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:o :wacko: Well girls have seen it all.......................

 

Just had wonderful 4 days in Germany visiting friends who live near Paderborn............... again visited another Kindergarten............. how wonderful to see many children playing from the ages of 3 to 6......... i know 6 years of age PLAYING.......with 3, 4 and 5 year olds!!!!!!!!!!

 

Speaking to the manager she couldnt believe the struggle we all have with the paperwork and planning her question is WHY? soooo much... her words also was that "We as adults do not have this to plan our lifes growing up, our children, homes etc this is not good if we plan our lifes it goes kaputt"

 

When i told her the training that i had and still have to do and qualification, and that we all have to do this... she laughing asked if I was the minister for education hahahahahahheheeee..........she would also like to ask this minister if they to have to do all this too to keep up with their knowledge? good question will ask my MP this week?!!!

 

Their education system is so much better than ours i spoke to kindergarten staff right up to the senior level and their apprenticeship level ...............

 

If we are going along the lines of the EU .................one bit of advise to Tony Blair if your reading this hahaha "GET YOUR BACKSIDE OVER THERE AND LEARN THIS SYSTEM SO EVERYONE BENEFITS ESPECIALLY OUR CHILDREN!!! Tickets with air berlin are soooo cheap!!! :DxD:(:(:(

 

julia

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Guest rhodessj

Doris

 

Good comments - there are actually lots of wonderful models of good, quality, inclusive early education in other European countries too - and most of it is FREE!!!!!

 

Europeans have found that starting formal education at 6 is better for children's long-term development. Sadly here, somebody felt that the adult literacy rates were too low and that we perhaps needed to start formal education earlier and so it has stuck... Not a big problem in my own personal opinion, but why all the beauracracy, paperwork and differences from one setting to another? What the Government needs to do is take responsibility for all the early education & childcare and provide enough money to fully fund it so that all staff can be paid a decent wage, open for hours that suit the parents, remain open in villages with only 5kids etc etc... I'm stopping or I shall be on this soapbox all day!

 

Good luck with your MP - I'd be fascinated to know about his ongoing professional development - ask him how he'd like to have his wages controlled by a voluntary body too?

 

Sandra :o

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:) Please please please Sandra can i print off your reply and question to put into a file Tracey and myself is using to give to Andrew this Friday?

 

Thank you :o

julia

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I'm moving to Germany or Italy or Norway or Denmark or even Wales...why is the emphasis so narrow and damaging here ?

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Part of the problem lies in the fact that we need to educate the parents. I was at a nursery meeting on Monday night - my youngest is due to start after the summer. They gave a fantastic speech and the emphasis was on the fact that children are there to play. At the end I heard many of the parents talking to the nursery staff and most of them were asking about numeracy and literacy. xD Two were complaining because they had got afternoon placements for their children (they split them according to age - older in the mornings). They said they were disappointed because now their children were going to be 'held back' by being in a younger group. :o They're not even 4 yet!! :(

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MMm sounds wonderful!

 

I find that in spite of our best efforts parents still want visible evidence that their children are learning whilst in our care. They dont want the paint sodden pictures or the glue laden junk models, they dont want to hear their children "just played" There is also clear evidence of parents competing as to whose child is best at numbers/reading/writing.

 

It is SUCH a shame and I do get frustrated. the chidren in my setting made biscuits recently and its a case of "i send him/her to pre school and they make biscuits!!!!" (horror, shock, dismay) I could do that at home!

 

They made biscuits, they calculated, they weighed, they experimented with ingredients (some for the first time) they counted, they shared, they talked about space and shape, they interacted with peers and staff, they had a wonderful (and very messy) time and the list goes on. They had a sense of achievement and proudly took their bisucits home (some more edible than others :D ) but parents were not impressed!

 

I am forever looking at and trying out different ways to get the message across and sometimes I feel I fail miserably :o

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*Sigh, it's such a shame isn't it?

 

We self register at my preschool (children take their name labels from a table at the door when they arrive and place them on a large plastic mat). One morning a Mum was overheard saying "well, I suppose we had better get yours, not that you will have anything to put there!! to her son.

 

The staff member who heard this told us all later, so I decided that, the next day I was in I would do a tracking observation of the lad.

 

Well, without going into the vast detail of everything he did that morning, I can say that Mum was stunned when she saw the ob. she could not beleive that he had managed to do so much in one morning.

 

True he hadn't produced anything, but he had spent 40 minutes building a house out of cones, poles and stilts, ( it was amazing to watch ).

 

I am always saddened that so few of our parents are willing to come in to pre-school to watch and to see just what their children are learning. I know when my children were at pre-school I loved to help out.

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I try to get this across the parents at the meeting for new intake we have in June (got it coming up soon - gulp) & what gets me is that they all nod yes yes yes, we agree with you, they're very young, need to play etc etc. But it's all just lip service really. I'm in a v middle class area, they are soo competative about everything - you know, who learned to walk first, who cut their teeth first etc etc.

 

They then spend the next year asking when the children will start doing 'real' work, learn to write numbers, write stories - all that stuff that they should wait until they're 6 or 7 to start. And I show them photo's, talk about observations, describe the brilliant things they did today. It does no good. I had 1 parent concerned about her child having 'no friends'. She's had 1/2 a term off sick, comes back for a week, then she's sick again. What does mum expect? Mum then says 'I don't want to seem rude, but I think she'll be happier in year 1 where they have a proper structure (!!!!!!!!!) to the day, and she'll know what to do. Where she'll be told what to do, I thought! She needs so much to be taught to play, problem solve, interact with others, but all mum wants is for her to sit down and do sums & writing all day long. I was hopping mad!!!

 

Right, rant over, I feel much better now! :)

 

Dianne xxx

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YES YES YES YES to everything you have just said.

I made the mistake of having reading books- chidlren just choose a book to take home and parents can be so competitive about it. :( Now i wonder why i bother- you should see some of the shirty(?or close enough) comments that parents write if i don't change books every week.. Now i just say that in 2.30 hrs there's a lot to be done and i'll change them when i get time. :o

 

I teach in an extremely middle class area xD:(:( and I was interviewed by a propective parent once about my reading and writing scheme- for a 3 year old. This was 2 yrs back when i had just started in the nursery and was still finding my feet. I wish i had told her where to stick........etc etc. She was not immpressed by the amout of play we had so didn't send her child to us. He went to the exclusive 'private' school nursery that fullfilled all her expectations- lots and lots of worksheets, so she knew that her son was being stretched. And you know what :wacko: she is a teacher herself!!

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I attended a workshop on schemas recently and the speaker enthused about a little lad, and read out some wonderful diary entries about his play, and his level of involvement and the joy he showed when he had accomplished something, but then she paused and said, 'but now he is at school and he traces over lines'.(he is 4) How soul destroying is that! :o why oh why do we allow this to happen to our children? xD:(

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Out of interest , we use worksheets for our older children.

They are only used once a week in our one to one time.

The rest of the time they are free to choose what they want to do . They are encouraged to sit down for register and circle time but can choose what they want to do in freeplay.

I am aware that many people are against worksheets but do you think that a few minutes a week doing a worksheet does any harm. It has been said that worksheets stifle the childs creativity. but theyare encouraged to be creative through gluing , drawing , activities etc etc.

I would be very interested to hear anyones opinions.

I also heard from a colleague in a school setting that we should not be teaching the children to say please and thank you as we are imposing our views on them , What is anyones opinion on this ??? I for one do not agree at all.

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We, too use worksheets on an occasional basis with our older ones. I don't see any problem with them if used judiciously. The problem was I think that a while ago some settings felt they were the only way to 'prove' things to Ofsted. Some have remained bogged down with them - hopefully they are becoming the minority! :o

 

Just a comment :)

 

Sue :D

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hi Hotgoss, :D

 

So do you keep your work sheets as evidence then?

My problems with work sheets are that there is usually only one way of doing them- the teacher's way. wHy ask the child to colour in 5 boats when there might be another way to check

1. his ability to count

2. his ability to colour within the lines.

3. his ability to sit still and listen to instructions.

If at all i need evidence and have to use a sheet i would use a blank sheet that would be individual to that child. for example-

Ask the child to roll roll the dice and then stick that many (fish) in the fish bowl etc. or have a game between 2 chidlren.

 

But then, that my personal view

Cheers

Leo

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Yes we do use them as evidence for OFSTED and also so that we have a visual guide as to how the child is progressing. The work is then put in a folder when the child leaves so that they have something to keep from their time at pre-school.

If a child does not want to do a worksheet they are not forced to.

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I have made a conscious decision to not keep anyhting the children have created, I prefer them to take it home the day they create it and talk to their parents about it and share the day this way, otherwise I think the picture/model etc loses it's relevence to the child when they eventually get it back after a term or so.

I take photos everyday and use this as evidence along with observations. OFSTED were happy with this.

 

i know everyone is different, but that's what makes us all so interesting :(:o:(xD:(:D:D

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I work each day with a small group of the older children in our preschool, for about 20mins. They each have an activity book which children use to re-enforce something we have done previously in a practical way. When we were learning about butterflies and symmetry and had done blot pictures, they then did a picture of a butterfly in their books and decorated them symmetrically with various shapes. I never use photocopied worksheets in their books but devise my own follow-up activities. The children show their parents what they have done in their books and they take them home once they leave us and they are very proud of them. We also take lots of pictures.

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