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We had a parent helper in this morning to help out. Because of the good weather we took all our activities outside (water, sand, building blocks, chalkboards, painting easels to accommodate 4 children, as well as all the outdoor equipment) they also had access to the main room, where there is a computer, sticking and glueing, mark making table, computer, home corner, book corner, cafe style snack bar, and several castles. All areas were well supervised. FREE FLOW PLAY between outside and inside. :)

 

The parent in question who is a lovely lady mentioned that she's concerned that the lack of structure will mean that her child will find it difficult to settle into reception in September as they 'Make them sit down for long periods." (I hope not!) xD I did reasure her by letting her know that we do extra activities , to help them adapt to school life. We organise these in a fun/play manner. They all bring in lunch boxes with a simple snack and drink inside, as the local school does not provide them with cooked meals and it can be tricky to open the boxes, peel a banana and open a packet of crisps. This may be the first time that they have had a go at this, practice writing their names, basicall following the end of the foundation stage for a pre-school, changing for PE, again I could go on.

 

I showed her the foundation stage handbook (which is available to all parents in an accessible area) and discussed the stepping stones that we are required to plan for. She mentioned that at the reception class the children are set a test that requires them to recognise numbers randomly up to the 40's! :o From this and other tests they are then put into groups.

No wonder she was concerned if this is happening!

 

Have I been reading the wrong foundation stage curriculum?

 

Angie

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Is it a private school?

 

I only ask beacsue I alwasy thought that we (I mean the state sector) are obliged to provide measl for children, whether they have to be hot or not I dont know, but they have to be there for the children who are entitled to free dinners. (am I wrong here?)

 

I also cant see thepoin of the test you describe- any members here doing that?

somehow I doubt it.

 

Could you find out something about the school yourself, just in case she has (soemhow?) got the wrong end of the stick.

:o

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It really is all about "educating" parents as to what the early years are all about. I know a lot of my parents move their children from pre-school to nursery because they think that are going to have a more formal environment there. It gets quite distressing at this time of year when they have found out their child has been allocated a nursery place and the poor little things have just about settled with us. I try to explain that what we provide is the same as if they moved them but it often falls on deaf ears.

I am with Mundia on this-I doubt if anybody on this forum would be doing what this school appears to be. It does sound like a private school.

Linda

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AAAhhh! but it's about how each party perceives the other. I am a Nursery teacher with 26 children in the mornings. My Nursery premises is used by the local pre-school in the aftrnoon with school providing lunch time cover. We muddle through -its very hard bec we work to different standards of expectations. There is a lot of problems of resources(going mising) being used up etc etc. xD

But there is a perception by the pre-school ( a certain amount of canvassing) that the nursery is very formal and structured. :(

Thats not true bec i am a trained N Nurse first and a PGCE teacher second. Come this time of year we have a struggle to get new ones and the pre-school struggles to keep their older ones.

I can't help it if parents want their children in nursery and it is the NUrsery premises after all- :(

your comments awaited. :o

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Hi Leo,

When you say you work to different standards of expectations, do you mean in terms of running the group, ie looking after the premises and resources, or do you mean in terms of delivering the curriculum?

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My comments weren't a criticism of LEA nurseries. With the introduction of the foundation stage we should all be working to the same standards. And I am more than happy that many of the children we have go on to nursery because I know that they will cope with the change very well. It's just the few who have had problems settling with us and are just gaining their confidence that I worry about. We don't have nursery classes attached to all of our schools and so they won't all feed into a reception class within the school where the nursery is. This means a year later they are going to have to change and go through that settling in period all over again.

But parents do feel that their child will miss out by not going to a nursery as it is their perception that they will get more formal teaching there. And, although we all know in the vast majority of cases this won't be the case that's what they think. Some also feel pressured by other parents to take up places. I always advise parents to consider what is best for their child. But I would never try to influence their decisions by being critical of nurseries. Parents have the right to choose and that's how it should be.

Linda

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Im with you on that one Linda...

 

I tell our parents till im blue in the face that we cover exactly the same as nurseries...but do they listen no pre schools are for playing and nothing else they think......... :o

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Helen

 

I mean that chidlren in my care havea lot of freedom and independence of choice of resources. We spend a lot of time teaching tidying up techniques and the need to take care and not hurt each other (physically and emotionally) . During Nursery times they always check and count the chidlren in each area before joining the group and are very aware of the number of people 'allowed' in the home corner, the specific colour apron used for water and paint actiivty etc.

Many of the children who are with me in the mornings stay for the pre-school in the afternoon. It confuses them that there are no such regulations in the afternoon sessions. and somtimes try to get out of tidying by saying 'we don't have to do that in the pre-school'

i'msure that pre-schools also have regualr routines that they adhere to like tidying up, sitting down for snacks and story time etc.

am I being unreasonable to expect nursery equipment be used with care? :o

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don't mind me

I'm just having my moan.

It's not easy sharing premises with another organisation.

it means not having time to put up displays, chagning the interest tables and ariving at nursery at 7.45 am to get things ready for the day.

it also means that i bring all my work, assessments etc home to complete- which means that the house in overrun with files, planning documents etc etc etc.

Just having a moan. I love the job and the kids really :D:D:o

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Angie,

that certainly doesn't happen in my Reception classroom.

How does this parent know all this anyway?

 

Mundia, the state primary that my nephews go to has no kitchen, the children have to take packed lunches. My sister's circumstances are such that I too have asked what will be the situation should she be on income support in the near future?

 

Leo, sounds confusing certainly and hard work for you and the children.

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Hello again

 

No, it's not a private school. Yes she is certain. As her older child attended this school and this was her teacher. Several people have told me this, not all of them know each other. In Buckinghamshire, I was told, they do not provide hot meals to first school. The children at our pre-school also tidy up after themselves other wise you've got absolute chaos.

 

I've never come across parents thinking that the children are going to get a more formal type of education, interesting. I have however come across parents attitudes towards playschools as they think all they do is play! For goodness sake it's just a name whether it's Pre-school/nursery/playgroup aren't we all the same! I love my job, it's my chosen career but some days are more trying than others.

 

Angie

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Leo

 

Your Nursery sounds exactly like our pre school but i do know what you mean about sharing premises, We share our with a toddler group,karate etc. etc. Things are always going walkabout and displays take a real bashing from the toddlers.

 

Would love to have a sole use room and be able to leave the equipment out.

 

:)

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i think a lot of us are unfortunateenough to have to share our premises and put everything away at the end of each session, having to use our homes as storage for paperwork... and as we say we wouldnt be doing it unless we loved the children and our jobs :o

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Hi Leo,

I can appreciate how frustrating that must be; you're not being unreasonable at all. Is there any scope for staff meetings with the preschool? Even if it was only once per term, it might help to come to an agreement about the things you mention, especially taking care of the resources, etc. Are they approachable?

About the tidying up aspect....very young ones could still help a little, but I'm guessing the staff find it easier and quicker to do it themselves! You could suggest that the older ones (ie the ones that also attend your nursery) could be encouraged to show the littlies how to tidy up. maybe "special jobs monitors"-type thing?

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Angie, two classroom assisstants at our local primary, 1 of which has been in reception for about 15 years, have recently been doing FS training. The one has told us at pre-school (playgroup) that she is only now realising how much they've been doing wrong in reception. From what I've heard and read most of the problem about reception being structured is down to the heads who fail to understand the early years and pressure from key stage 1 to get the children ready for formal learning. I reada report recently that reckons upto 98% of reception classes across the country are'nt working to the FS as they should be. Our primary is getting better but I doubt it will happen overnight, after all we were already advocates of play when the FS was born.

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Very true, rea,

i have a TA who has worked in the old style reception classess (pre FS) i hope! but she was/is very keen to bring 'elements' of the literacy hour- big book and word, sentence etc structure into our Nursery. She is also used to being charge of the 'art' work and will if allowed to, produce 26 identical 'art works' that none of the children can identify as their own. We have been working together to change attitudes but it is hard work as she often sees Nursery as 'getting them ready for rec' xD

My little ones are doing very well with the informal aspects of learning but i still manage to get the learnign in there.

Hopefully Rec classess are slowly changing to the FS. Teachers find it difficult to 'let go' and allow the children the freedom to learn by themslef. They are often worried about htere being a percption in school and parents that the chidlren are 'just messing around' :o

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Agree with the above couple of comments - love the bit about 'just play' in pre-school too - my response would be "yeah, and..."!!! We play a lot in my YR class, thank god, & I'm working ever so hard to make their learning grow from the children's interests rather than the objectives/activities in some silly folder - but it's so hard, with all the pressure you get everywhere you turn!!!

 

Random numbers to 40!!! Might as well give them an algebra assessment while they're at it!

 

Dianne (PS, went for a look around a new school today - looks OK, quite relaxed about Foundation stage, I think (Wish I was sure though!)) Lots to think about, my brains a bit scrambled at the moment!

 

xxx

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Guest valletta

well have read all the entries

 

somehow the parents see us as a dumping ground.... all of a sudden we have had a influx of 2-2 and a half year olds. they are mainly not potty trained which means we run around chasing them to change there nappies/pullups. the social skills of most of the children that come in is zero! the mums are all gunho about them starting... you try to contact them when the child cries as too young to leave mum - and mum disappears off the face of the earth... sorry mobile turned off!

 

we have a lot to put up with these days despite teaching them the basics of the curriculum and foundation stage... the other day I was trying to teach them about a Country, the poor mites just sat there - the two-two and half year olds ran about and the others waiting to start school soon shouting out and saying do not want this - I think us pre=school leaders etc have to put up with a lot these days, forget the education side of things - for us it is the social skils, leaving mum etc I could go on and on the setttings out there know what I mean. the mums would not treat the schools as they treat us - with not turning up and sending in children ill, with no spare pullups/clothes (even though we have spares in our store cupboard)... when questioned why they do not attend - well went to the beach for the day etc - would they try this at school?

 

enough moaning now..... but agree with all on this site, we were once a flourishing Pre school just taking 3year olds only - now reduced to taking children not ready at all for preschool because of age. I do love my job and will be in it for many years to come..... but I thibk it all fell to peices when the government said 4year olds start school...reducing us to scramble around for young children........ bring back entry age at 5years like countries abroad- our country is the youngest age we send to school, many countries start at 6years old with them at pre school/kindergarden till then.

I expect I will get several comments on this.

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I think I see where you are coming from.

 

I too work in a pre-school and whilst I am not sure that parents see us as a dumping ground it seems to be heading that way.

 

Not so long ago we had parents, who in their own way, were supportive of what we as a pre-school were doing with their children. They came to visit and stayed for varying lengths of time until their child settled.

 

Parents contacted us having heard about us from a relative or friend, liked what we offered and registered their child.

 

Parents chose to send their children to us and to pay our fees.

 

Since the funding came in I have seen a change. Where previously the parents of a 3yr old decided to give their child the chance of time at pre-school we now have parents who are not actually that interested in what we do and sadly, not too interested in their child's progress but we are convenient in terms of location and we are "free"

 

I console myself that these children are happy during their time with us and I make every effort to make their time as positive and beneficial as possible - I get excited by a childs new- found skill/achievement or whatever and the deflation I feel when sharing it with non appreciative/interested parents is a sad sign of the times I suppose :o

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Hello valletta,

I am in entire agreement with all your points. I have taken rising 3's into my group for many years.but as from September am in the fortunate position of having a very full waiting list. As from September children have to be 3 years old to attend.I have explained this to the parents of the children on my waiting list and most of them are very understanding. Two parents objected. One of the parents starts their maternity leave in September and wanted their child to attend everyday because they said they would be climbing the walls . I don't know if she was referring to herself or the child. The other parent is also expecting her 3rd child in August. I have given them the option to look else where or to wait.

Another thing that really annoys me is when parents bring an obviously unwell child in and say that they are unwell but still want to come. I used to be more lenient over this but now I ask them to take them home incase their condition is contagious. Then of course their is the parent who brings a child in who has been up half the night "throwing up. I feel it is not fair on the staff and more important very unfair on the child.

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Hi to Valletta, Geraldine and Bubblejack, All of your recent comments had me racking my brains, are you sure you've never worked in my setting? Sounds suspiously like I've been spied on!! :D:D:D

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What about the parent who sends a poorly child to nursery and then can't be contacted at all. Or leaves phone numbers that are n't valid anymore or has phone networks that have poor distance range :o

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We had one arrive this morning with grandma with his arm in a sling, very badly bruised apparently. She wasn't going to even explain what he had done until a member of staff asked!!!!!! And, she did not ask if it was ok for him to be there! No mention of him staying off the climbing frame or anything! I wasn't too bothered about him staying as we kept an eye on him, although I did find him at the top of the climbing frame at one point even though we had told him not to go on it several times! It would have been nice to be asked though as he was a liability!!!

Linda

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Lets face it. Whatever we sat parents think there IS a difference between Preschool and Nursery. The nursery is usually in a school and that means "beter education". Only by retraining parents will we make them realise that children shouild not be in formal education until they are 7.

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I think part of the problem lies in the fact that many parents still see academic acheivement as the primary concern for their child not realising that a happy and self motivated child will learn so much more than one who is forced and pushed into areas they have no interest in. :o It takes time for any 'new' way of thinking to get through - we just have to keep doing what we do - educating both children and parents - and hope that parents will catch on eventually. :)

 

In my area parents put their children into the state run nursery because its more structured. The nursery have to work in that way because they have a large number of children in a very small portakabin. Parents think that this is the best preparation for school because they still have visions of what school was like when they went there. The nursery staff do a great job but I personally think that its not the right place for a 3yr old.

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At the risk of offending school nurseries, I hold my hand up in guilt. My first year in Nursery I found that the activities and learning was targetted more at the 4 year olds- getting them ready for School :o and the 3 year old I flet were add-ons to be managed till they got older. But my Nursery has changed xD I think i can safely say that. We are more hands on and creative and I have said that chidlren will not be made 'ready' of the reception but will have to enjoy what nursery has to offer first :( This has caused problems with staff who are not able to deal with the new system.

I know that even though I run my nursery based on the FS curriclum, a lot of parents think that nursery is the beg of formal education. :( and i have had request for the home corner be closed for little johnny so that he could do his learning rather than playing. :( at 3 and a half mind you.

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Leo - well done you for holding out!! xD

 

I'm in a DN, and have received similar requests from parents - some actually want us to have their children at 'learning activities' all day long!! There is a marked number who are noticeably put out when there are only a few 'worksheet' type activities in their folders on Parent's Evening, and despite our explanations of the rationale of the FS, they take some convincing that what we do in our setting is what ANY ( and all ) setting for this age group should be doing. We are building firm foundations for their children's future learning - one day they will realise this and thank us, even if only in their minds. :)

 

I hope! :o

 

Sue :D

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Leo thats great to hear. Stand firm and don't let the parents grind you down. :o I know parents only want to do their best for their children but I wish they would recognise that playgroups and nurseries have very good qualified staff who know what they're talking about. :)

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