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Invitation to write a two-side piece on the issues of the EYFS please contribute

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by adora, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. As a reception teacher I find it a real waste of time to be filling in the profile AND tracking documents on the ELGs/ development matters. Why do we need 2 separate assessment documents - if the profile is ultimately it then put all the objectives/ goals on it. If there are other things we are supposed to be assessing against then put them all together in one place and just give us one document to fill in.

    Not to mention the fact that the statements on themselves are so vague and wooly, I'd really like to see them made clearer.

    I'll have a think!
  2. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I think the recent thread about the grading of moderation is a good example of how LAs and Advisers have taken it upon themselves to misinterpret what is expected of them. There are clearly some sensible LAs (Msz's seems to be quite good from what she says) and others (I think Kent was the example) have gone quite OTT. Moderation is just one example, I think the issue is that so many points need to be clarified. The 80-20 misunderstanding is another one.
  3. colorado

    colorado New commenter

    The complete disregard for the way that many Reception classes are staffed - i.e. the LEGAL SITUATION where one sole, exhausted teacher is expected to run her class of 30 4 yr olds in the same way as a Nursery with a 1:13 (or better ratio). I speak from experience - It simply can't be done and something HAS to give. I'm blowed if that's going to be the children's learning!!
  4. To stop using the profile as a predictor of furture success...how can you say a 6+ in CLL and PSED predicts 5 A-C GCSEs...
    I like the DM and think this should be continued throughout primary education and not have seperate systems in KS1/2 from FS...make it easier to see that children are progressing then and have made achievements...would also be easier to adopt personalised learning rather than banding them into levels.

    I agree with the ratio aspect, I also think at school level the class teacher should be supported with a teaching assistant who has qualifications/experience of EYFS,

  5. Wow - such quick and specific response. This is excellent. Thank you so much.
    Keep your comments coming in and agree, disagree, add to and elaborate on these views. The thread itself will say it all. I then just have to sort out a sensible two-sider and make reference to the internet links.
  6. One of the major issues which need addressing is the workload, which at present is damaging teacher's work-life balance.Work-life balance has to be treated as a priority and if this means that some good practice, such as the compilation of learning journeys, has to be scrapped, then so be it. Better and smarter ways of working have to be found, which take work-life balance into account at every stage of planning and implementing.
  7. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Early years teachers and workers need a voice. Consult us. We are the carers and we are so dedicated and kind but we are not heard. A third of the primary school is Foundation Stage - who gets a third of the budget? A third of the staffing? Foundation teachers spend spend and spend again in areas of deprivation.(£600 plus last year!).
    Stop assessing babies. It is ridiculous. Stop expecting two levels of ? per year through nursery and foundation. No one is clear what this means and many good hard working teachers are being punished because they do not achieve the unachievable.
    Stop expecting over worked and drowning in paperwork nursery teachers to change everything for the whole of society. Take political agendas out of nursery education.
    Look at other countries and how well their children flourish - all without massive assessment. planning and paperwork.
    Get rid of conflicting advice - either give Early Years Advisors power or give it to School Improvement Partners. One or the other.
    Cherish individuality. Ditch the confusing guidance and the maze of official documents.

  8. I think that the EYFS combined with knowledgeable teachers and staff has the potential to be an excellent way of educating children under five. For it to work effectively and for teachers to be able to put the children's needs ahead of the need to collect evidence, the government needs to create a system in which teachers are trusted and inspectors and advisors are equally knowledgeable. The lack of consistency is damaging and results in written evidence being collected in duplicate and triplicate as insurance to prove that we are doing the job properly. We know that the EYFS says we do not need to write everything down but we still do because we feel that if it isn't written down the inspectors won't see it. There are no other professions that have to justify their working practice in this way. We are professionals and it is time for the government to recognise that we are also the experts. It must be possible to monitor provision whlst still allowing teachers to use their skills and training to give the children the type of education that the EYFS advocates. So many creative, inspired teachers are being stifled by the need to collect evidence. They need to be set free.
  9. If someone writes what you think, please still add to this thread - don't think 'that's been said already' - still describe that you agree with whatever the point is that has been mentioned.
    In this way, we can get a clear picture of the strength of feeling surrounding these issues. I'm still amazed that this thread has taken off so well and so quickly. Thank you for contributions so far.
  10. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    This is another area where LAs take different views. Guidance says one thing but our LA, and our SIP have said quite specifically that children with high overall scores in FSP will be expected to get a level 3 at KS1 and 5 at KS2.
  11. I'm not in EYFS, instead Foundation Phase. Reinventing the wheel is a big bug bear. If LEAs know that a topic/method of doing something works really well - why don't they share it with all schools in their area!
  12. This sums up my feelings also. I can't even begin to tell you the amount of my own time I've spent on learning journeys this year, countless hours and untold stress. I KNOW logically it shouldn't be necessary, that my own knowledge of the children and their learning is far beyond anything I could record and that I should only be recording the real 'wow' moments - but my experience of moderation etc. is that the supposed 'supportive process' does not end up being that at all, and I feel I need all the recorded evidence to back me up. Even within the same moderation process we received conflicting advice - the message the moderators/ advisors were saying was 'child initiated is paramount' but the exemplification materials given out at the meetings/ produced by our authority to show us examples of evidence were full of adult initiated/ whole class teaching examples!

    I was told I couldn't say that a child understood addition as combining 2 groups because my evidence for this was several examples of her using a ladybird spots addition game that I had put out (laminated ladybirds, some counters, some laminated number sentences). The child used this on several occasions and developed it to working with much higher numbers and writing her own number sentences. I didn't direct her to that activity or interfere with how she used it (though I had modelled it previously). She did it on a number of occassions up to weeks apart. It blatantly proved she could add 2 groups together, but I was told I shouldn't have awarded the profile point because she wasn't doing it in role play for example. Things like that drive me insane! I completely agree with the move away from tick lists and worksheets etc, I do believe in child initiated play (though hate the terminology) and using evidence for what the children can do inependently, but I feel that we're not allowed to use our own judgement. Sometimes (often) a child will not show you what he is capable of in his free play - particularly in PSRN I find, but you KNOW they are capable of it so you try to guide them to a game/ activity that is still fun/ playful but which will show their understanding of a concept for example, they show it, but it's somehow not good enough because they didn't spontaneously decide to do it themselves. That's madness surely?

    Sorry debbie, not sure if that's the kind of thing you wanted, just me whingeing!
  13. Thank you - it is EXACTLY what we need to provide 'evidence' of what is going on in reality. We need to say what is good and what we would be happy to 'keep' and we need to say what is unacceptable and undoable (and invasive into our private life's time).
    We need the details, the specifics of your individual experiences - to show how prevalent and pervasive the pressures and judgements are in reality.
    It could well be that we need to change the climate and judging, simplify the FS profiles and all the evidencing and clarify the difference between what amounts to a fair-enough TRAINING document rather than turn documents into undoable JUDGEMENT documents.
    Think of it from the government's perspective. They are not practitioners, they are politicians. The trouble is that their 'advisors' are usually people who want everything to be complicated and impressive-looking to justify their experience and their existence. I think many of these advisors are well-meaning but miss the point of early childhood provision and relationships. They seem to want to make a science out of common sense things - to make a 'business/management' model out of a nurturing scenario.
    The sophisticated thing to focus on for advisors and managers should be the OPPOSITE - that is SIMPLIFICATION.
    That is, working out ways to simplify systems focusing on high-quality training to raise awareness, for example, of children's learning processes - but NOT teachers' observing, evidencing and the judgements and moderation of all that time-consuming stuff.
    What we need is to give the government some solutions taking the best of what exists already, and rejecting what does not work for us.
    It is not 'whingeing' - I assure you many people have similar experiences and feel pretty much the same way - but I do want to hear from those people please.
  14. Hi Debbie - who invited you to do this? are you sure that they will take notice?
  15. Schools Minister Nick Gibb invited me to do this. No, I can never guarantee that anyone will take any notice - but that's no reason not to try.
    I set about forming a viable lobby group with the Reading Reform Foundation ten years ago and it was Nick Gibb who met with me, listened fully, did his research and totally championed synthetic phonics to the extent that David Cameron use the SP words in his third pre-election debate speech!
    The thing is, the more people who support this, the more likely that it will be taken notice of.
    That's why I'm inviting TESers to make their contribution.
    We have also seen our early years threads referred to in official commentary in other media - so it's definitely worth having your say.
  16. I think child initiated learning / learning through play is crucial for children in FS.
    However I feel the EYFS profile is too much hard work and is just a number crunching and data analysis exercise. It DOES NOT inform Year 1 teachers of their new children's learning as KS1 is very different and the scale points are sooooo wooly. The profile all sounds good and nice written down but in reality is a nightmare to manage and does little to assess children's true abilities. A child who is extremely talented in music for example will not get points 7 or 8 because they are not talented in dance, role play, art AND storytelling. Simply madness. You would be hard pushed to find someone at degree level to show aptitude in all those areas. That's just one example of how the scale points are very misleading.
    The pressures of assessment that the EYFS brings means that teachers are spending most of their time panicking about getting evidence and observational assessments that they lose sight of what the children can really do and are unable to stretch their learning.
  17. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I have only spent a year in FS to date (back in Sept - can't wait) but I did feel that rather than collecting loads of evidence from observation and post-its (my own pet hate) I could have sat down for a chat every half term with my TA and updated the eprofile just as accurately by using what we knew about the children rather than by wading through paperwork.
  18. I agree with all the above but my current bugbear is reading recovery!
    As Early Years Teachers we are told (as a statutory requirement) to to teach synthetic phonics and my experience is that this is a fantastic way to teach reading. However not all children pick up the blending/segmenting element in reception - this should not be a problem - they don't all walk or are potty trained at the same time but if they can't read by the end of reception they need to be 'recovered' and this means ignoring a consistent approach to phonic teaching and using multi-strategy cues that only serve to confuse them in year 1. In a few years time they will have no real reliable data to fall back on as this has really clouded the issue and (in my lowly oppinion) done a real disservice to those children who have been subjected to 'recovery'. PLEASE let us get on with our jobs and stop interfering just because the standards agenda frightens you - believe it or not some of us actually believe in what we are doing!!!! Sorry rant over - just fed up of all the different messages and 'advice'.
  19. Sorry about the typing mistakes - been a really long day!
  20. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Yes Reading Recovery is a nuisance. Imagine struggling to teach phonics to reception, class of 27, single handed, only to find one or two children are selected for reading recovery in year one, and are given a teacher dedicated to this... imagine how well they would have all done if that other teacher had been allocated to reception in the first place!
    Letters and Sounds being used as a programme to teach reading !!!!!!! And used militantly. When results actually dropped using it as opposed to Jolly Phonics and Sound Buttons. Switching advice over three consecutive years around teaching reading!!! What nonsense!
    In our authority reading recovery only addresses the children who are very likely to recover.. not the really difficult to teach children. What nonsense!!!!!
    No wonder standards are falling and falling.

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