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EYFS training

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by maggieDD, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter


    I've been working as a primary TA for several years now and recently graduated with a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies. The school where I work are offering the opportunity to apply for a salaried position on their train to teach programme. I have had so many conflicting thoughts about this, on one hand I love teaching and can't imagine doing anything else, on the other hand, I am fully aware that the role of a TA and that of a teacher is very different and listening to other teachers as well as comments on various forums, most teachers are beyond stressed and don't advise anyone embark on the career! This is due to the huge workload as well as the issue of schools becoming 'test factories'.
    My head has asked whether I'd be interested in EYFS training, which I would. I would be grateful for any advice on how EYFS and key stage teaching differs.

  2. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    EY is a very different to KS1 or 2. It is supposed to be much more child led, although there are schools where this is not the case.
    in EY the curriculum is taken from Development Matters, although this is not designed to be a tick list. it is a very useful document which you could look at as a starting point, plenty of good ideas in it.
    teaching in EY is very demanding in terms of childrens maturity, they are still very young and they can be very needy.
    I would try to visit a range of EY departments/classes and see them in action. I presume you have been and spent time in your school's EY class?
    Sillow and Kartoshka like this.
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    In KS1 and KS2, you start with the learning objective; then you look at the children and see how you can help them to achieve it. You will usually work with a group of children on a teacher-planned activity.

    In EYFS, you start with the child: what is he interested in, what can he do, where does he need to go next; then you think about how you can use his interests to motivate him to make those next steps. You will do some work with children in small groups, but the majority of your time will (or should) be spent observing children in their play and supporting their self-chosen activities.
    Sillow likes this.
  4. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I'm an experienced qualified teacher, having previously taught the full KS1 and 2 range. This is my first year in EYFS. I LOVE it! It's so different! My reception class are brilliant, I love the ideas I can have for teaching (they love Mr Thorne's Phonics!), I love the activities we do (even something as simple as putting out a sheet of white paper and a load of crayons to see what they come up with), I love the way we can change the timetable on a whim and go off into the playground just because there's a rainbow outside and the children are excited and then we come back in and I find a song about rainbows and we spend the rest of the afternoon singing and painting rainbows...

    Sorry, got a bit excited!

    In comparison, I have enjoyed teaching KS1 and 2, but now I've taught EYFS I don't know if I could go back. It is generally more rigid further up the school in terms of timetable, marking workload can be higher (yes, EYFS stick lots of things in and make lots of notes and do observations, but I'd rather do that than mark 30 long pieces of writing in two different-coloured pens), differences in abilities can be wider (could have children working at Year 1 level up to Year 5 level in, for example, a Year 3 class), behaviour can be more extreme (there's no way any of my reception class would even take it into their heads to go off on a jaunt around the school).

    Yes, teaching is hard. Yes, EYFS is brilliant. Go and speak to the EYFS teachers in your setting about what they do, try and go and be in there for a few days, take a look at examples of EYFS planning etc. Only you can make the decision, so try and get as many of the facts in your current setting as you can.

    Good luck!
  5. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    Sillow! What a breath of fresh air you are! You are the first person to talk with such positive animation about teaching (and I've spoken to many people about it).
    I have some experience of working in EY, as a TA and also on my own during wet lunch breaks. I have to say I find the children considerably more accommodating that those in the year 3 class where I currently work! And you're right about everything being exciting!
    I had a long chat with the current EY teacher and I have to say she didn't inspire me at all. Like you say, everything's an observation, cutting sticking, evidence, etc - but I thought at the time - surely that's still less arduous than marking 60 books (maths and literacy) every night? Not only that, most of my time in year 3 is spent trying to maintain a level of behaviour that's conducive to learning!
    Thank you for giving me some food for thought. I just need to get on with teaching myself GCSE biology so I can actually apply now! :)
    Sillow likes this.
  6. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    You must have got me in a good moment ;)

    There are some of us teachers who still mostly enjoy what we do! Saying that, there are parts to the job I don't like and teaching is HARD, but I am in a school where expectations are mostly reasonable and that helps a lot. That's why I said find out about your school because there are differences.
  7. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    The problem is, I work for an academy trust and I would not be training in the school where I am now - it could be one of the four other primary schools. The EY teacher in my school has warned me of other primary schools EY telling me they've lost two EY teachers in one year due to the school's management not being very good - this has worried me!
    Really, until I apply and (hopefully) get offered a position I won't know where I'll be going...
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Well, you can choose to teach where you want once you've trained. So if you find that the school you are in, or the academy trust, isn't for you, then you can apply for jobs elsewhere. On the other hand, you might just find the perfect school whilst training.

    I'm in my third school and was at two different schools during my training. So, five schools to find one that I feel happy in. :) (Or that could just be the joy of teaching EYFS!)

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