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Oh Dear... I Think We Are Doing It All Wrong!


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Eeeeek!

 

I have just been reading lots of posts on here about how people run their nursery to comply with EYFS and i think we are doing it wrong...

 

We do have a MTP - we have the same MTP as Reception and we work on a 2 year rolling program Therefore we DO have topics... and i dont know anything about Key workers! How do they work?!

 

God i am such a novice!!

 

Please could someone explain to me?

 

Thank you!

 

Tink! :o x

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Hi Tink - and I'm not sure I've even welcomed you yet!

So, Welcome !! :o

 

Don't worry too much, everyone does things differently, and we all need to bear in mind our own children - what works for me may not work for you, that's why the early years are so diverse.

 

Are you part of the school - sorry, I'm not clear about your particular setting. If you are part of the school, then you'll need to discuss this with colleagues. Maybe when I've got that straight I can be a bit more help on the MTP, topics front.

 

Keyworkers is actually really simple. A Keyworker has a group of children that they particularly focus on, working with them, maintaining their records, providing a first contact for the family. They are the ones that settle children in their group (although of course all staff will care for all children!) and develop the bonds and security young children need. My setting is a private day nursery and there the keyworkers will perform all the intimate care babies and toddlers need. (And pre-schoolers, come to that :( )

 

Does that help for now? Keep asking the questions!!!

 

Sue xD

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first dont panic!!

 

theres lots of things in the eyfs that your probably already doing but under another name

 

as far as I understanded it I dont think topics have be banned? if thats what you do resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bathwater tackle, one issue at a time.

 

eyfs has only been in action just over a month you cannt be expected to have it all perfect imediately

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Hi Sue! Thanks for you reply!

 

I am part of a school yeh, i am new to the school, new to Nursery and i am an NQT so all very new! I am just following what the school does already - ie the MTP and stuff...

 

I have 3 TAs - one is full time, the other 2 do 3 days a week each... not sure keyworkers are something that would work.... hmmmm.... At the moment we all share the observations, collecting evidence etc... its kind ad hop obs and then one long obs on each child per half term. We take tons of photos and everything bar long obs get stuck into their learning journey books - well, when we get chance!! So yeh, it's all a shared thing really... Are keyworkers a 'must' ?

 

I haven't had any formal EYFS training yet either...

 

Tink! :o x

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first dont panic!!

 

theres lots of things in the eyfs that your probably already doing but under another name

 

as far as I understanded it I dont think topics have be banned? if thats what you do resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bathwater tackle, one issue at a time.

 

eyfs has only been in action just over a month you cannt be expected to have it all perfect imediately

 

Thank you for that!! I think i am panicking a bit! I have my EY Adviser coming in to observe me next week so i have so much stuff going on in my head that i need to try to get sorted before she comes... as well as plan the lit based activity she wants to see!! Help!! I dont even know what im guna do yet!! EEEEK!

 

Tink! :o x

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I wouldn't say Keyworkers are a 'must', rather, good practice. I can see your problem with the practicalities - the main point is that individual needs can be recognised and supported. It's been a 'given' in the PV sector for some time now, but things are slightly different! I wouldn't worry too much, so long as you can prove the individual stuff I mentioned before.

 

As you're Nursery, once you have got the children settled (and yourself!) you could always try a bit less structure in the days - you'll have to play it by ear there, afraid I'm not really sure about schools! Sure someone will be along who does, though, soon!

 

When you're more settled there yourself, could you perhaps discuss this with the Reception teacher? After all, they are also still in the FS.

 

Keep us informed, and keep on asking - it's the only way to find out and compare approaches.

 

Take care, Sue :o

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As you're Nursery, once you have got the children settled (and yourself!) you could always try a bit less structure in the days - you'll have to play it by ear there, afraid I'm not really sure about schools! Sure someone will be along who does, though, soon!

 

 

Yeh my days have to be kinda structured in a way because we (don't know why cos i think its silly) attend assemblies and we have to schedule our outdoor play because we share the outdoor area with Reception and if we are all out there at the same time it is absolute chaos! So i have to plan that in at specific times cos we do not have free flow access to outdoor... so in that respect we are quite structured.

 

Also we don't have very much space to store resources in an accessible way for children to choose what they want out in each area. I have to decide what is going to put out and put it out, with not much flexibility for the children, so i guess using a topic helps me to plan for that a bit. I am flexible in the way that i will go with the flow and if the children take a turn i will follow it and abandon the planning for the day... my main problem is how to record this and how to use that to inform my planning for the next day.... or week.... cos then i would be deviating from the MTP which i am supposed to be using! And i dont know where i would have the time to plan for and resource an idea from the children at such short notice... if that makes sense.... it's all a bit scary! My head is a bit fuddled!!!

 

The reception teacher is our FS co-ordinatior and the other Reception teacher is our acting deputy - i dont feel brave enough to question what we are doing yet!!!

 

Tink! :o x

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Welcome to the site!

 

When Ofsted inspect the school, they will expect to see a keyperson system in place http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/eyfs/site...ation/index.htm says under Specific legal requirements; "Each child must be assigned a key person".

 

Now that is in Reception as well as Nursery. And if your school had got a system in place already, they'd have told you. So if Ofsted come in on Monday, the Reception teachers are going to get it in the neck for not implementing it and training you in how to. They should have found out the requirements and made sure the school were starting to put them into practice.

 

That said, the key person system doesn't have to be really tricky and shouldn't be! We allocate each child a keyperson before they start the preschool so it's based mainly on our convenience - how many children each KP already has, what sessions the children/KP are in, we try to avoid family/close friendship links 'cause we think it can be awkward if there are sensitive issues to dicuss eg behaviour/SEN. but we also try to have siblings with the same KP.

 

Our policy says "We allocate each child a KP before they start so the KP can help the child & family settle in but recognise that children can show a preference for other teachers, the other teacher will be the child's co-key person and the KPs will work together to ensure the child's needs are met. Usually it will be the first KP who will keep the child's Leanring Journey up to date and meet with the parents etc" (paraphrased 'cos I don't have it on my PC!)

 

What it means in practice is that we all make notes on the children because we're all with the children, the KP puts them into the LJ and makes plans for future provision for that child. Your EY Adviser should help you with that so don't worry about it.

 

Like Sue R said we aim to be the one that settle the child in, but that's an area we're working to improve, we should be the one who gives the child personal care eg clothes/nappy changing, but in practice, whoever sees a child needs help deals with it. So don't worry about that either!

 

But what I would do in your position is print off the EYFS stuff on KPs http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/eyfs/reso...oads/2_4_ep.pdf (Page 7 specifically talks about school settings). Have a copy for each of your TAs (I'm guessing you don't have a nursery nurse?) and you and try to find half an hour next week where you can all discuss it. Then allocate each of the 4 of you 13 children to be your key children and write it down on a list and pin up where you can see it. That's a starting point (so if Ofsted come in, you say 'Look, I'm new to this so we know we need to work on it but this is how far we've got').

 

If you try to have the KP greet their children as they come in - and I know this won't work every day, anymore than it does in my setting, as not all your staff are in every day, the parents are going to realise they see the same face most times when they bring the child in/collect so start to develop that relationship with the KP. The children of course are building relationships with all of you all the time anyway.

 

In the long term - your school needs to be starting to use the KP system with Nursery and Reception. So, hopefully your EY adviser will say something about KPs next week - and she will if you say 'tell me about key persons'. So you can take that to the FS coordinator and say 'Adviser spoke about KPs, I'm not quite sure what our practice is in the school?' If she says 'Oh we don't need them here', I'd say 'Umm, oh, because I'd read that it was a specific requirment under Ofsted?' (and if you think she's likely to say that, make sure you have the conversation in front of other teachers ie the deputy) Or she may say 'Oops, hadn't I told you about that yet, Sorry! This is what we do...'

 

Does that help at all or was it all too much to take in at one reading? Sorry, I didn't mean to go on for so long!

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Hi Tink, good advice from other members already.

Regarding the keyperson, yo might like to have a read of Juliet's article attachmenet theory and key person approach. You can assign two members of staff to a key group if they are part time, I did this very successfully with a partner for many years in a school nursery. When we had the discussion on another thread about letters and sounds/circle time etc, then this is a great opportunity to have smaller groups for these activities and use the keyperson (rather than you having al of the children for all of these).

 

Regarding the MTP, SOME settings are abandoning these and SOME settings are writing them retrospectively as a 'record' of what they have covered. Sometimes the pressures in a school are different from those in other settings and you may well be expected to have one, and this is OK. You do need to flexible and be prepared to write on it when things don't go as expected and this is OK too. You have already said you think you are quite flexible and so your MTP is really just a guide and that's fine too.

Likewise, some people have decided to not follow topics and go very much with the children's interests. Topics are a good starting point but children can take them off into all sorts of directions..again you will need to show this in your planning, which Im sure you are doing.

 

I am curious to know what age group you trained for? IF you had early years as part of your course you should have had at least some sessions on the EYFS, but please do ask your advisor when she comes in what training is available and get booked on it.

 

And remember, don't be too hard on yourself, you are learning, don't expect to know it all this week, you will develop over the year and maybe do thins completely differently as you gain experience. This is perfectly normal and perfectly OK.

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Tink, the key person in a local authority nursery will be you, regardless of how many TAs you have!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I work in the mornings with a teacher and she is key person for all the nursery children in that session.

 

In the afternoons when I am manager I can share the key person role with my colleague whi is an NNEB.

 

As for topics........... lots been said already.........

 

I personally think they are great place to start, and to help focus but the idea of a rolling 2 year topic plan isn't so good.... and I know its another inherited piece of nursery!

 

With a 2 year rolling plan you couldn't be taking on board the children's interests and letting them guide their learning!!!!

 

Oh its so confusing isn't it??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mostly its all been said already but I did want to add that in our setting we all use post-its and write spontaneous obs on any or all of the children, regardless of whether they are our key children or not. At the end of the session (or week sometimes) we hand them over to the right person. We also have flexible working patterns so we have a laminated sheet on the wall in our staff area where we can put leave the post-its for the correct keyworker. Then at every other staff meeting we discuss every child in the setting so that everyone knows where the child is at and what the keyworker's aims are for that child. In that way we can underpin/support that learning journey even if the key person isn't actually working.

 

Hope that helps.

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Should have said just now, WELL DONE YOU FOR HAVING STARTED TO ADDRESS THIS ALREADY. We are all only 1 month in and finding EYFS has specific challenges, and that's without being an NQT in a new setting! I feel sure your EYAT will be right behind you. backing you up.

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Actually I know of very many local authority nurseries who have a key person system, and it is not confined to the teacher, as the TA's (Level 3's) have their own key person groups. This is also happening in Reception classes as well with the introduction of EYFS.

Lyanne and Mundia have flagged up a very interesting article on the forum, and Mundia has explained how she has approached this with part time TA's, which is an issue I have come across elsewhere.

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Lyanne,

 

Thank you so much for explaining all that to me! And no it wasn't too long! I will read the blurb you gave me!

 

I have already organised the kids into groups for letters and sounds and assigned a TA or me to each group so i spose i can modify that a bit for key workers... how do you decide which children go with which adult?

 

Sorry for late reply - not had chance to get on laptop this weekend!!

 

Tink! :o x

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I am curious to know what age group you trained for? IF you had early years as part of your course you should have had at least some sessions on the EYFS, but please do ask your advisor when she comes in what training is available and get booked on it.

 

Hi and thanks for you reply...

 

I trained 3-5 but i missed all the EYFS stuff cos i had a year out to have my baby, and when i went back to uni i only had to finish a terms worth of stuff which wasn't that part of the course. I have already done a term and a half in another school from Feb to the end of the summer but didnt get sent on any training then either - i dont think there was any actually around then that i could have gone to. I did ask to go on a course when i started this year but nothing came of it once i had passed the info on to my FS Co-ordinator and i have looked for more courses on it but there dont seem to be any.

 

And remember, don't be too hard on yourself, you are learning, don't expect to know it all this week, you will develop over the year and maybe do thins completely differently as you gain experience. This is perfectly normal and perfectly OK.

 

And thank you very much for this and the rest of your post!!!

 

Tink! :o x

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Oh im SO confused now! lol I should have read all your replies before starting to answer them i think hehe...

 

Right... there is not much i can do about MTP really because it's not my decision - i have to go with what the FS Co says i guess. I can be flexible within that i think tho, as long as i keep going with what the children want and know that it is OK if i completely abandon the planning for the week as long as i record it on my plan... is that right?

 

As for key persons, i will read the stuff you have all kindly pointed me to and then try and get 10 mins with my adviser on when she comes in.

 

Thank you all so much for your help by the way, and your kind words! I am so glad i joined this forum!!!

 

Tink! :o x

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Lyanne,

 

Thank you so much for explaining all that to me! And no it wasn't too long! I will read the blurb you gave me!

 

I have already organised the kids into groups for letters and sounds and assigned a TA or me to each group so i spose i can modify that a bit for key workers... how do you decide which children go with which adult?

 

Sorry for late reply - not had chance to get on laptop this weekend!!

 

Tink! :o x

 

We decide abritrarily (have I spelt that right?). Because we've been doing it for a while, we all have key children already so we see how many children we each have for the new term (try to keep the same KP to each child over the time they're with us), what days the children are in/what days we're in.

 

I'd start with the groups you've already organised them into. Each of you has been working with that group so will have started to get to know those children more than the rest. Thoug we do try to avoid family/friendship clashes so if one of your TAs is little Johnny's auntie, best to have a different KP!

 

And as for your plan, is it big enough to show what you plan to have out AND what you've actually had out? As you said, you can't change that as it's a decision from on high, but work with it as best you can.

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We decide abritrarily (have I spelt that right?). Because we've been doing it for a while, we all have key children already so we see how many children we each have for the new term (try to keep the same KP to each child over the time they're with us), what days the children are in/what days we're in.

 

I'd start with the groups you've already organised them into. Each of you has been working with that group so will have started to get to know those children more than the rest. Thoug we do try to avoid family/friendship clashes so if one of your TAs is little Johnny's auntie, best to have a different KP!

 

And as for your plan, is it big enough to show what you plan to have out AND what you've actually had out? As you said, you can't change that as it's a decision from on high, but work with it as best you can.

 

Well what i have decided to do and what i have gone through with my TAs this morning is to plan stuff for each area for mondays and then track the children's interests all day and hand write in the colums for the next day what we can put out to reflect what the children have initiated/ what they have been interested in. I have added a table at the bottom of my plans so we can scribble stuff about planned learning, unplanned learning and next steps, which will inform our planning for the next day.

 

does that sound a bit more like what i am supposed to be doing?! i have actually attached my revised plans onto another thread so you can have a look if you like and tell me what you think! I will put a link to it!

 

I feel a bit better about it this morning now i have sorted that bit out in my head!

 

Thanks so much

 

Tink! :o x

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Looks good! Well done!

 

 

Ohhh thank you!!! So am i doing all the right things - ish dya think? I am going to visit another nursery tomorrow so will get some feedback from there too...

 

Thank you so much!

 

Tink! :o x

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