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Moderation Visits- comments welcome

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Hedda Gabler, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. LEA seem to have revamped moderation procedures and are now having pre moderation visits to explain new procedures and plan the actual moderation visit itself. We have not had ours yet so cannot comment if this is going to be a lighter touch moderation, but if it needs an individual planning meeting for each setting, this would seem that there is something tricky involved. Of course it could be just good P.R.on behalf of the moderator..

    Moderation is happening across all six areas of learning not just on the selected 2 areas as in the past. Moderators will select 3 target children to track rather than allowing practitioners to decide. Some moderation visits will be during this Autumn Term for pvi settings and so I feel moderators will not really get a true impression of the quality of ongoing assessment for the rest of the academic year. I think this is because some pvi settings will not have any Yr R children in the Spring Term because they will have joined school reception classes.

    Has this change in thinking re moderation happened in my LEA alone ?
  2. I'm in West Berks and I've received my 'letter' saying the same as you about the new procedures.

    You might be interested to know that my LA Pre-moderation briefing is happening right now (literally) but I have declined attendance because its my new policy not to attend any after school meetings unless absolutley necessary or am legally obliged e.g. staff meeting x 1 per week!

    Perhaps the Pre-moderation meeting is to reassure us that it wont be as awful as it seems but I suspect if I went it would stress me out even more.

    My letter states "The main purpose of moderation is to ensure consistency in judgements" but the tone of the rest of the letter is that they are coming for an entire day to thoroughly scrutinise every thing I do and make sure I comply with doing it their way.

    I'm in a real dilemna over what to do because I know how totally ridiculous all the Early Years beaucracy is and would love to dig my heels in and fight the LA bullying but I'm a total hypocrit because I've already drawn up a plan as to how I can 'conform' and provide everything they're looking for. What a coward and I am. Debbie Hepplewhite will be horrified!
  3. Oh, and one of the new things they will do is make us literally sit with them and do a joint observation. Just in case we dont know how hold our pencil with froggy legs and record on our post it note that little Johnny is mark making with his bogies on the white board. How incredibly patronising.
  4. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And how horribly de-skilling!


  5. An entire day-now they have not told me that! I don't think that I can maaage to be scrutinised for an entire day and keep gob shut! They will be real stcky beaks if they can make it spin out for a day. Who manages the class whilst I am having my observation technique looked at then?

    Yes my pre - moderation meeting is after school also. In one way it is easier as it saves finding cover but I hope it does not drag on.
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Get them to muck in, Hedda. That's the nature of EY, after all. Pray that someone vomits.
  7. I wonder why there has been this change. I rather think this change might have come about to "help" pvi settings with consistent observations and assessments and to keep things fair, all settings have to have the same level of scrutiny. Unlike our own planning there appears to be no differentiation according to training and experience of staff invlolved.

    There seems to be the misconception that all EY settings have the same shared playing field because they have the same shared curriculum and they should be judged to same standards. How wrong can they be? Each type of setting has their own strengths and weaknesses and salary tag to match. How can that be a level playing field?

    I could be talking absolute rubbish of course, becasue there are very few Yr R children still left in pre school and daycare they have all been kidnapped and forced into Reception classes in schools.
  8. Lots of people viewing this thread but not too many comments.

    Please post if your authority is changing its moderation policy and how you feel about the changes.

    All opinions are valued.
  9. <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Out of interest and to give you a bit more detail I've been told to expect them for the whole day and been given the following timetable:</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Arrive - brief discussion with headteacher/classteacher 15mins approx</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Brief look at profiles of children 30mins approx</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Observation of children 45 - 60mins approx</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Sampling Profiles 60mins approx</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Meeting with class teacher 30mins approx</font>

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Headteacher feedback 15mins approx</font>

    They've also specified that they want to look at profiles for the entire cohort (when I was moderated 3 years ago they only wanted to see 10%)


    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3"></font>
  10. I can see why they would perhaps want to see all profiles if this way of assessing had just been introduced, but why the change now? Has there been a lack of consistency from settings across your LEA or is this a nationwide thing ?

    Why has there been a change do you think?

    Anybody else care to comment ?
  11. I am speechless with shock and horror!! I was already dreading the fact that I know I will get a 'visit' this year rather than going to a meeting but I really won't cope with a whole day and such close scrutiny! The whole EYFS and all associated paperwork and such nonsense is completely MAD! I have as little to do with it as possible......I will not waste my valuable time sitting watching children play and writing down how they do it.....I teach them and talk to them and introduce them to things that they don't know they don't know!!! I also want to have the courage to stand up against all this idiocy and now it looks as if I'll have to....not going to change anything...so sack me!!!!
  12. I really hope I can find the courage to stand up for myself too but I'm already feeling stressed about it and they're not coming til the beginning of May! Wierdly I was actually really looking forward to the old style moderation as I feel I do a really good job of providing for and teaching my reception class, I was quite looking forward to showing it off! But now I'm terrified because I know that they're bound to find fault with something. As with many of us I use my common sense, my experience and my given circumstances (setting/budget/staffing) to manage Reception in the best way I can rather than always jumping through the LA hoops. I dont doubt for a second that I get great results academically whilst providing the children with reams and reams of play - i just dont record everything on bits of paper all the time. Today the children asked for bowls of water to put into their smallworld set ups so we did that, then tomorrow I'll use that idea to set up some more areas/equipment to help them develop their game - planning as a result of observing child initiated learning - but when did I have the time to write that down? And why on earth would I bother to write that down?

    I dont think there will have been inconsistancies across the Authority in order for them to need this more invasive moderation - every year I've been to the cluster and partnership moderations and its all been very 'normal' and everyone I've met seems perfectly capable - in front of the moderators everybody smiles sweetly and discusses their 'evidence' positively, then in the coffee break everybody whispers tales from their settings about how ridiculous the whole of Early Years now is. So I'm not sure why they've changed things. I suspect they are using the new EYFS as an excuse, a 'mask' for them to infiltrate our practice as much as they can simply to get more of us to conform with their ideals of planning, observing, assessing and record keeping.

    I'm going to swot up and try to work out my actual statutory requirements for planning, assessing, observing and accountability. That way I hope to find the confidence to put my foot down when they start questioning everything I do [​IMG]

  13. I think Msz posted a reference to a document which states that copious evidencing is unecessary but I can't find the link. Does anybody remmeber the link please?
  14. Problem is so many documents are vague! Its so sneaky - the government puts out documents saying things like heaps of evidencing unnecessary but because it is so open ended the LA put their own spin on it and that's when we get told we must have 3 concrete pieces of evidence to tick off a profile point! I feel as if there are so many documents to refer to I dont know whats what anymore. I must sound really clueless but I do try and keep track of all the 'latest documents'

    I've been looking at 'Creating the Picture' which seems to be the official guidlines on observation, assessment and evidencing in EYFS but even that is pretty vague and again is left open for Authorities to twist it to mean whatever they want it to mean. I think Debbiehep refers to this more on the 'emporers clothes' thread.
  15. http://www.naa.org.uk/libraryAssets/media/FSP_factsheet-_2007_Guidance_LA_Completing_Foundation_v042.pdf
    <font face="Arial" size="2"><font face="Arial" size="2">
    Quotes taken from the above NAA link

    <font face="Arial" size="2"><font face="Arial" size="2">
    "FSP guidance on the process of assessment is that evidence is collected as an ongoing process through:
    </font></font><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2"><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2">
    the practitioner?s knowledge of the child
    </font></font><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2"><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2">
    information from a range of contributors
    </font></font><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2"><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2">
    observation of self-initiated activities
    </font></font><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2"><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2">
    collection of anecdotal significant moments
    </font></font><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2"><font face="Wingdings-Regular" size="2">?? </font></font><font face="Arial" size="2"><font face="Arial" size="2">focused assessments.</font></font></font></font><font face="Arial" size="2"><font face="Arial" size="2">
    When making a judgement for the FSP, practitionersshould draw on at least 80 per cent of evidence fromknowledge of the child, observations and anecdotalassessments, and no more than 20 per cent ofevidence from adult-directed or focused assessments.Judgements are made through assessing behaviourthat is demonstrated consistently and independentlyin a range of situations. This behaviour will need to demonstrate the child?s confidence and ownership of the specific knowledge, skill or concept being assessed."


    that informs their completion of the FSP and it is this judgement that is moderated by the LA.Much of the existing guidance refers to observing children in independent or self-initiated activitiesas a critical way in which evidence is collected and judgements made on what children reallyknow and can do."
    ..<font face="Arial" size="2"><font face="Arial" size="2">

  16. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Hedda I feel like I'm stalking you as I've just responded on the inde post!!!!

    For Joy and others, although I don't know if it's relevant as this was sent to inde schools in the summer but I thought I post it as it clearlt states that Beverly said.....

    <ol style="MARGIN-TOP:0cm;">
    <ol style="MARGIN-TOP:0cm;">
    <li class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0cm 0cm 0pt;mso-list:l0 level2 lfo1;tab-stops:list 72.0pt;">
    <li class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0cm 0cm 0pt;mso-list:l0 level2 lfo1;tab-stops:list 72.0pt;">
    <li class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0cm 0cm 0pt;mso-list:l0 level2 lfo1;tab-stops:list 72.0pt;">[/b]

  17. Rach05

    Rach05 New commenter

    We have a visit booked for after half term with the new LEA person as our old one left. She is coming in for an hour and the head has invited her for lunch..(we are indie sch)...so maybe moderating stuff will be mentioned.

    I follow two kinds of 'rebellion'...I smile sweetly at any advice/ next steps from LEA and if I don't want to do them I don't-it(so far) never gets followed up... OR I just say I am not doing it 'that' way and refer to some piece of paper (like the link that has just been posted) to back myself up..

    I think like all phobia treatments the worst case scenario should be looked at, ie what can 'they' actually do to us??Sack us?I don't think so..

    Fail us?-yes as seen by the comment regarding a failed moderation- but what does a poor review actually mean? It is not nice to have and I know we are all jumping through hoops on a daily basis but at some point you have to pick your hoops and leave the others to roll away(how poetic!)

    The whole Early Years system is out of control and eventually it will all get scrapped...to be replaced by something equally stupid no doubt but we must remember that nothing in education stays for very long because how would those in high places be able to justify their existence without making up nonsense for those down below??? Therefore we must do what suits us best and what we know from our own experience(not written down as evidence but just that old tool memory)works with the children that we Teach.
  18. [/URL]

    <font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman"></font></font>

  19. http://www.naa.org.uk/naa_19589.aspx

    The above link states:

    oderation process is a supportive one, designed to develop practitioners? confidence in their approaches to assessment and their understanding of the EYFS profile"

    ...There goes a flying pig.......
  20. http://www.naa.org.uk/libraryAssets/media/FSP_factsheet-_2007_Guidance_LA_Completing_Foundation_v042.pdf
    <font face="Arial" size="2"><font face="Arial" size="2">
    Quotes taken from the above NAA link

    Thank you for providing this! I'll be printing off this whole thread ready to back me up and also to make the point to the moderator that even if the moderation process turns out to be OK, it cant be OK that I can get in such a tizz over something designed to be supportive.

    My moderation letter states that they will want to see my evidence: FSP data, 'snap shot' observations, extended observations, children and parents being involved, records of achievement and annotated photos.

    I read the above NAA quote and think 'great, its fine, I dont need to have reams and reams of evidence recorded as its all there in my head anyway and its just my final assessment that matters, which, because I'm confident in knowing my children, will be fine'

    HOWEVER, I then turn to the page of my moderation letter which is the 'scoring' of my practice:

    In order to be ticked off as 'good' rather than 'developing or inadequate' I must (amongst other things):

    • have an efficient system of regular observation (what does that mean?)(I'm very efficient at watching the chn all day every day and absorbing their development in my head but dont plan who I will observe when or record it!!)
    • other adults must be able to contribute to the observation process (i'd rather my assistant interact with the chn and verbally relay any interesting observations to me informally than sit writing focussed observations and ignoring chn)
    In order to be ticked off as 'secure' rather than 'variable or insecure' I must (amongst other things):

    • <font size="2">have evidence available to support judgements made including a variety of observations, samples of work, photos, parents contributions (the question for me here is HOW MUCH of this evidence will be enough to pass?)</font>
    Again all seems a bit vague but I guess I can turn this to my advantage using the NAA quote and others.

    The more I'm thinking about it, the more fed up I feel, which makes me annoyed and gives me the strength to think I'll defo stand up for myself!</font></font>

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