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Please help - notice to improve - feel like quitting!!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mrspotts, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Please help - I dont know what to do anymore. We have just had OFSTED and been given notice to improve - mainly due to decling SATS results. However the head has also said some areas of the EYFS need improving too.
    I am the only FS teacher (reception) and feel really let down! For the last 2 years all my lesson observations have been at least good with little or no suggetions for improvement. The head has recently put the EYFS as good in the SEF and now i'm being told i'm not good enough - surely someone should have picked up on this before?
    The only thing she has said is that I need to improve on moving the children forward in their child led learning.
    I dont really get any support in school (although i have been teaching 7 years so maybe I shouldnt need it anymore). The only 'support' I have is the KS1 leader who would really like me to work as a year 1 class and she has said to me this week perhaps this shows I need to work in a more structured way.
    I'm just gutted and feel like quitting! Any words of advise.
     
  2. Please help - I dont know what to do anymore. We have just had OFSTED and been given notice to improve - mainly due to decling SATS results. However the head has also said some areas of the EYFS need improving too.
    I am the only FS teacher (reception) and feel really let down! For the last 2 years all my lesson observations have been at least good with little or no suggetions for improvement. The head has recently put the EYFS as good in the SEF and now i'm being told i'm not good enough - surely someone should have picked up on this before?
    The only thing she has said is that I need to improve on moving the children forward in their child led learning.
    I dont really get any support in school (although i have been teaching 7 years so maybe I shouldnt need it anymore). The only 'support' I have is the KS1 leader who would really like me to work as a year 1 class and she has said to me this week perhaps this shows I need to work in a more structured way.
    I'm just gutted and feel like quitting! Any words of advise.
     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Have you actually read the report?
     
  4. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Don't give up! From the little you say I would think the Year 1 teacher is wrong and you should be allowing more time and accessible resources for Child Initiated activities not less. It's very difficult being the only Foundation Stage teacher as everybody else in school tries to push you into their mould.

    I think you should ask to visit other schools' Foundation Stage classes and ask to go on some courses. Get hold of the EYFS documents and make your HT and SMT aware of what we should be doing. Perhaps some of it will be spelled out in the full report.
     
  5. Of course you have only been able to tell us the overall picture of your scenario so we are not in a full position to pass comment or to help.
    However, if you have never had any complaints, or suggestions to change, or improve, in previous observations etc, then it sounds like you have been grossly inadequately supportived, advised, trained etc.
    ...or, you are being used as a political scapegoat.
    It could be that your Reception class and form of teaching is not fitting well enough with the philosophical and political agenda of how CERTAIN advisors, inspectors, and 'others' deem what your provision should consist of.
    Either they have a point, and maybe there is not enough opportunity for children in your class to do their own thing or initiate their own learning - but in this case why was this not flagged up long before?
    Or, someone has come along with a pre-conceived idea of what Reception provision should look like (or want it to look like the type of expectations that many of us have challenged for a number of reasons 1) because we do not agree and 2) because we believe in an element of the providers making their own choices and professional decisions according to our contexts).
    Now, what do YOU think is at the heart of this?
    What type of provision are you 'running' per se?
    Does your provision work for you and do you think it has always been fine in everyone's 'eyes' and according to their previous observations and comments - and have the goalposts really 'moved' following someone higher up in your school receiving some flack from on high?
    You need to be extremely level-headed right now - and give your scenario a long, hard (as detached and objective as possible) 'think' to cut through the issues.
    I am extremely sympathetic to the scenario you have described - but if you want TESers to engage with this, help us by giving it your own professional analysis and then let us develop this thread - which could prove to be a very important thread not only for you - but for the benefit of others too.
    I, myself, have been on the receiving end of ludicrous and unfair formal judgements and feel for your scenario - but we must all approach this extremely professionally and develop this thread for our own professional development.
    So, are you game to unpick your context and enable us to get to the bottom of unravelling the issues here?
     
  6. Please don't take the judgement too much to heart. Notice to improve seems to be getting incredibly common. I only have local knowledge but there is certainly a big increase in my area, mostly among inner city schools in deprived areas with large numbers of EAL pupils. I don't know if your school is like that, but it is so prevalent around here you have to wonder about hidden policies. It seems, when OFSTED see less than impressive SATs results it's a matter of guilty unless proved innocent. Then this informs what they are expecting before they even step through the door of the school.


    The one positive is that you are not alone within the school, others have been found wanting too, so hopefully you should not be blamed but commiserated with. I've worked in a special measures school and a notice to improve school and have found that people do really bond after the bad news!
     
  7. I don't think we can presume that because it has been said there 'isn't enough child-initiated learning', that this is necessarily the case - because 'who' says so and what is the basis for that comment?
    Please bear in mind that we are not ALL in agreement with the early years philosophies that have been virtually forcefully brought into the early years domain in the last decade - there is not a concensus.
    We have witnessed, and many of us been part of, deep discontent and disaffection regarding developments in the early years.
    We cannot presume that the scenario of the OP is as simple as it seems, that is, that she has not provided enough CI learning.
    The OP certainly has grounds to be very unhappy if no-one has ever said such things as this previously - and yet now the burden of the school failing seems to have been placed significantly on the lack of CI learning which, in my opinion, is not necessarily the cause of failures of standards higher up the school.

     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If this is the only criticism then it is very minor and certainly isn't Ofsted saying you need to be more formal. Read the report highlight anything referring to reception and don't worry!
     
  9. ...try 'consensus'[​IMG]
     
  10. Thinking a bit more about this - it is no reason 'to quit' even if you feel disheartened. Chin up.
    I think that you need to appreciate the kind of pressures everyone feel under when they have had some negative feedback.
    However, it's very simple in many ways. You need to go to your headteacher in a very professional manner, say how you are really looking forward to sharing a look at your practice with him/her/others, to identify what it is that might need to change, or could change, if necessary, to improve provision for the children in your class.
    Then, very professionally, your headteacher/colleagues, should be able to start being very specific and share conversations with you about the class and your way of organising it.
    If your head/colleagues, are unable, or unwilling, or fail to do this, you have on record that you sought practical advice and professional development from your head/colleagues and none (or little) was forthcoming.
    Document all of this.
    Then, do your own research anyway to see if you, yourself, could maybe try something different or look to see whether any comments have been justified - and then BE CONFIDENT to stay the same, or make changes, according to YOUR ANALYSIS of your provision.
    The process of your professional approach will be very good for you and will also demonstrate your level of professionalism - and the level of professionalism of your headteacher/colleagues - or lack of it.
    Each one of us really needs to be our 'own person' and also think objectively of how to deal with any scenario we find ourselves in - professionally as possible - and almost unemotionally as possible.
     
  11. Hi,
    I haven't seen the report yet but when the head was giving feedback to us and telling us the areas for development one of the areas was 'some aspects of the EYFS'. I asked for more information on which aspects and all she said was, theydidn't feel adults move children forward enough in their child initiated learning'. I dont think its a lack of child initiated learning as we have quite a lot of this, as that was picked up in the last inspection and I have worked hard to increase this which the head has been very happy with.
    Our current set up is:
    8.50 - children arrive - table top activities.
    9.10-9.30 - whole class input (lit or num)
    9.30 - 10.30 - one adult doing a follow up activity/ one adult supporting CIP.
    10.30 - 10.45 - whole class input (lit/num)
    10.45 - 11.00 - snack
    11. - 11.20 - playtime
    11.20 - 12.20 - phonics/reading
    PM
    1.30 - 1.50 assembly
    1.50 - 3.00 -KUW/CD/PE one adult leading group/ one adult supporting CIP
    3.00-3.15 - story

    I was told last year that progress in my class was 'good'. However now i'm being told it needs to be better (although I think that is whole school). The head of KS1 has said if I do more teaching time, results will be better then they wont look closely at what i'm doing as it will be clear it works!
     
  12. This criticism has been mentioned in another thread. You have to wonder if this is becoming a priority with inspectors. It seems as though they want to subvert the child-centred philosophy of the EYFS to serve the SATs centred philosophy held by others. The idea of progress made through CI play needs exploring. What sort of progress is expected and is realistic? Surely the progress is about discovery rather than meeting challenges, and there is a bias towards PSED learning because children have to make social adjustments when playing independently. When does CI play cease to be worthy of that title and become adult-interfered-with play?
     
  13. I too have just been through OFSTED this week and although I think we will have come out of it ok I was astounded at the feedback given. The inspectors obviously had a very set view of what they wanted to see in terms of lots of children doing the planning, choosing their own resources - basically leading everything themselves. In my mind they wanted to see much more of a nursery ethos in a reception age class.
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    When was the inspection?
    Did you get no feedback from the inspectors?

    My school was given Notice to Improve (following a dip in KS2 SAT results) quite some time ago now and the staff felt as you probably are now but please don't beat yourself up. We've since had a number of good Ofsted reports and each team has had different foci.
    Wait and see what the report actually says
     
  15. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Commiserations to all hard working and tired Early Years teachers facing this kind of situation.
    I sense a clash of ideas here. With OFSTED wanting more CI apparently and schools wanting more adult led teaching ...... but only when no one is listening SH!
    Back in the day, we thought that learning how to resolve conflicts and having adults who understood how children learn, and a leader who could clearly explain their philosophy were the researched and proven ways to give children a good headstart in life.
    Now we seem to have been sold the idea that children can be moved on in their child initiated learning............but I fear this just moves them sideways and in their own unique patterns of development.........and I think what we are really seeing is what happens to education and society when SATS tests are published and people move to get to what seem to be better schools, creating ghettos where of course, results plummet and fingers get pointed
    AT RECEPTION teachers !!!!!!
    We are really just too powerful and potent, they should give us all extra money for just daring to brave the headlice and wee to stride into the melee.
     
  16. I didn't get any feedback from the inspector at all, only what the head has said. I just feel like I'm being pulled in all directions! I'm keep being told to do what I feel is best and when I do am told it's not good enough! Xx
     
  17. I would imagine that most of us have had exactly this kind of experience - you only have to look into the TES early years archives!
    Which is why you need to express your analysis of the situation to your headteacher and ask him or her to be more precise.
    If this doesn't amount to anything more concrete, shrug your shoulders and just get on with it - you will have tried to find out more information, you will have shown that you are willing to take advice which turns out to be unforthcoming.
    Give your headteacher a chance, however, to be more specific and helpful.
     
  18. Thanks for your advise. I will wait to see whats in the report.
    The head isnt very good at being specific!! She just waffles and then changes the subject! I tried to ask why she hadn't picked up on the areas of concern before, and why I was told the children were making good progress if they are not and the response I got was ' yes, ummmm' and she then went on to talk to someone else!
     

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