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The Point Of Foundation Stage & Planning


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After being employed in a day nursery's pre-school dept to bring in the F.S Curr. I have now been told that my staff still do not understand why we plan activities, they still cannot do any planning, and will not do any observations or adhere in any way to the curriculum. In short they don't see the point. At present we are in the Isle of Man, do not yet as a nursery get OFSTED'ed and do not have to adopt the FSC. However, after being told that I must attend a meeting where my staff team will tell me that they do not know how to fill in a planning sheet (still, although in weekly meetings they have not expressed and difficulties or concerns) I need to justify the benfits with a few good quotes, not just from the QCA folder, as to why this is the way forward.

Having worked with the curriculum since it's beginnings I have tried to prove the benefits and indeed sent the staff out to pre-school depts attached to primary schools to see the FS in action but they still resist the change.

I am at the end of my tether now, at breaking point, I have tried to be gentle with them, but after they have been to the Day Services Manager as a group to object to the planning process, who has called the meeting to see whether we continue with the FS, I really need some fantastic quotes or examples to back ME and the FOUNDATION STAGE up.


Help me please.

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Hi Janet, I don't recall having welcomed you, so I'll do so now!

Welcome!! :D

As for your situation xD:( . Personally, I can't imagine life without the FS!

It makes it easy to see how the children are developing, and gives clear, concise advice as to the hows, whys and wherefores. It is, in my humble opinion (!) a very user friendly document, a real achievement in an official publication! :(


I wonder if your staff just want to do away with any planning at all!

They must understand the need for some structure, and it seems pointless to go around reinventing the wheel when the Guidelines are sitting there already! Surely it makes sense for you to work to the same as local maintained pre-schools.


I really feel for you having to justify yourself in this manner. It is very unfair and ill-mannered of your staff not to have raised this issue in your regular meetings, but have pushed you into this dreadful situation! I think you need to point out that you are all in this profession for the wellbeing (and love!) of the children and anything that helps them to develop to their full potential, as the FS does, can't be bad!!


Don't know if that has been of any help, and sorry if I sound judgmental of your staff :( , I'm just a bit gob-smacked! :o


Sue :D

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Hi Janet

I can only echo what Sue has already said. I really feel for you in this situation. :o


Good Luck, I think they are lucky to have someone like you, who is willing to pull out all the stops to move your nursery forward :)


Trea :)

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I thought I was the only one who had problems wiht reluctant staff. I feel for you and I know how hard it must be to have to justify everything.

But they must be used to some sort of planning- so it's the case of getting theri head around this set of planning.

have they discussed what exactly they don't like or understand?


All the best though- I had to send my head and dep head on a course especially to introduce them to the FS and it has helped.(a bit)

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No. I'm afraid that before I started in Jan 2003, the only planning thay had done was to "get the lego out again because they played nice with it yesterday" and not to get "messy activites" out. :o

We all visited pre-school settings with the FS in existence and took copies of their plans, we have had teachers and nursery nurses in to talk them through the processes, we were asked as a team to devise the planning format, only they were reluctant to do that. I was asked in the absense of any ideas to draw up a set of plans with their input and approval. They have never spoken about problems within meetings, and indeed they all seem "reluctant" to even write in the boxes.

I am beginning to think I am fighting a losing battle, but thanks everyone for your words of support. xD



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So they see themsleves as 'baby/child sitters" keeping providing a service for the parents- (a few free hours without the little pests!!) rather than educators of the chidlren. It is the whole mind set that will have to change before you ring in the changes.


Surely it must be boring not to plan anything- mind you I did work as a lowly nursery assistant in a nursery in a private school which was the same- chidlren had the smae things out :( and yes no messy activities bec it would get the designer clothes dirty!! :o But with the introduction of the FS as a statutory expectation that Nursery has changed dramatically. xD


perhaps you should have a frank discussion with all the memebrs of staff and get the powers above to sit in on the meetings.


Keep us posted

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They obviously feel that if they bury their heads in the sand, eventually you'll go away and they'll be able to go back to how they were before. :o Are there official moves on the Isle of Man to introduce some sort of foundation curriculum?


This must be extremely frustrating for you. xD I'm sorry I don't know any fantastic quotes/research which backs it all up. Good luck though. :)

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hi Janet & welcome

I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing such a problem. Were you employed to move the nursery on in this way?

I'm not sure I have any answers, you sound as if you've been leading by example so unless someone can make them follow the process and it sounds as if the problem will remain.

The Curriculum Guidance document should be what you need, there are lots of books out there but can't help you with any convincing quotes.


Good luck

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Hi Janet,


Sorry to hear about your situation; in my FS dept I have 1 staff member who is reluctant to take it all on too but luckily the rest are on board so she has little choice!


Anyway, could you introduce the idea of weekly themes to capture their interest to think of activities and lead the planning on from there?

I'm sure you've already tried this but good luck anyway and keep us informed of how you get on!



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Hi Janet, and welcome :)

I hadn't realised that there were still areas where the dreaded Ofsted hadn't yet reached! Do you get the nursery education grant? And do you have an EYDCP? They often have a group of FS specialists who are fighting our corner. As was suggested earlier, you might be able to get one of them to join your meeting and give you some back up. Similarly with your LEA. There is probably a "School Improvement Service" department, again with early years specialists who may be able to help. I'd definitely try one or both of these routes.

Putting on my business head for the moment.....is the nursery full? Is everyone complacent because they see no need to improve? Who are your immediate competitors? Can you visit to discuss their approach to the FS? I have recently given my supervisor the chance to swap places for a day in our immediate competitor's setting. It worked well; their supervisor learned a lot from us, and vice versa. We can all get a bit worried when we are competing for the same clients, but settings are all different, and suited to different types of children/parents. You might be able to follow this one up, under the umbrella of "sharing best practice is good for the children"!

Let us know how you get on. :)

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