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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. In reply to Hedda's questions (message 65).

    'Do your children have any difficulty sdjusting to state education post 6, or do they usually continue in Steiner education so this is not an issue'

    What children experience in Steiner kindergartens is the early part of what is a 'whole' experience of Steiner Waldorf education. What children learn in Class 1 (age 6/7) will work with respect to the kindergarten experience. In Class 1 for example they are introduced to the Alphabet in a very imaginative and creative way which follows comfortably from the imaginative space in kindergarten. Thus ideally children will remain in Steiner education right the way through, and many do.

    This of course, is not always the case though and some children will go on to state education. What I have heard is that by the age of 12, Steiner educated children will more or less be academically level with their State educated peers(whether they remain in Steiner schools or move to state schools) . However, they (former) have the added advantage of exceptional social, emotional and cooperative qualities. These qualities are indispensible for children who may move to State schools aged younger than 12, and of course for all of life's ensuing challenges.

    'Is there anyway of monitoring the longterm success of this philosophy on the individual ?'

    This is always tricky, since so many other factors influence a child's life in addition to their educational experience. Nonetheless, having met many older Steiner educated children and some adults, I've frequently noticed several of the following qualities; emotional stability, calm confidence, maturity, neither self-consciousness nor precociousness, friendliness, and a great interest and curiosity in the world. Many also have noticably unique characters and appear very comfortable and content with their individuality.

    I also believe very strongly in what I see in the moment. In our kindergarten, the children are happy, healthy and lively. They are definitely not bored, and rarely hyperactive or unmotivated. Their play is rich and imaginative, and free as yet of limiting academic constructs or awakened sense of self. They are learning constantly to be comfortable in their own bodies, and to negotiate and cooperate with others.


    Also in response to a question from Hammered (message 68)

    'I was wondering if you felt all children would suit and thrive in this environment?'

    At the heart of the Steiner priciples, is that children should be educated in a way that allows their unique individual qualities to flourish. Thus, for example, if they are especially academically orientated this will (in the course of the child's life) be accomodated for, yet if there is great talent in their hands and craftmanship so this shall be recognised.

    Yet, whilst all children are welcome in Steiner schools, certain children's circumstances may mean they find it harder to thrive there. In kindergarten for example, those who have watched a lot of television, or who are prematurely intellectually aware, or self-aware, may find it hard to enter the realm of play, since when they are no longer in the dream consciousness they lose their receptivity to the subtle nuances of the imagination.

    Whatever the child's background or life experience however, they will be welcomed and supported in their learning and development. And Steiner education has a very therapeutic effect on any life disturbances the children may have experienced.

    Humans exhibit an infinite variety of unique skills, talents and qualities, and the wider community needs and has a place for all of these.


    also 'The parents surely need to buy in to the philosophy at home to support what is happening at school.'

    As with any experience the child is having it is greatly beneficial for them to feel harmony between this and their home life.



     
  2. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    Msz
    I dont think the EYFS intends the stages of development to be rigid. We all know that children progress at different rates of development, I think the EYFS will be useful, providing lots of good ideas to support those with lack of knowledge. It will support children in those settings that do not have a qualified early years teacher, and will be very useful for supporting sen and those children who enter are settings well below expected rates of development in all areas, those children who quickly with access to high quality play progress.

     

  3. Sorry for my very long post, and that fact that it may be a little off the point. I just wanted to fulfil my promise to answer some questions from earlier.

    Essentially I agree with you Msz, the issue concerns whether the EYFS should be statutory or not.

    My opinion is that it shouldn't be.
     

  4. The EYFS may not intend to be rigid, but it is, and thus it restricts both the child, and educational settings which work with other principles.
     
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    cinderella say "I think the EYFS will be useful, providing lots of good ideas to support those with lack of knowledge. It will support children in those settings that do not have a qualified early years teacher, and will be very useful for supporting sen and those children who enter are settings well below expected rates of development in all areas, those children who quickly with access to high quality play progress. " .........which is exactly why the campaign has called for EYFS to become professional guidance rather than a statutory curriculum. I don't think the CGFS was ever intended to be what it has become either. But it only takes a quick browse through posts on this forum to see what confusion there is among practitioner to realise the anxiety it causes and remember EYFS will apply to practitioners with all levels of qualifications from childminders to QTS.
     
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And teachers will be [as they already in my county] treated the same as the least-qualified 'practitioners' for the sake of consistency.
     
  7. 84 and 85
    "And teachers will be [as they already in my county] treated the same as the least-qualified 'practitioners' for the sake of consistency"

    This is such a valid point...which I think has yet to be acknowledged by the powers above, but is at the heart of the debate.
     

  8. Yes the EYFS should at least remain as a guidance document, not a statutory one. Even so I would not look to it for guidance.
     

  9. Yes it will have a dreadfully homogenising effect.
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    87 | Posted by: AnnaLetts at 04 Dec 2007 19:43

    Yes the EYFS should at least remain as a guidance document, not a statutory one. Even so I would not look to it for guidance.

    and if it was only guidance you would be free to ignore it..........or follow.
     
  11. Woodpecker, thank you for your thoughtful and courteous response. I don't have time right now to continue this conversation (my wife is demanding I tear myself away from the computer and spend some time with her) but I hope to return at some point in the next few days.

    In the meantime, to echo what has been said: this really isn't about how we teach children to read. It's about whether the EYFS legislation is appropriate.
     
  12. "this really isn't about how we teach children to read. It's about whether the EYFS legislation is appropriate."

    I think that there is some confusion on this thread too. These 2 bits of legislation seem to be confused. Could it be that those who have introduced the legislation have not joined up their thinking? Both issues are important but the timing of their introduction has not been helpful.

    If we as practitioners are confused how are we going to move forward?



     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I don't think there is confusion the government recommended good quality phonics in schools but it isn't statutory, settings can choose to teach with phonics or not, whereas EYFS will be statutory in 2008.
     
  14. So.....is the uprising about the EYFS alone? Perhaps some posters have misinterpretd?
     
  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    How do people see the statutory EYFS affecting job-shares in nursery settings? I've posted on this before but want to draw it into the main debate. I'm talking about children of three-to-four-years-old, by the way.
     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The campaign is against the statutory nature of EYFS.
    TAKEN FROM THE OPEN LETTER FROM THE CAMPAIGN

    "We the undersigned share a profound concern about England?s ?Early Years Foundation Stage? (EYFS) legislation, which becomes law next autumn. We believe EYFS to be fundamentally flawed in conception, with net harm likely to be done to young children due to the framework?s contestable assumptions and unintended consequences. ....................

    Legally enshrining a model of child development disrespectfully allows no space for very different but equally plausible developmental frameworks ?which would, for example, fundamentally question EYFS?s programmatic blending of broad developmental milestones with ?early learning goals? (especially around literacy); EYFS?s emphasis on ?adult-directed? as opposed to free-flow play; and the appropriatness of ITC in early learning. The age bands and associated age-related goals in the EYFS are also quite arbitrary, with little if any coherent developmental rationale; and to impose a compulsory legal framework on what are pre-compulsory school-age children may well have profound civil rights implications

    We therefore call on the government:

    - to commission an urgent independent review of EYFS, allowing diverse conceptions of child development to flourish without undue compromise;

    - to reduce the status of EYFS to ?professional guidelines?, free of legal compulsion, so safe-guarding the professionalism and freedom to practice of practitioners who have principled objections to the framework.
    "
     

  17. Msz,

    well said and well clarified.

    I am in full support.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I can't take any credit for either they are directly from they open campaign letter.
     

  19. sorry, I wasn't very clear. I just meant I was in support of your highlighting that part of the open letter, and bringing the debate back to the point.

    I am though, also in support of the open letter itself.

     
  20. (especially around literacy)

    I suspect you are being blinkered about Richard House's agenda.

    Why are there any references to synthetic phonics and literacy specifically if these are not significant bug-bears to the campaigners.

    The Open Eye supporters/campaigners need to clarify the issue/s.

    If synthetic phonics is not an issue - then reference to it should be removed - or clarified publicly.

    If literacy is an issue as the reference in brackets above indicate, then this needs describing.

    Meanwhile, let me refer people back to the early years petition that I headed up many months ago.

    How come none of these experts and advisers appeared to take an interest in practitioners' unhappiness and call for talks at that time?

    I agree one hundred percent that the EYFS guidance should remain as guidance - and, yes, this would mean that some people could choose to follow it as guidance and some people may choose not to.

    There are also implications, therefore, for the accompanying 'policing' which has been a consequence of the regime of obsessive formal monitoring and evidencing for the Foundation Stage Profiles. These profiles are the 'end point' of the EYFS I believe.

    Will the Foundation Stage Profiles remain statutory?

    What is the Open Eye position regarding the Foundation Stage Profile system?
     

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