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Foundation Stage And Ofsted!


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I am really panicking now! Just heard we are having Ofsted in September. Inspection starts on the new childrens first full day in school. To make matters worse we are having a single intake for the first time - some very young children. I wondered if anyone had any advice on planning the first few weeks. I was planning on very unstructured activites and lots of playing but now wonder whether I should rethink and have at least number of group activities going on.

Also am considering planning 5 activities Literacy, NUmeracy, creative, KNowledge, physical and rotating groups throughout the day. Has anyone had experience of this and did it work?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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In the first few weeks our priorities should be to help the child feel happy and relaxed and get to know them. I feel it is essential that our plans reflect this. However, this does not stop you from having clear objectives linked to your activities. It would also be wise to offer the kinds of plans that you would be using in a couple of weeks time (maybe last years). I would also have some group activities planned as a means of getting to know the children on a personal level, their interests and abilities etc. Planned observations would also be useful especilly if you can show how these will inform your planning.

Good Luck

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HI Ladybird,

Ofsted will be wanting to see how you settle the children.

You will have alarge number of children who will have just come from nurseries regardless of their age and you will be best to operate in a very laid back way while concentrating on settling and establishing your rules and routines.

You can do lots of short carpet times and activities to gauge where the children are etc.

What would you normally do at this stage in September? Work along those lines but expect to need longer because of the numbers and increased age range.

I always make my first few days very user friendly, lots of nursery activities which will of course be relevant anyway with an emplhasis on settling and getting used to oneanother and you, with lots of story times and singing etc and painting etc to get the walls covered. you could start to introduce a topic in this way. You could do some big book work to check children have heard terminology and to begin to establish what you are going to progresss to etc.

You will need to take plenty of time for dinner routines etc. Take the time you need and remember that Ofsted know you have new children and that is what they will be looking at!! Above all be yourself.


Will the children have had any part time provision with you? You say its their first full day in school.

If youve had some part time time you will know a little about the children so may be able to do more but if all the children are with you all day for the first time they will need to readjust to the bigger group. Dinner time may also be traumatic and they will be tired in the afternoon so take it slowly.

If you can do all you had planned that will be fine and if the children cope better than expected read stories, sing songs and rhymes, establish counting sequences, play auditory discrimination games, encourage speaking and listening, start circle time routines etc.


Hope that helps.

Good luck!

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Hi Ladybird, welcome on board, and thanks for poasting.


First and most important, dont panic. I know its easy to say, but dont go and spoil your summer worryng about it. :o


You dont say whether you are talking reception or nursery?


I had my last OFSTED in te second week of September, and we still had children crying, parents in, we were still doing home visits, and, wait for it, NO planning. Well not in any formal sense anyway. There has to be a foundation specialsit on the team, and they should completely understand that your priorities will be settling children in and establishing routines. We were highly commended on our induction rotuines, and they did say they were impressed that we hadnt gone into planning overdrive just because we had OFSTED in. Because most of our children are EAL, they were also impressed with the support we had in place.

What is really important is for you NOT to chnage your usual settling in routines. So for example, are you doing home visits, or having some childern in each day over a period of days? Carry on with that, they will want to see how you settle them in. They will not expect you to be all singing all dancing.

You can still organise group activities and some whole group times, depending on their previous experiences, they may well be used to that anyway. Circle time alwasy goes down well, as does a PE session (if you have a parachute, get that out)


Im more than happy to share with you some of the things that we did do in terms of paperwork if you think it wold be of any help.




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Welcome to both ladybird and shargood! :D I would just echo what Susan and Mundia have said. I think OFSED are looking for best practice and the biggest part of that is meeting the needs of the children. In this case it is focusing on settling them in - you really can't do anything else until the children are happy and comfortable in your setting. :) Stick with what you would normally do and I'm sure you'll be fine - good luck! :D

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Thanks to all of you

You all made me feel a little more at ease! I think I will concentrate on settling children in and just plan some play activities.

Mundia I would be really grateful if you could let me have any written stuff you had for ofsted or at least some ideas. Email me direct if you prefer.

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:o Hi,

Our group is also getting inspected in September (we presume, anyway, because we have actually got an inspection date in August?!!!) Typical Ofsted!

All the comments are valuable to us to.

Many Thanks

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I believe you should have Settling in as part of your long term planning- we have just had an inspection and we were commended for our planning which was thought to be excellent, our aims were as follows

¨ To know that they are valued as individuals¨ To separate from main carer with support/with confidence¨ To know that they have a place and will be noticed and taken care of¨ To feel a sense of belonging¨ To know where things are within the nursery environment¨ To have a strong exploratory impulse¨ To be able to takes responsibility for meeting own personal needs and for equipment¨ To feel involved and interested ¨ To be able to select and put away resources and to choose and sustain interest in an activity¨ To show increasing independence in selecting and carrying out activities¨ To know the daily routine ¨ To feel good about themselves as a person and learner¨ To develop positive attitudes towards learning¨ To be motivated , enthusiastic persistent confident¨ To show curiosity¨ To feel : secure good about self successful competent a sense of enjoyment· To show a sense of trust of others · To have a positive approach to new experiences· To be able to ask for help from adults and other children


How you achieve this depends on your staffing and setting.

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