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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. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It gives me the creeps. I tell parents that it gives me the creeps. They all know that I'n clipboard-phobic.
  2. Nail on the head!

    we were once criticised for planning too many adult led activities, as this came from the LA the HT now thinks that any kind of adult 'lead' in play is too much adult 'directed' - there is a difference between the two, sometimes when you support child initiated play and extend skills then you need to lead in order to model and actally teach the skills that the children have requested or shown the need/desire for. How can we extend without our input and questions to take them in a new direction or train of thought? but my HT confusses this with adult directed as they only know tiny snippets of information that have been made by others in relation to a specific 'thing'.
    the HT observes the early years staff during a CD focused activity as requested by SMT, and takes over the lesson stating that they are not questioning children enough; they go on to ask constant non-stop questions related to number, 2D shape and basic colour without a thought for differentiation in accordance to the ability of the individual children, refusing to accept that sometimes children need silence in order to absorb their experiences and make new connections - apparently this is just an excuse that staff use to cover up issues raised. during an observation with a requested PSRN focus the HT <u>told</u> the children the answers to the different problems that had been set up and said staff were not supporting children appropriately (support staff were exploring childrens ideas, even though they knew the ideas would not work, they went along with them for obvious reasons an the HT took this to be the adults inabilty to solve the problems)
    it should be compulsory SMT are made to gain at least a basic knowledge of eyfs. my HT and DHT and all senior leaders have openly said "we know nothing about foundation stage" yet they continue to observe us and direct our performance management and in turn criticise what we do and advise us on how to improve because their "friend is a teacher in a fs unit and at their school they" . . . again, we need to cater for <u>OUR</u> children and <u>THEIR </u>specific needs, something that SMT disregard
    SMT should know how to support their staff in all stages of learning, they should know how to read data from all stages of learning and know what to do next in order to move froward, they should value all learning regardless of age/phase, they should give equal weight to every class within the school not just reception in summer term and year 2 & 6 continually. nursery is not valued in the slightest, they are not included in whole school events, they miss out on whole school treats, they do not get access to work with artists and language coaches like the rest of the school, they do not even get given raffle tickets for free prize draws held at xmas and easter, they are missed out on whole school photos and forgoten about when booking trips and ordering resources - what does that say the view SMT have on early years coupled with their request for only N2 childrens progress reports.
    for the eyfs to work we need:
    SMT who have a good basic <u>understanding</u>; who trust the expertise of their early years staff
    quality <u>resources </u>that support the <u>current</u> cohorts needs and interests
    appropriate <u>staffing</u> that takes account of the size of learning areas, the individual needs of the group and their levels of development, the types of activities/opportunities/experiences that we need to provide
    <u>time</u> given for non-contact in accordance with the total number of children a single teacher is responsible for; a single nursery teacher can oversee 52 - 60 childrens learning/files/assessments yet gets no additonal time to the reception teacher who has upto 30
    <u>less directed activities to do as ordered by SMT -</u> nursery teachers are expected to teach their part time children 5-10 minutes counting each day/daily collective worship/ daily story/ daily L&S phase 1 activities and weekly here i am, this directly contradicts their comments about 'too much adult directed'
    <u>access to training</u> - budget is focused at ks1/2 as this, apparantly, is of more use to the whole school (you would think the defination of foundation would be enough to justify benefiting the whole school)
    <u>penalties</u> for HT who disregard the statutory ratios and put pressure on the overloaded staff to just get on with it (lets face it nothing happens to heads, they pretty much get away with everything and shun their duty of care for staff)
  3. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Exactly - it's contradictions all along the road. Where's the rigour? Where's the consistency that the people who wanted the EYFS burbled on about when we, the lowly foot soldiers, are working under the iunstable direction of SMTs and HTs who live in fear of SIPs and targets and the whim of whatever OFSTED team happens along our way? Oh, and if you teach in an RC school, you have the burden of 2 1/2 hours RE a week for all full-time pupils. Must be hell to organize in a nurtsery where some of the children are part-time.
    I should say that I am now blessedly free of nursery responsibilities myself but feel keenly the frustration of my FS1 colleague.
  4. <u>"penalties</u> for HT who disregard the statutory ratios and put pressure on the overloaded staff to just get on with it (lets face it nothing happens to heads, they pretty much get away with everything and shun their duty of care for staff)"

    This - and the rest of your posting - shows that we urgently need a mechanism of 'upwards accountability' so that we can professionally and routinely give feedback on anything and anyone in authority over the teaching/caring profession.
    This is not a new idea - and it is part and parcel of other professions and industry - why is it not in the teaching profession?
  5. Dear NellyFUF - join Early Education (www.early-education.org.uk) - a national children's charity founded in 1923 with Margaret McMillan as the first president and is a powerful voice for the rights of young children (birth to eight) to education of the highest quality. You are correct we must speak together.
    As I am sure you know Margaret McMillan thought that training was essential for those who work with nursery aged children and established the Rachel McMillan college.
    In your response above I am clinging onto 'cherish individuality' which is just what EYFS says - you need to feel confident in your beliefs and how you put the principles of EYFS into the daily experience of the children your work with.
    Please don't advocate 'ditch' the guidance - I am sorry you find it confusing - it is guidance so you can ignore it if not useful to you but many practitioners have gained a great deal from using it to improve their practice.
    Let's not wait to be 'consulted' - let's speak up clearly for what we believe is right for young children.
    Jane Cole, Early Childhood Consultant
  6. Hi Littleredbird - you sound like a really hard working and dedicated early years practitioner - but I think you are misinterpreting EYFS. I am sorry this has drive you to exhaustion - I hope you work within a supportive team and that together you can make sense of the 'requirements' of EYFS and how you plan to meet these. You are obviously feeling 'pressurised' - not quite sure if from your own senior leaders or external advisers.
    Your interactions with the children are the key to ensuring that the 'core values' - which you agree with - are part of the daily experience of your children.
    We are rightly ambitious for our young children - I am sure you are not 'failing' the children - but need to clear about how we achieve these ambitions.
    I know the children and parents will be giving you positive feedback and valuing you as their teacher.
    Take care of yourself
    Jane Cole, Early Childhood Consultant.
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    The confusion is so widespread that blame for it cannot be laid at the door of the thousamds of practitioners who are suffering because of it.

    Speaking up clearly for what we believe in?
    You don't have an anxious HT and SMT watching their backs in case OFSTED and SIPs turn awkward!
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Forgive me for saying so but you sound a tad condescending in your praise of Littleredbird.
    And then you go on to blame her misinterpretation of EYFS for the exhaustion she's feeling!
    Pressurised? Ha!

  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I've just read my posts and they sound a bit, well, rude.
    Self-justifying apologies aren't worth much but I think if you read all the posts on all the threads on this forum you'd begin to see how frustrated, harrassed, paper-drowning, threatened and mystified many EY practitioners are feeling- not because of their inadequate powers of interpretation!
    So my apology is qualified, I'm afraid. Still, I didn't mean to be rude.
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Some big names there, to be sure.
  11. When did EY teachers become demoted?? I've just been on a compulsory LA training day alongside childminder and level 1 nursery nurses where we were all treated as ignorant and patronised very thoroughly. I dont need telling to talk nicely to children and to throw away ripped books; I CAN WORK THAT OUT FOR MYSELF. A little advice on how to reconcile all the nicey- nicey stuff with the SIPS and SLT's demands wouldnt have gone amiss though.
    Essentially the profile is RUBBISH; ill conceived, illogical, contrary to any childs development I've ever seen and utterly useless.A monkey could achieve the maths points and some year 3's would struggle with the writing and KUW points.
    The other big issue is the vast gaping chasm between what SIO's and SLT's want and the early years bods are after. We are between a rock and a very hard place trying to please them both and, after 3 years in REception, that's starting to hurt!
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm sure you are aware that Margaret Edgington a key person with Early Education is actively opposed to EYFS... I'm afraid I'm with Margaret!
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Some highly respected EY names who have spoken out against the folly that is EYFS
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Yes, I know, and I'm grateful to them.

  15. I agree, we as EYFS teachers are on the whole developmentalists. As soon as a child hit the NC there is pressure. We know a child progresses thorugh stages, why does it then have to stop and be assessed more rigidly. There is pressure from nursery for us to be like them and pressure from NC. I teach in Reception and feel that there needs to a huge push on the appreciation of Early Years because without us there would be a greater level of disaffection and lower attainment. Agree with lillyput let us do our job!
  16. OMG we are like stalkers the children must feel like they are having a classroom observation. I am taking control, in Sept we will no longer do learniong journeys, stories, etc whatever they are called. I know the children, I know them just believe me!!! Does Finland need any teachers!
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    What, are they going out of fashion already? [​IMG]
  18. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    What about the Evidence confusion? It doesnt matter how often Msz posts Jan Dubiel's words, people are still confused and, more often than the High Ups realise, intimidated by demands for [in my HT's immortal words] Evidence! Evidence! Evidence!
  19. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I said ditch the confusing guidance. Not the whole curriculum.
    Like Stepping Stones Curriculum and the one before that with the Desirable Outcomes, the principles of EYFS have disappeared because the focus is always on Learning and Development - which is only one sixteenth of the whole document. (That is three differerent documents in let's say, 11 years).
    When it comes to assessment, we are assessing the developmental phase of that childn so that we can provide appropriately for them as next steps. Using this as NC type data is false and spurious.
    Most end up 40 to 60 months. Could have told you that by looking at their date of birth.
    We could just take personal and social development, emotional well being and involvement, and conflict resolution skills with phonic progress as the base line for end of reception. That is all that is needed. Nothing more. Nothing less. These are the indicators for sound future progess and well being.

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