can you say no to providing written / photographic evidence?
Yes, that dimned clipboard... and we are always so understaffed in local authority early years... who is interacting with the children while these observations are going on... no one.
They have stopped us teaching.
Our ISp advisor wants to see our maths assessments for key objectives for maths.. bet they won;t want to see the stepping stones grids and porfolio of moderation though. No one does, Not even OFSTED.
early years meets numeracy strategy. Crunch.
The curriculum is a slim document! It is. The required bit is just the values statement about giving every child the education she/he needs, partnership and equality of opportunity. The rest of it is guidance. It has been hi jacked for mad assessment purposes.
The unions do give guidance ..... thus, just do PSED and CLL language for thinking. Try doing that in an ISP school. We are not taking the unions' advice and we are not active in our own interests on this. Our advisors do not want to know about this.
I saw a kindergarten outing in Norway. Three year olds. In a cliff lift. Independent, well behaved, competent. They went to the top of a mountain and ran off into the woods with nets and collection pots obviously off near water...... wearing their insulated coats and wellies. What a contrast to our children! (I wanted to line them all up and tell them to be careful and tell the adults off).