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Eyfs - Lots Of Questions!


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With the introduction of the new EYFS how is this going to affect your on-entry assessments?

 

Previously I had made on-entry assessments based on the stepping stones: children who entered working mainly within the yellow stepping stones were working 'below average' (a horrible term I know but...), mainly within blue demonstrated an 'average' level of achievement and green+ demonstrated an 'above average' level of achievement'.

 

I feel a bit thrown by the way that the new guidance groups things into months (even though there is overlap e.g. 22-36 months and 30-50 months) that don't fit neatly with how the stepping stones were arranged. For example, in the old Curriculum Guidance for KUW 'Investigate construction materials' and 'Realise tools can be used for a purpose' were yellow stepping stones whilst 'Join construction pieces together to build and balance' was a blue stepping stone. However, in the EYFS all of these are put together within the 30-50 months expectations.

 

I have doubts about the value and purpose of tick sheets for assessing children's learning when they come into school but our Ofsted of a year ago showed that they do expect these to be done but I'm personally feeling that these new arrangements are going to make on-entry assessments even more difficult. Shame they didn't include an on-entry proforma that would make Ofsted happy and ensure that we were all making judgements based on the same criteria xD:o.

 

AARGH! I feel even more confused now than I did when I started writing this post!

 

Also, what changes are you going to make to your current provision, planning etc to reflect the new EYFS? There are only a few changes to the ELGs or the names for the 6 areas but are you going to start cross-referencing planning to the four 'themes' that '...[underpin] effective practice in the care, development and learning of young children' i.e. A Unique Child, Positive Relationships etc. I think that I do all of those things and get quite cross having to constantly prove that I do things when my time could be much better spent actually doing them.

 

Am I the only one who finds the cards a bit patronising? Are you going to display that *?!@ poster which after a week will be dog-eared and tatty looking?

 

I think I've finished ranting now! Thank you if you got to the end of this! Please reply quickly before I go completely mad!

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Hi Moose,

 

Please. please dont go mad. You make so much sense!

 

I really havent thought too much about EYFS and planning yet. Coupled with the fact that I dont have a job or class again until January, I thought I might wait and see what everyone else does. But I used the profile for initial assessments this year and concentrated on the first 3 points. Seemed ok with the LEA moderator so not planning on changing that unless anyone can convince me otherwise!

 

I agree about the new descriptors too, although Ive seen a school on the supply round that I had that had a column with Every Child Matters outcomes initialled which the teacher highlighted to fit. Could that be a way out?

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I'm holding back on EYFS until I've had more input, I'm booked in for a couple of courses at Early Excellence on EYFS so hope to get some ideas as my initial training with the LA didn't inspire confidence. The only thing we were really told was that the way we work meets the aims so not to worry. Hmmm!! xD:o

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I'm holding back on EYFS until I've had more input, I'm booked in for a couple of courses at Early Excellence on EYFS so hope to get some ideas as my initial training with the LA didn't inspire confidence. The only thing we were really told was that the way we work meets the aims so not to worry. Hmmm!! xD:o

 

Hiya i'm new to fsf

Im trying not to get to stressed out about the new EYFS as im still trying to destress for doing the records of transfers.

One member of staff in my nursery has been on the EYFS course and has come away disalusioned and worried about the extra paper work they now expect of nurseries.

Just to clariffy as a private day nursery we do not have the summer holiday break, we do not have half term breaks, we do not have teacher training days, we only shut for 2 weeks a year christmas and easter week and bank holidays. The children in our care for 7.45 up to 6.15 the nursery does not shut at 3.15 like most schools.

Due to ratios and constent staff sickness lack of a supernummery not exlusive to our nursery but across the board

We get very little time in work to do paper work so its mostly done at home, much to my partners disgust.

As a roomleader my job quite rightly is with the children caring for them helping them develop in a happy enviroment, not off in the staff room doing endless amounts of paper work.

But why should i have to do so much of it at home ? because we are asked to do even more paperwork then my manager can cover within work time.

The new EYFS is asking for each keyworker to do at least 3 developmental observation write ups on top of the developmental folders we already do

Alot like the ones we do for the records of transfer but in even more detail for each child every year.

When do they expect us to do this?????? ,they dont care, ill just have to give up even more of my own persoanl time UNPAID to do this extra paper work.

These our nursery children for dear sake, but we our expected to chart in more depth their ever move its getting rediculos and quite frankly putting my of child care

I went into this proffession to work with children because i love children and enjoy watching them flurish and develop. I knew the pay scale id revice would be small but thought it worthy carer. I dont want that to change!

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Hi there and, as I haven't said it before, Welcome!!

 

To start, you are definitely not the only DN member - I'm one! :o

 

There really is no extra required, for the EYFS in terms of obs etc if you have good practice in place, which we all do, don't we!!

 

Get back to me with problems - if you have them, either here or by pm.

 

Sue x

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Guest tinkerbell

I am as baffled as everyone else.I teach R/YR1 :(

My other bug bare if we are going to have a stress session is how does the 'letters and sounds fit into all of this?I was going to continue with the numbered e-profile points for assessment.

To be honest I haven't really sat down with all the new stuff...My LEA training was banging on about individual learning journeys...lovely idea but when do you fit it in? and of course 80% assessment from continous provision...poor children won't be getting any by the time I have done a daily phonic,guided reading,guided writing.......... :(

I think it will be put your wellies on and get out onto the field and sod them all!!!! :o

 

Can you tell I am feeling demob happy xD:(

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I'm glad it's not just me! I was going to raise the 'Letters and Sounds' thing too. They're asking an awful lot aren't they? All that phonics stuff AND those high frequency words AND teaching them to spell 'tricky' (give-it-a-twee-name-and-then-it-won't-freak-people-out) words like 'they' and 'are'. How do the last two fit in with the ELGs?

 

Also, bearing in mind that official things are usually pitched in the middle is it really feasible that 'average' ability children will be able to read 'Kevin's dad cooks chicken for them on hot coals' a month before the end of term? I'm a big phonics fan and think that I don't teach it too badly and whilst my higher ability children could manage this my middle ones would struggle. Then there's all those alternative spellings and pronunciations by the end of Y1. I just get to the stage where I think, 'Yeah, whatever'.

 

'Individual learning journeys' always make me laugh bitterly and stomp around kicking the furniture.

 

I can feel another episode of insanity coming on - they're becoming more and more frequent!

 

Before the men in white coats come to take me away could you explain more about your on-entry assessments please. Susan - how do you use the first three points to gauge on-entry levels? Do you make 'below', 'average', 'above' judgements and if so, how? Tinkerbell - I don't use the eprofile. Could you explain more about the numbered points? Thank you!

 

You guys are helping me to keep it together - just...

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Guest tinkerbell

Another day and it is sunny :o

 

I think we are all talking about the same points here Moose....when the children enter reception they are on the green stepping stones (generally)they move on (not necessarily in order) and most should have reached point 6 at the end of reception...I think your school is similar to mine and most are 7/8 the odd high flier may get a 9 in some areas (I am very cautious with 9s)the e-profile which my authority asks us to use is the stepping stones.

 

As far as a baseline on the tes resources some one has put a lovely booklet which I think I will be adapting and using ,it was on the early years thread.

 

Tinkerbellx

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Thank you Tinkerbell for taking the time to post that for me - the link did work! Have you thought of a way to work out 'below', 'average'...entry levels from this or do you not do that/not think it's necessary? I think that last question sounds a bit rude but I don't know how else to word it. I am genuinely interested and appreciate your help. :o

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Guest tinkerbell

I think i will just go with 'gut instinct' and generally look at the children as individuals and as a group if you know what I mean....I would use parts of the booklet and perhaps make some pages of my own in fact before you know it it will turn into a 'learning journey!'.....if I use it during the first 2-3 weeks it will be a base line and give me a good indication of what the children can do and what i need to do....it may also be useful for the parent evening? I know Marion has posted in the past that her LEA has a baseline but mine doesn't. When Ofsted came last July they wanted to know where the children started at...I did something similar to the booklet and I put assessments into the the e-profile at the end of the first half term.they were ok with it.

Tinkerbellx

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I really haven't looked into the EYFS in detail yet in terms of implimenting it in my preschool but whether it be FSC or EYFS I have always wondered why reception need to do an 'on entry' assessment given that they have a record of transfer from a preschool. That said, I know not all preschools do a ROT but with the EYFS it will be compulsory.

 

Please can anyone answer, if an end of preschool assessment has been done, why can this not be used as the 'on entry' assessment for reception?

 

Yes there is a period of 6 weeks holiday but I thought baseline assessments were stopped due to the fact that children need a little time to 'settle-in' to their 'new' maintained sector environment.

 

If the ethos of the EYFS is to be followed, a seamless curriculum from birth to 5 years then why do a seperate 'on entry' assessment at age 4-5, the usual age for entry into reception? Why not just continue from the preschool record of transfer?

 

Peggy

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I quite agree, Peggy. Someone needs to tell Ofsted though. The Standards site makes this statement:

 

From September 2003, the Foundation Stage Profile will provide for inspectors a useful benchmark of attainment by the end of the Reception Year. The Profile will complement the wide range of evidence of children's progress collected on inspections. Inspectors are aware that baseline assessments are no longer required and will not expect schools to take a particular approach to an 'entry assessment'. Inspectors will, however, evaluate the contribution that assessment makes to the quality of teaching and learning and the progress made by pupils. They will also judge how effectively the Foundation Curriculum is being implemented. (viewable at http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/f...45599/#1152361)

 

However, from my own experience and reading about other people's Ofsted's experiences they are interested in your on-entry assessments and want quantifiable figures for where children were when they started and where they are now. Some people have done 'badly' in Ofsteds just because they didn't do an on-entry assessment and that has coloured all the judgements that Ofsted have made about their provision.

 

Of course, the fact that no-one is singing from the same hymn sheet makes all of our jobs incredibly difficult.

 

There is also the problem that everyone doesn't have the same approach to assessments. I have children start school with a wide variety of playgroup/nursery backgrounds and the judgements that are made aren't consistent: some four year olds start with all of the ELGs ticked off! I also have instances when children transfer part way through the year and the judgements that their previous teachers have made about their levels of achievement are very different from mine although that's not assuming that I'm right.

 

I know that we are moderated for aspects of the profile but I still feel that some people (in my authority certainly) use it to just tick off what the children have covered rather than use it to rigorously assess what children can actually do and that the monitoring isn't going far enough to remedy this. Once again this year my class APS is about 5.8 (it would have been higher but I had one child who scored 24 and another who scored 25) whilst the average for the county will be about 7 or 8. When I was moderated for the profile about a year ago the moderator was impressed with what my children could do but didn't change any of my judgements. Does this mean that my children weren't/aren't doing that well, that my assessments are too hard or that other people are too lenient?

 

I'm just tying myself up in knots here...

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Guest tinkerbell

Stop tying yourself in knots Moose, you are a very good teacher I know this from all your responses on this forum.The fact that you are worrying shows how dedicated you are to wanting to get things right for your children.

I agree with you and Peggy it would be brilliant to pick up the childrens assessments from their place before school but as you have found not all nurseries,pre schools,playgroups etc send assessments with the children and some have been filled in incorrectly...I do read everything that comes with the children but my intake of 15 come from 7 different settings....some places send nothing.

As you say Moose Ofsted last July wanted to know where the children were when they started Reception and they could then say how they had achieved at the end of their reception year.....it is tricky but I feel that i do need to 'cover my back'at times..and so will be doing some sort of 'baseline'in the first couple of weeks.

I was moderated this year and the moderators agreed with all my judgements but would have liked more individual observations (this was suggested in a nice way) why I said ???(I don't have time I do individual ones when necessary)

Moose we will never get it right!!!

Tinkerbellx

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Moose we will never get it right!!!

Tinkerbellx

Of course you will Tinkerbell - but then of course 'they' will move the goalposts...

 

I was glad to read what you said about reading everything that gets sent with the child from their previous setting - I only wish that some of our feeder schools did. In fact I remember the local school ringing up a whole term after a child left us to ask why we hadn't sent their Profile. We had hand delivered it so the school would have it before the child arrived for her first day...

 

Mind you, I'm aware that if we send observations with the children's Profiles teachers would spend all their time reading and not teaching - but how do you get the right balance?

 

Maz

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Peggy, everything you say makes complete sense - I think that it DOESN'T happen because practitioners are sometimes wary of accepting the judgments of other practitioners when they don't know them very well and aren't sure of the level and standards to which these ROT assessments have been carried out and find it difficult when they recieve ROTs from different settings that are all so different ( :o )! It doesn't help that each pre-school setting may have its own system of assessment and record keeping, including different forms of paperwork. This is where I think more moderation needs to be undertaken within each authority - maybe it should come under the responsibility of the EY advisors who already moderate the FSP assessments in reception classes. I know that some authorities have devised there own pre-school setting assessment schemes and all settings - maintained and PVIs - are expected to use it....I think that Marion made a post somewhere saying that they did that in her authority? Although that would take away the individuality of settings and their "right" to devise their own systems of planning and assessment to some extent, I think it would also make transfer of records between settings a lot easier and "seamless" because all practitioners would be singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak and moderation couild be undertaken to make sure that judgments were consistent.

 

Goodness knows if that makes sense - have just got up this morning after having driven trhough France for 14 hours yesterday.....can't get through the kitchen for the MOUNTAIN of washing in there......but I just felt compelled to write!! xD

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Although that would take away the individuality of settings and their "right" to devise their own systems of planning and assessment to some extent, I think it would also make transfer of records between settings a lot easier and "seamless" because all practitioners would be singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak and moderation couild be undertaken to make sure that judgments were consistent.

As someone who has spent many hours thinking about how to make our observation and record keeping system as meaningful as possible (for us and for children's next setting) I have often thought it would be great if there was an agreed or 'correct' way to organise things. As practitioners we are always looking for ways to make things easier whilst maintaining the integrity of the information gathered.

 

In our authority there is currently no 'approved' method of recording children's achievements and reporting them - but we do receive regular input from our early years advisers and regularly share best practice with our colleagues from other settings.

 

I think it is important for pre-schools such as mine to regularly talk to colleagues in the primary schools we feed to ensure that the information we provide is fit for purpose once it reaches them. Building close relationships in this way will also give them confidence that the judgements we make on individual children's Profiles can be justified by what we have observed and what we know children are capable of.

 

It is all too easy - in maintaining each group's autonomy and respecting diversity of provision - to worry about offending sensibilities and 'treading on people's toes' but ultimately we need to devise systems that generate accurate information about children's progress in order to ensure that Profiles provide a true picture of a child's current stage of development.

 

On balance I'd say in the short term you stand a much better chance of success with your washing pile Wolfie!

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"On balance I'd say in the short term you stand a much better chance of success with your washing pile Wolfie!" :oxD:(

 

 

On a serious note, I agree with both Wolfie and HappyMaz, some very valid points. I do think we do need to get this 'transition' sorted....

a) to meet the EYFS requirements

:( to ensure a true, comprehensible assessment is forwarded which is 'professional, objective, realistic and therefore useful and 'usable'' for Reception teachers, to stop the need for baseline assessments enabling more time spent on settling children to their new environement............and most important of all...............

c) to ensure the transition is as 'seamless' as possible for each and every child.

 

Our ROT format was devised by our LA but it still enables individuality and freedom of methods for assessment, these methods being monitored by Ofsted Inspections, however, these are not frequent enough so I think it would be in the best interest of the children to have the same type of moderation that occurs in mainstream schools within the PVI sector.

 

Peggy

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ooh, and the b ) ROT's should then be accepted by schools Ofsted Inspectors as the 'on entry' benchmark to enable a clear measurment of achievement by end of reception.

 

We are all working to the same curriculum so it shouldn't be that difficult to include PVI settings in the same 'format' that every school in the country uses. :o

 

yeh, I know wearing my rose tinted glasses again xD

 

Peggy

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I have worked in an LEA where PVIs were encouraged to participate in moderation etc along with the schools, unfortunately few took advantage of it due to timings and the age old "my time" agenda. Not unsurprisingl

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I have just returned from an exhausting whirlwind trip to prague and thought that i would catch up with all you wonderful collegues also whilst doing the ho;iday washing

What a great deal of sense we all seem to talking but why does no one in 'authority' seem to be listening to us?

I am fed up with receiving well meaning pre school records that have all the profiles ticked as achieved and finding out that the children can just about write their name [ni capitals] looking like they have trained a dead spider to perform on the paper

We really must try to find a common form of transfer where we all trust each others judgements and not try to outdo each other or make it look as though we havent had any impact on the children

I also do an on entry baseline more to find a level playing field than anything else it is very similar to the one mentioned before

Sorry for the missivre but this really winds me up

Carmad

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but this is where appropriate training on what is expected applies...how many pre-schools have the opportunity to have any on profiles etc. many of us have never even seen one let alone know how to complete them. we all have to devise our own recording systems and all are different, for us though it does mean we can work to a format we find suitable for the setting and children and parents to understand.

 

We have had training in our area which is available occasionally, usually around transfer time, along with training on completing the documents but we are expected to do this in our own time, unpaid (unless the setting is generous and can afford it) and then complete all relevant paperwork again unpaid. settings just cannot afford to pay the staff to do it.

 

how many would willingly go evenings when you need to find babysitters etc and not get any payment for doing so? Particularly on the low wages we all get anyway.

 

we do the documents and spend time completing them but find many do not even bother to look at them...so why should we spend our unpaid time on them

 

Our schools and parents often comment on our knowing the children and being 'spot on' but then we had the training plus years of experience.

 

Inge

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Two inspirational articles in Nursery World this week gives the answers to these problems, just wish Government would not only listen but HEAR what has been said for quite a long time.

 

First article is from PAT - Quote "Too much formal education too soon and playtime reduced for the sake of academic achievement, particularly in the early years." ie: planning for Profile assessments / Ofsted / league tables etc. " Early learning opportunities should prepare children for life not just for school." Main theme is supporting a reduction in the starting age for school to 6 or 7 yrs.

 

Second article is called "In an Ideal World" basically comparing the education system offered in the 60's, 70's, 80' as better for childrens well being. Compared to the present day accountability and bureaucracy following government funding. Children are being led through narrow pathways of learning to the test ( profiles).

 

Let children stay in PVI or maintained for a clear period up to age 6 or 7 WITHOUT transitions, then we won't have this 'communication' problem between providers. Let children stay in the same setting from start to end of the profile ( or do away with profiling altogether and let the experienced professionals use their knowledge of child development and skills of teaching within an ethos that gives children their childhood back.

 

rose tinted glasses again, but maybe.................

 

 

Peggy

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As a reception teacher I don't baseline children unless they have no records from a previous setting. Most of the children who enter my class will have attended our FSU so I know them well and have been involved in their nursery assessment records so it would be a waste of time repeating assessments for the sake of it.

Speaking from a personal point of view I am happy to accept information passed on from other settings but as Carmad says I have had assessment documents passed on where every single point has been awarded and after a short time with the child it is obvious that it isn't correct. xD We even had a three year old transfer into our nursery with a completed profile. :o

I may be wrong but I feel some settings are doing this to impress parents and show what a good job they are doing but they are doing the child and other "honest" settings a huge disservice because it makes schools doubt information from ALL sources. So it may be that schools in your area have had this experience and want evidence for when parents say "But he/she could do it in nursery/pre school....."

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its a mine field - the change over from FSC to EYFS

for many settings it is long awaited to finally have all the paperwork regulations in one folder blended together instead of 4 separate and at times conflicting documents,

 

however alot of it isn't relevant to reception class, stepping stones for the under 3s and alot of the care regulations so I would say don't panic its shouldn't mean more paperwork or drastic changes in practice it it just that the packs are aimed at everyone instead of each different form of children's setting having a different version.

 

as for the EYFS it seems to have gone off on a tangent

...and the age old question of the accuracy of transfer records from preschool to school ... well.... ? I spent time writing my dissertation on transition and found this a major issue, one persons judgment isn't always the same as another's and one persons interpretation of the stepping stones isn't always the same as another's.

inconsistencies in the child's abilities at the start of reception with their ROT are very common, if not the norm, it doesn't automatically mean that the nursery staff where wrong or over zealous in their judgments, we seem to forget that alot of children also regress slightly when they move up to "big school" and it takes an average of 6 months for a child to fully settle in and catch up with what they should be doing. at the start it might appear that the nursery staff where over zealous filling in records but I would urge reception to wait and review the ROT about 6 months after the child starts before condemning the record as inaccurate,

 

we are wondering on the time scale to phase out the FSC and begin to refer to EYFS in our policies and documents and altering the format of out current development records and planning

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