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Uprising about the early years foundation stage becoming legislation. Take the chance to investigate and respond.

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by debbiehep, Nov 30, 2007.


  1. http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2219792,...

    And look at this uprising! Well, well, well.

    I have much sympathy with what is being said here.

    Want I don't want to see, however, is the Rose Report being undermined.

    If this happens, we will have a return to mixed methods and whole language and we KNOW that this will fail many children and teachers.

    But take heart, everyone. Do you think for one minute that our early years petition didn't have an influence on this?

    In general terms, practitioners must start voicing their professionalism with proper reports and observations about things with which we do not agree and the reasons for our evaluations.

    We ARE professionals. We can evaluate what we think.

    We CAN give 'upwards evaluation' of anyone in official authority over us simply by handing in a proper report professionally presented.

    If needs be, we publish all these observations in the public domain.

    I'm going to start another thread about this Roehampton uprising. We must be clear about where we agree and where we disagree.


     

  2. http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2219792,...

    And look at this uprising! Well, well, well.

    I have much sympathy with what is being said here.

    Want I don't want to see, however, is the Rose Report being undermined.

    If this happens, we will have a return to mixed methods and whole language and we KNOW that this will fail many children and teachers.

    But take heart, everyone. Do you think for one minute that our early years petition didn't have an influence on this?

    In general terms, practitioners must start voicing their professionalism with proper reports and observations about things with which we do not agree and the reasons for our evaluations.

    We ARE professionals. We can evaluate what we think.

    We CAN give 'upwards evaluation' of anyone in official authority over us simply by handing in a proper report professionally presented.

    If needs be, we publish all these observations in the public domain.

    I'm going to start another thread about this Roehampton uprising. We must be clear about where we agree and where we disagree.


     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  4. What do you think about it Msz?
     
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I discussed it with Sue Palmer a few weeks ago and fully agree with the sentiments expressed by the campaign.
     
  6. Can you tell me more about the reasons for the objections? Sorry to be thick, and havent yet looked at it in huge detail, but from training we've had up until now it seems that so far as reception is concerned at least, it is business as usual, and if anything more emphasis on every child matters and planning around children's interests, although there are the changes to linking sounds and letters post-Rose Report. Is the same not true regarding birth to three matters? I sense I'm missing something important here.
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think a STATUTORY curriculum for children from Birth to Five is fundamentally wrong.
     
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    The Times is guilty of sloppy partisan journalism when it claims that the government wants three and four-year olds to write simple sentences using punctuation.

    That doesn't stop me from agreeing wholeheartedly with those who are rising up. I'm not talking about reading here - I could read before I went to school because I happened to be precocious in that area - but about the general indescribable awfulness of a system that prescribes standards and targets for children who [to repeat what I've said so often before, and please excuse the shouting] AREN'T EVEN OBLIGED TO BE IN FORMAL EDUCATION!!!


     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  10. A lot of what they have highlighted is what we have been worried about. We have enough pressure witin our school on the EYs and Y1. This would just add to it. I don't understand how they can seriously get away with this. Wouldn't this be a form of abuse or trauma? Or is that being too dramatic? At one Japan was the place to point to for high pressurised education but would this happen there?
     
  11. I agree entirely that a statutory early years curriculum is wrong.

    But I don't think we have clear cut issues here by any stretch of the imagination.

    I suspect that many of the people who are challenging the government on this issue are the very same people whose ideas about early years have been imposed on us all for some years.

    And what about all these formal observations and so on. Who is responsible for those?

    This current petitioning is an agenda for undermining the Rose Report.

    We need to identify the range of issues one by one and not get swept up by anti-government hysteria.

    I am no fan of the government as people know, but I always encourage people to think deeply about hidden agendas and to think laterally and simply.

    We need to be involved in this matter and I am going to see if we can be part of a national debate.

    Now is our chance to change things but it isn't just about the government prescription.

    Who, for example, has advised the government in the first place?

    What has led to the current scenario?

    Whilst I have fought long and hard for synthetic phonics teaching because it is the right thing to do without doubt, I have never been one to either force it on ever-younger children.

    I have already expressed my worries about the so-called Phase One being started in nursery.

    We need a truly transparent debate for once with honesty, integrity and everyone working for the common good. This is not just about the children, it is about the staff and the parents as well.

    One reason that some European countries do well in literacy is arguably because their languages are so much easier to learn. It is a nonsense to suggest that the reason is because they play until they are 7.

    I think all pupils should have access to plenty of 'play' whatever their age and I think school is a durge for so many of our kids of all ages.

    Being a teacher has become a durge because of all the formal planning, target setting and so on.

    But we must not over-react to the point of throwing any advances away with over-draconian government and local authority measures.

    Let's start our productive conversations here and then join in with the national debate.
     
  12. I have flagged up this thread on the Reading Reform Foundation message board as clearly this is looking like it might be an anti-synthetic phonics attack.

    How come these people were nowhere to be seen when the early years online petition was going full swing?

    Our widespread worries were apparently ignored by any of the big names then.

    Is that because they helped to inform the government about all those learning steps and formal observations?

    Are they party to telling us how to set up our settings and what we should observe and how we should behave?

    How ironic that we have been challenging the notion of that 'sameness' for all settings which was probably heavily influenced by the very people who are criticising the government now. It really takes the biscuit.

    They just want to be in charge don't they!



     
  13. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    yes Debbie
    the EYFS is not a draconian government doc. It is a good way of assessing children by development and providing for them appropriately........ those who do not think this have not read the document or are undermining it.

    My main concern is that our school age children (3 to 5) are in one developmental phase and there is no fine tuning to asses them, they are in that phase full stop. Either they are 36 months to whatever or they are not. Not good for assessment unless you take it to mean play and play and plan for individual interests.... there is nothing whatsoever about phonics in the document, and there is a new and huge emphasis on care, now equal to education, and about bl8888y time I say. No child should be stressed is legislated for in the EYFS. Transition and care are huge. There is mischief afoot from theses people who oppose it.
     
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    But Nelly, three-year-olds are NOT school aged!
     
  15. Absolutely Debbie! The letter is unclear on this issue, and doesn't make this point clearly which suggests it is a veiled swipe at the Rose Report. I orignally read this in the TES yesterday and have to say I agreed with the senitments entirely. Sue Palmer wrote:
    ?I thought there was no problem giving people working in nurseries the developmental milestones so they knew what to expect of children, but the unintended consequence has been to bureaucratise the whole business. Now checking that you?ve done all these things is more important than sitting on the floor chatting and playing.?

    However the article in the guardian suggests literacy to be the main issue. Do they mean systematic literacy in Reception, or Nursery...

    I think on the whole it is a good message but they have left themselves open to interpretation by mentioning 'an early head-start in literacy' without coming out and clearly stating what they mean.
     
  16. ?I thought there was no problem giving people working in nurseries the developmental milestones so they knew what to expect of children, but the unintended consequence has been to bureaucratise the whole business. Now checking that you?ve done all these things is more important than sitting on the floor chatting and playing.?

    Professor Lilian Katz, of Illinois University, warned last week that 4-year-olds drilled in reading and writing went on to perform worse academically than those engaged in imaginative learning."

    I have just cut and pasted this from the online TES news section.

    These are two completely different issues. No-one can argue the position that teaching reading and writing at four leads to academic worse results because it depends entirely on how you teach the children to read in the first place.

    But there is an issue here about who the TES hard copy newspaper will report on. I could not get mention of our online petition in the hard copy TES and yet it was a very big story that such unhappiness had been expressed via the TES online forum. Why wouldn't they put this in the hard copy when it certainly was educational news?

    In fact, why wouldn't the early years petition still be part of this latest news?

    Is it because the TES editors support certain 'people' and because the journalism is very shallow?

    Issues are definitely being mixed up here. We must change the obsessive formal observation and evidencing culture without a doubt. I agree with Sue Palmer's comments about guidance turning into bureaucracy (but was the creation of that guidance part of the bureaucracy in the first place?)

    And then there is the issue of how best to teach reading and when to 'start' this process.

    We need to share our views on this.

    I, personally, don't think nursery aged children should have to undergo any Phase One as described in Letters and Sounds.

    I think that any phonics teaching in reception must be undertaken in an exciting culture of people being on board and enthused - but still using their professional judgements about their settings.

    We need to nurture our own teaching profession and change the oppressive judgemental culture where we constantly feel that we have failed instead of succeeded.
     
  17. If it wasn't for whole language and mixed methods kicking in by design of default for the four year olds, I would be more than happy with phonics starting systematically in year one!

    To be safe, however, I do think we need to consider that reception is a good age and stage - but we could do without the pressure thank you very much.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  19. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    INky
    what I was saying is that up to now I have four assessment points to consider for each child for each of the 70 odd early learning goals. In the new EYFS, all the children will be in the band which is (I forget details and can't be bothered to go and look it up ) but the band is around 3 to 6 years. That is all the children in nursery, reception and year one for some children. If is one stage why have stepping stones then?

    The stepping stones curriculum is still in place so presumably I still have to do this assessment, but there is an issue for me... if they are in this phase why have the stepping stones then.

    Doh, I just don;t understand.

    What will help is that where children are pre yellow I can now assess them more accurately in being in the early bands, but imagine telling someone's mum, oh, she's around the level of a two year old, or younger. Ho hum.

    Anyway we will have wait and see what the big wigs come up with for assessment. Let's see if they can make it more complicated.

    They are making a fuss about phonics aren't they?

    At our local CLLD Progamme training half the time was spent on training about a language rich environment, which is the other and equal part of LEtters and Sounds, the bit which says that phonic teaching must come from a language rich environment and that listening to children and sustained shared thinking are key for early learning, that and the fact that principled teacher assessment is crucial, just in case some settings are not providing that, as if that could possibly be the case, thus not enough time was spent on discussing phonics teaching............

    but this is the balance in Letters and SOunds or in any other phonics programme. Our guidance and curriuclum documents are so weighty and wordy you can get anything you like and misquote the intentions behind them.

    It is often year one teachers who need training both in phonics teaching and in how young children learn. I wish someone would address this. It's all boring stuff for them in our area... find something the kids can't do and then get them to do it all day long, then wonder why they are level 1 c at end of year 2. Shove in some copy writing and a load of worksheets, that'll do it.
    rant over

    We live in a society which does not value and cherish the small child. It is part of the societal abuse of children (see Alice Miller for this) and the people in power, Advisors, Child Development experts, early excellence et al... they do not know how hard it is at the playdough face, trying to get parents and workers and school management to do what is right for each child with limited resources and terrible staffing ratios......shove some ISP and OFSTED into the mix and everyone is either in fear or confusion, or just plain exhausted, just when we need to really pull together to do the best for the young....along come some bods who do not understand how much children enjoy phonics well taught and interactive

    No wonder half of us lot spend so much time in tears!
     

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