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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by debbiehep, Feb 27, 2007.
oops, sorry, forgot to say - the letter's in Nursery Ed
No I haven't inky, but I will.
The point you make in post 116, soft, about children not even having to be in school, is my big bugbear. It's good to hear someone else saying it.
Nice one inky. We did try giving our parents address labels so that they could contribute to the profiles but they never did. In fact they never really look at them at all.
My sister in law got two huge profiles for each of her children and they had been in two day care facitilies..... she just looked at me hopelessly and said "What am I supposed to do with all this?"
Have just printed out post 81 to give me strength at FSP Moderation Meeting this Wed. THanks Debbbie.
Am also considering asking advisors if they know what parents think of the tracking - after all our School Effectiveness Form asks us to detail how we are responding to the needs/ wishes of parents!
Do the parents really want us to track and analyse their child's life in such detail? I think not, its really rather 1984. I reckon parents would like teachers, TAs and NN to interact with and teach their child, not sit with a clipboard wearing a tiara (anyone seen THAT video!?) writing down how their little one's next step is to 'understand the cultures and beliefs of others'.
Have already 'come out' re not tracking all Nursery children against the stepping stones as our LEA suggests. This promptly got written up as an 'area for development' on my last moderation feed back. Apparently (so I was told) its not sufficient to be tracking Nursery children against points 1,2, and 3 of the profile... how would I be able to say whether or not a child was progressing normally (they asked)?
Apparently a degree in child psychology, a PGCE in early years, experience as a FSP moderator in another borough, daily conversation with other practitioners and my professional judgement don't qualify me notice if a child isn't progressing.
No, these days we need 500 odd stepping stones, at least 3 highlighters, a pack of postits, a digital camera, and designated 'observation time' to realise a child needs to work on 'managing their own personal hygeine'.
God forbid my pink highlighter runs out the day before moderation. What if they discover Billy can count to 6 and I've only highlighted him up to 3?!?
And now to bed, before lightheartedness turns to cynicism!
Please lets speak out at our compulsory FSP moderation trainings. We have a forum.
Imagine if this craziness continues for another 5 years. That's thousands of kids being denied quality teaching and interaction time. And hundreds of FS teachers stressing over cross referencing useless and often meaningless profile points. And year 1 teachers having to read it/ file it. ANd parents feeling like Big Brother is watching their kids.
If we are educators, let us educate the children and let us educate the authorities.
nismat - your last two postings are really 'classics'.
I hope you feel inclined to post something like this (or these postings combined) when our 'blog' gets up and running.
I am inspired myself to read what you have written here.
I agree, good to know it is not just me feeling mad out here..
The stepping stones were for us to work out what stage of development children are at... and then to provide for them.. There is no suggestion that there are activities which will help them to progress faster, no targets, no idea that blue activities will be better for a child in the yellow phase... because these are developmental phases .. more properly milestones. You do not make a child older because you give them harder things to do. If a child in year one is still working on yellow phase activities then they should be given appropriate activities. This is the early years curriculum as the rescuer of our children.
Instead the stepping stones are being used as a tracking device, a target setting mantra which is a nonsense. The curriculum which is required by law, is that bit at the beginning which states that children should have equality of opportunity regardless of race, ability etc., should be treated as individuals, and have workers who understand early learning. Nothing more, nothing less. But we are being persuaded against our better judgement to do all this rubbish paper work which actively works against these value statements. In fact the early years curriculum is not being deliverd in any setting where the stepping stones are being used as an assessment tool. This is against the law.
Now education authorities are using the fsp to help with their target setting. Ours is looking for every child to get at least 6 points on the fsp.
How they gonna do that I wonder? They mutter about getting more help to inner city primaries which are not already doing this. Of course, some primaries can get all children to this standard, but guess which schools cannot?
Maybe they will build nice houses with gardens, or get rid of the drug dealers, close the pubs and offlicences, give out prozac to depressed mums, stop prostitution, deal with social isolation, etc etc.
Nice to think that early years teachers could deal with social injustice and societies problems in general....... so as to give young children a better start in life and in eduation.
But I suspect it will just be that schools below the standard of 6 points will get extra paperwork and IPS and targets, and collection of further meaningless information.
Went on a course today about observing and assessing for the FSP (it was mostly dreadful, wish I had had the courage to leave at coffee but never mind). Anyay, we had to brainstorm the different types of observations we could gather and the course leader suggested....
VIDEOING THE CHILDREN FOR PD!
Nearly fell off my chair in shock, took all my efforts not to shout out - are you CRAZY! She talked about one school where each Rec child had a folder on the computer, the teacher took short videos of them using the digital camera eg. throwing, running etc and them saved them all.
What a waste of time - what is he going to do with them when the chidlren leave Rec?
I had hoped to get tips for making obs and record-keeping more manageable and effective and instead as told this!
Phew, rant over!
Nice to have the technology yes? But I do think a tape recording of the children speaking and listening skills would tell all moderators what they need to know.
I agree that children should be observed.
I just think we are in danger of creating a mountain of paper that no one is interested in.
And I am just colouring in Assessment sheets and it is making my brain bleed.
I spent hours completing these last year as part of the final school report. Many parents told me that they didn't even look at them - all they wanted to read was my personal comments about the children. What a complete waste of my OWN time - I am so disappointed that the new EY document has not kicked the profile into touch! We don't even use the Profile as our LEA has it's own baseline which we have to use. We only complete the profile at the end of Reception so are just duplicating information for the sake of who exactly?
Reading some of the planning samples on the new EYFS website leads me to believe this is not going to improve!
Well Debbie I really tried!! The moderator came in today and I had photographic evidence and started talking about the children but she stopped me and said that she would have to come back as she needed to see observations to support my assessment. I explained that there was a national campaign to stop observations and evidencing the profile but she said that she was sorry but the County expect to see the evidence, in other words my professional judgement does not count. She is coming back next month so I now have to start written observations.
What do I do next? Comply?
Bombard the Ed Sec with copies of Debbie's statement together with our own objections?
Certainly we should take it further in the media, even though the danger of that is we'll end up with some strange bedfellows. Ridicule is a powerful weapon.
Now that is funny.
My evidence was lots of written observations, but alas for me, I had not linked to the stepping stones assessment nonsense, ie not put CLL5a etc etc,had to have an action plan. So the advisor (a different one ) comes back and shows me lots of photos from another setting with CLL 5a etc written on, saying, here this is what you need.
When OFSTED came in September I put all my assessments for moderation evidence in order staying up late in the night, did they look, bally didn't. They spent ages looking at my baseline assessments taking them as Gospel truth, but never once looked at the evidence, or a profile. I could have made it all up. Think I will in future. No one cares.
The assessments are too hard for my staff to grasp and they produce mountains of observations now, but we have lost sight of the basics in teaching, like writing our names and using scissors, COS we spends all day writing observations. Just like the Advisor ordered. Dear me. Loads of alcohol called for.
I have to say we had OFSTED last week and they were only interested in base line no evidence required which is just as well as we don't keep reams of it.
Seems from the new EYFS they dont want 'tick lists' tracking systems but surprisingly they don't explain how to do it.
If they don;t want tick lists ...tis only since we started these threads taking issue with them....