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The Independent Support Group - open to all by mac64

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mac64, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter

    Hi maiyagrace (and welcome!)

    I felt a little like you when I first switched to indies about 8 years ago (I am now in my second indie school). I sat back and watched for about half a term and then i couldn't do that any more for fear of going insane! I went straight to the Head and asked for some money! He was really taken aback but actually liked the fact that i was a staright talking person. i explained that a reception class couldnt not have any toys! he was worried about progress and formallity so I showed him the classes achievements so far. I only stayed for 2 years but felt really proud of how the Early Years department had changed. i was lucky because during my 3rd term another lady joined the team in the nursery who backed me up and was brilliant. I was lucky in that the rest of the staff were not too rigid to new ideas and liked the ideas we had. i did only last 2 years though as the head would only let me do half the things I wanted to do....plus the pay was ****....you basically started at the bottom of the payscale whatever your experience and then worked your way upwards....with no stopping you. This meant most of the teachers had been their for 30 years...with no updating of the way they taught.

    My present job is great because I can teach the way I feel is right. My Head is very supportive of learning through play and exploration. I also have a great pay scale, supportive but pushy parents (!), long holidays but long hours (its a boarding school too), some weekends but happy, confident and well behaved (mostly!) children.

    Good luck and remember what you feel is right most probably is!

  2. Thanks everyone for your advice - as to my parallel teacher, she is lovely and talks about how all these new things would be great - but she keeps on saying 'we don't have to do that - because we are independent' things like detailed planning!!!! - at the mo our planning says week 3 - 2d shape, week 4 one more/less. Thats it!! also I keep harping on about learning journeys etc and she just says oh no one will ask to see those we are inde so we don't need to do it!! Its like being stuck between a rock and a hard place - do I not bother to even try to do it 'becos i don't have to' or do I do it anyway because I know its good practise. I desperately want to do the latter but I just don't see how!!
  3. Pow


    Advice wanted, we are looking for some new software to support our phonics, we don't have an IWB any ideas.
    Also in March we are going to have the Early Years inspection ,how long will it last ?,when it was just the Nursery it was just one day. Thank you.


  4. Google 2simplesoftware and send for an inspection copy of Alphabet Soup.

    You need to use the teacher controls to put it to phonics as its default mode is saying alphabet names- so don't be put off.! Once you do this it is a good site for introducing individual phonemes. I don't think it so good at blending cvc but it is a a good product for about £40 for one site licence.
  5. I'd recommend that too!

  6. I think do what makes you the most effective at your job and enhances teaching and learning. Don't do oodles of planning just because you are used to it doing it or you have been used to SMT checking up on you. Look at your planning and decide what is valuable and workable. If your colleagues have only been used to doing minimal planning as you describe, they are going to be resistant to adding a couple of hours or more to their workload each week straight away.

    If Inspection is looming and they feel their heads are on the block, your parallel class teacher might be more willing to come on board. Have a look at their last Inspection report and see if planning and assessment was commented on as something for an action plan?
  7. p.s.

    I plan very much as I would have been doing in maintained- it was a shock to my colleague at first. We spent ages devising longterm and medium term plans together and that broke the back of the planning. We adapt the plans when we come to weekly planning to suit individual children

    Having said that there is now a move away from topic planning and moving towards children's interests so long term planning is no longer in fashion and short tem planning has become key!

    Perhaps I am the dinosaur now!

  8. I actually feel a bit better reading the recent posts on here. I am in my third year in my inde school. Am going through a difficult time at the moment... have been used to instigating change really in our foundation stage unit from the moment I arrived, but its got to the point that despite all my 'fighting' for what the children are entitled to nothing is happening and I too feel like I am not giving the children what they should be getting (outdoor provision being one area). I am naturally a fighter, but it is so hard when you face battles everyday but are not taken seriously because of the traditions, or notions that we just 'play' because certain senior staff do not understand how young children learn best.

    Sorry about my moan, having also read the thread about staffing outdoor play I feel in quite a worry at the moment! Thanks though for the support on here, it's nice to know I'm not alone in my fears and worries. Roll on half term....
  9. <u>Moderation- any comments welcome</u>

    I just knew I was having such a good time this term that a cloud would appear on the horizon soon. The Moderator has booked a visit. I posted the comment below on another thread but really would like to get Inde colleagues take on it, as well.

    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 on going assessment for the rest of the academic year. I think this is because some p.v.i. settings such as daycare or preschool will not have any Yr R children in the Spring Term, because children are able to join reception classes the year they are going to be five.

    Has this change in thinking re moderation happened in my LEA alone ?
  10. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter

    Hi hedda

    I haven't heard about this where i am! Seems a lot of work and rather pointless really to me! Good luck though and let us all know how it goes.

  11. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Hedda and others, we've been on a two week half term so I haven't herad anything official recently. We do have a LA visit arranged for the 31.10.08 but that was called by us. So far no one has mentioned these changes to us but perhaps this will be one major topic brought up next week. Having only moved into R this year I haven't any experience of this process but I don't remember my colleagues being involved in moderation! Is this compulsory in an inde school?

  12. Thanks boatmanco anad mac for your replies

    Moderation of F.S. Profiles used to be compulsory if you accept the grant, but I wonder now we have the <u>ISC letter</u> sent in the summer re unecessary evidencing whether things have changed and they can actually "fail us" or ask us to change working methods. We "passed" with flying colours last time and if anything we have improved on practice. I am not unduly worried but you just can't tell if the goal posts have been moved by LEA without telling us. They seem to come every three years and perhaps more frequently if your results are unusual and we had excellent Profile Scores last year so they probably think we are cooking the books.

    Last time they only chose two areas of learning and we selected the children. The moderator is not an advisor or known to us but a local H.T. from maintained sector in a very challenged area of the borough.
  13. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Hedda, just spoken to my colleague ex R teacher (we swapped over), and so far our borough has previously sleected an independent school and so far we have been chosen but that could change this year. Our LA visit was arranged by us to clarify a few points and we are not going to mention moderation! Our LA person has been promoted and we really should be working with her replacement but as last year we scared the LA by talking about opting out they have been very pleasnt. The Dame Judith letter had an email address which we will use if our LA tries anything unreasonable. The letter is still in the resource bank so perhaps have a look as I think the LAs are trying it on. Having had to back off regarding observations and evidence out they now trying other things? If any other inde schools come under the same pressure I hope they will email Dame Judith. The more examples of such behaviour the better we can hopefully use the inde organisations to support us so if any other inde people read this please have alook at the letter:


    Hope this is the one????
  14. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Here's the relevant bit but I would advise all to have a copy to keep at school and use the email if under pressure.

    <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;">

  15. Thank you mac, for providing the link, as you say it will be useful to have to hand. The initial meeting is in a few weeks time so will keep you posted as to the outcome.
  16. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Good luck.
  17. http://www.naa.org.uk/libraryAssets/media/Early_FS_Handbook_v11_WO_LR.pdf

    Has everybody got a hard copy of the FSP handbook 2008. It may have been distributed via the LEA and so that sometimes mean it does not filter through to us straight away.

    Came across it on line and although it does not say anything new it does combine a lot of the stuff we have talked about on various threads re moderation
  18. http://www.naa.org.uk/libraryAssets/media/poster_v8_aw.pdf

    The above has a link to all the <u>EYFSP assessment scales reference sheet</u> on 1 A4 page. Well worth printing off and then enlarging, because the writing is so very tiny as I think that there are 117 of them!

    Useful document- but of course the fact that there are so many boxes for one small 5 year old highlights the whole thing as being a bit barking!

    However, if that is the criteria we are be forced to work with - I think this could be a useful bit of kit!

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