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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. Please, please keep your descriptions of your 'realities' and your comments coming in.
    I promise you that the more evidence we have, the more effect we shall have.
    I am sorry to be cynical, but I can just imagine the officials visiting those types of foundation settings and nurseries where the personnel thrive on the paperwork to define their professionalism. In other words, the more paperwork, the more they feel important as if they are doing a better job than little paperwork.
    Of course, many of us would suggest that the more paperwork, the more likely that children are being neglected when they could have had more supervision and attention with more pairs of hands.
    I realise that the summer holidays are fast approaching, but this is a wonderful opportunity to have your say to back up the kind of things I shall write for the review - representing YOUR collective views and experiences.
     
  2. This is a crucial aspect of the EYFS, yet I'm concerned that some adults working with young children are unaware of the importance of this principle. I'm working at a private day nursery over the summer before I start my NQT year. Most of my time is spent in the pre-school room in which the children are 3 and 4 years old. One of the daily routines in this room is show-and-tell time, which involves the children sitting on the carpet, often for over an hour, while they listen to the other children talking about items they've brought into nursery to show everyone. This time is often chaotic, which isn't surprising; it's far too long to expect the children to sit still and listen. I was talking about this to one of the adults in the room, who only works a couple of days a week and whose background is as a secondary TA. She insisted that the children need to learn how to sit still so they're ready for school, and claimed that it's impossible to allow the children too much time for free play because "they'd never learn anything."
    My point is that training opportunities should be implemented to ensure that everyone understands children's stages of development and how they learn best.
     
  3. Any adult that expects children to sit for an hour - especially doing 'show and tell' which is usually extremely hard work - knows very little about tiny children with or without training!
    Equally, however, I think that people would be surprised that children can sit for longer than the 10 minutes often suggested when they are fully engaged/engrossed with the focus activity!
    I appreciate the 'show and tell' is one of those traditional early years activities which has seemingly gone on forever and which some people may now decry.
    There's the old 'fine line' argument, however, that very often children do enjoy bringing in some inane object from home to talk about - and then they often stand there pretty speechless.
    But - it is a good opportunity to give individuals a chance to gain experience and draw courage to say a few words to others collectively if done well and sensitively.
    Perhaps the secret is to do a little bit of 'show and tell' regularly but with restrictions on how long each session takes and how many children get to show and tell at any one time.
    I would imagine that ten minutes is ample for this type of activity - but done 'well'.
     
  4. PS - Have you addressed this issue with the TA?
    You are going to need to be very brave in this profession - which may often require you to address things which are uncomfortable with other professionals and the children's parents - and the children themselves.
    The bottom line is that you need to put children's interests first - and it is all too easy for us to be cowardly inside (including me on occasions) rather than face up to what needs facing up to.[​IMG]
     
  5. I don't deny that show-and-tell has the potential to be a beneficial experience for many children, and I also agree that children at the age of 3 can sit for longer than people assume if they're sufficiently engaged. For example, I've witnessed these same children becoming engrossed in books for as long as half an hour, so it's not a case of them being unable to maintain their attention.
    [quoteuser="debbiehep"]
    PS - Have you addressed this issue with the TA?[/quote]
    I'm only working here as part-time relief staff over the summer, so I'm not sure whether it's my place to question the routines (even though I can see that they don't always work). However, I'm sure I'll be much braver when it comes to issues in my own classroom [​IMG]
     
  6. LOL!
    I agree it's easier to be brave as you get older and more experienced - but even I have chickened out on many an occasion. It's hardest of all to be brave with people you have to work with day in and day out.
    Good luck in your own classroom. You'll be great!
     
  7. [quoteuser="debbiehep"]Good luck in your own classroom. You'll be great![/quote]Thank you very much, I do hope so! [​IMG]
     
  8. Surely what children at this age need is time spent with them rather than time spent collecting evidence to support government targets! As a Nursery teacher I find it increasingly frustrating that more and more of my precious time is spent filling in forms rather than sitting with the very children with which the government wants targets raised - utterly demoralising and frustrating! Funds are being cut and staffing levels are at a bare minimum yet more data needs to be collected - how does this work for the individual needs of a child? These children do not need staff who are preoccupied with box ticking - they need people who are giving them their full attention, loving and supporting them as they explore the world around them.
     
  9. I totally agree - as do many others! Thank you for adding to our voice![​IMG]
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Debbie have you seen the EYFS review
    http://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1727&external=no&menu=1
     
  11. Yes - many thanks.

    I shall be contributing via the process as provided as an individual - and I shall be contributing with my 'two side' piece in an endeavour to represent general views.

    However, PLEASE, anyone who is not happy with any aspect of the EYSF (or is happy with particular aspects), now is YOUR CHANCE to have your say.
    We know that at least some politicians are very aware of the tick box obsessive observation and evidencing culture that has arisen - and so they need to be supported if they wish to make changes.
    There will be other people who like the notion of the early years being seen as very 'professional' (paperwork and philosophy driven).
    I think it is ALWAYS WORTH having your say - especially when there is a process inviting you for your genuine thoughts, experiences and observations.
    HAVE YOUR SAY![​IMG]
     
  12. Many many years ago when I worked in a playgroup we found that the majority of the children developed as expected. We got to know them really well through playing alongside them and interacting, persuading them gently to try new activities and TEACHING them things like drinking milk from a beaker, using the toilet independently, sitting quietly to listen to a story, waiting their turn for equipment, saying sorry or please or thank you. When we spoke to parents we could talk about their children's likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses without any bits of paper because we really did know them.
    Occasionally there would be children who stood out because they weren't developing as they should be or they seemed to be way ahead of others of their age. THESE were the children we observed specially, and made notes about, and changed our provision to try and help them, before alerting parents and involving other agencies.
    What is wrong with saying that most children are "average", good at some things, needing more time to develop other things and saving the clipboards for the children who need extra help? I'd love to see them getting that extra help in Nursery or Reception class when we can all tell they're going to need it - but that's another thread!
     
  13. I totally agree with this statement from joymills. I am a reception teacher and very often find that whatever play experiences I can set up for the children many of them want to learn! Not all, but the majority of them have been desperate to read and write, they are excited, motivated and enthusiastic. I have had boisterous, adventurous, lively children sat in the writing area writing their letter sounds because they want to! Little tongues sticking out in concentration, showing me what they have done with an immense sense of pride, because now they can do it better than yesterday!
    I love play based learning, I love the outdoor element of the EYFS, but I love teaching the children more formally and seeing their pleasure in their achievement. My class get excited when its a phonics session and take great pleasure in their own learning. Formal lessons aren't long, the children themselves dictate the length, I know when they are ready to move on.
    I know that I am lucky with my catchment area, I tend to have supportive parents and the children have usually been to a good nursery. I have only had two EAL children in two years, bu tI do not believe that EYFS has been set up to stop teaching, its surely all about giving the children what they need.
    One of my big bugbears though is the number of staff in a Reception Class, I am lucky to have a full time TA, but if we want to get through adult led creative work, small group work, supported child initiated play, hear readers, teach phonics and also have free flow then another pair of hands would be a massive help.
    I also agree with one of the early comments about the highlighted sheets for development matters not progressing clearly onto the early learning goals, one of our early years advisers has adapted them for us but its just an add on really.
     
  14. Two great new postings - both of which I totally agree with.
    I, too, think we should be noting the children who are at both ends of the scale rather than go into the minutiae of every child and every thing for every area of learning. I, too, think there is nothing wrong with noting that children fall within the average range of expectation and development.
    I, too, think we should be spending our time an energy on the children themselves and not the paperwork.
    Anyone who has worked in an early years setting knows that it is a full-on job in very practical terms - seeing to a large number of children and all their needs - collectively and individually - and all the sorting out, cleaning, tidying, organising, planning, sweeping - you name it - that needs to be done.
    Phew! If the setting is one adult only like some Reception classes, or one adult down for someone to do the observing and recording, then that is a massive reduction of manpower to care for the children.
     
  15. dislikes:
    • the pvi sector say they dont see the paperwork as overwhelming which instantly makes the maintained sector look like the preconcieved 'teachers who get 13 weeks holiday, 9.00 start and 3.30 finish, as just having another moan'. It has not yet been mentioned in the press that the pvi ratios are almost half that of a teacher with qts, the ratios are an utter joke - how can the pvi be compared to the maintained sector when we work under completley different circumstances - their staff have equal responsibilities for overseeing childrens files - when teachers have poor quality support from staff who are oblivious to EYFS and effective behaviour management and who make more mess than the children when asked to do an activity, so in effect the pvi adult takes care of 8 childrens files and at worst (as in my case) a teacher will take care of 52!
    • the ratios in maintained sector mean that the teachers , as in my case, do not teach or support play or observe (they half of the time fake them due to lack of time and sanity - just look at confessions of an early years practitioner) because half of the children enter in nappies and need toilet training, they have very poor language and are almost devoid of pse skills, and behaviour . . . well there isn't any. Just as you have cracked the worst of the new starters and get them into the routine and following the rules the next set new of starters enter on a drip system putting it all back to square one because you and the TA cant oversee all areas (which, yes, is continuous indoor outdoor as directed by the HT) which means that children never conform to what is expected as they know half of the time they will get away with it and you will never find out as your always changing a bum, cleaning poo of someones legs or playing guard dog to the child who has biten 2 others.
    • SMT just do not understand the EYFS and 'make' you do as they ask in terms of routines and structure and curiculum content; i must have continuous snack though my children do not know how to behave around food and often eat way too much and smear it over furniture or leave it anywhere in the room they like, i must have continuous indoor/outdoor throughout the entire 3 hour session despite the fact that quite often the adult outside has to stand guard in the doorway to watch over the indoor and outdoor children whilst the second adult changes a dirty child in the seperate changing room so as not to embarass the poor dirty child infront of their peers (as directed by HT), then i must ensure i teach here i am weekly, seal weekly, daily collective worship, daily counting, daily letters and sounds, daily story, daily key person group work taken directly from childrens interests/observations and daily singing oh and daily 5 minute physical exercise at start of session - all this without so much as asking what the childrens needs are/if there are any SEN (of which i have 2 with medical needs, 3 with ASD then 4 with receptive language problems and 5 with severe language delay and an additional 2 with extreme baviour issues) - oh and i MUST NOT teach small groups, no, i must support all learning through child initiated play! when are the children supposed to actally have CI time when i am supposed to take it up with the above activities that i must evidence i plan for with children's work/photos?
    • i do not know all of my children, i just dont have the time available to work with them, i do not offer quality and have to pray they make progress with the 5 minute max carpet time input at the start of the day and weekly room enhancements i have become a slave to.
    • TA's only paid for the time children enter which means they arrive with or after the children, and go home with or before the last child - resource preperation anyone? the 24 tasks?
    • some of my children need to be in adlut led groups as they just do not know how to choose or understand the reason why we should not destroy everything we come into contact with - they need to be shown how to play and interact, they need guidance until they are ready to go it alone
    too many maitre d's and not enough cooks

    Likes:
    • children learning actively through play provided there are enough suitably trained staff to support them
    • the learning journey books - the are hard work and an addition in workload but as a parent i would have loved to have these for my children - plus they do help build parent relationships as i offer them to be taken home and added to and some of our lovely parents do just that and quite often
    • the outdoor play - some activities i dislike and sometimes the weather makes me grumpy especially when i have a cough or cold but because i see how much it impacts the entire curiculum i am 100% for it - i just wish i could put 200% into it!
    • the level of attention the eyfs is not getting as it has long been seen as a job for teachers who cant teach - a dumping ground - thats where the TA who have a bad reputation are put as ks1 & 2 have targets to meet
    • although i dont agree with targets for babies, which is what 3 and 4 year old children are, i like the fact that certain skills are expected to be taught and achieved, i.e PD - uses hammers . . . because the smt are therefore in a way made accountable for getting the resources needed to achieve certain goals
    • the importance put on the learning environment - for too long the FS has had to make do with cast offs
    • the fact that early years teachers must have a strong knowledge of childhood development - though this dosnt stop the y6 teacher being put in nursery and the early years teacher into y4 as the HT decided
    how bitter do i sound! how epic is this reply! it just shows my love for the job and frustration at not being able to be the best i can be for the children who desperatley need it
     
  16. cuckoomoomoo - your post above is what we call a 'classic'.
    It is worth every bit of time it took you to write - and I think you'll find you have a lot of cyber colleagues who understand every word and are with you all the way.
    You have made a huge contribution by taking the time and trouble to write all this down - and say it as it is.
    Thank you very much.

    I am really pleased to have another example of someone who has a ridiculous number of children to follow the paperchase for - 52 - and I wonder who ever did a time-management study to work out what the modern day expectations for the paper chase actually entails.
    Hang on in there.

     
  17. I have just completed the consultation - it took ages but was well worth it. I have to say I was struck by the leading tone of it. Lots of comments like 'we realise some practitioners see the profile as overly burdensome' (not a direct quote, just a flavour) which made me feel very positive that concerns are being taken seriously. Hopefully it is not just rhetoric. I would echo Debbie's sentiments - take this chance to have your say!!!!! (but if you have strong opinions put aside 30mins plus) [​IMG]
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I asked for confirmation but still haven't received anything
     
  19. no i haven't had anything either
     

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