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:o I am new this year to the EYFS and am so confused I'm not enjoying the teaching at all! What am I confused about? Try what am I NOT confused about!! The planning - so many different formats and which is right? No one seems sure in my setting. Do I need to do separate literacy and Numeracy plans as well as the 6 areas? My setting says yes - not enough detail on CLL and PSRN areas of learning (they say)

Assessment, when. how often. who by etc. How to put Afl on plans for reception -what about plenaries -do you do these or is it not feasible?

Observations -how often? Who by? How to do them without interruption by the children? How recorded?

Do you have a separate book for each child and put all their evidence of learning in it? Do you have separate topic and writing books (for example) - I am being told one thing by the 'powers' in my setting and another when on courses for EYFS.

I have taught all of key stage 2 and year 2 before this - and it was more straghtforward! Can anyone out there explain in simple terms how to make sense of it all - how to get all the scale points clear in my head and a simple format for planning that is easy to use and any other advice -as I am so disillusioned at moment that I am seriously thinking of giving up teaching!!

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Oh don't do that. I'm not school, I'm preschool so I can't help with most of your timetabling, and I don't know what your ratios are like. However, what I would say is that YOU have had the training for this, and the 'powers that be' haven't (have they?) Give them the EYFS pack to look at properly, or see if your area EY team can come in and meet with you, and them too.

Finally, you make your planning work for you, you need to be able to understand it, and justify it. So whilst it's great to download planning from here - and it IS really good - you need to do a plan that works for you. Look at the ones on here - there may be one that you really like and can adopt

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Firstly please don't become disillusioned - year R can be great, honestly! I've just started back after 4 years in year 2 and am loving it! As for planning, each school is different and I know some schools expect separate literacy and maths planning, however we don't (although we used to) and don't feel there's any great need for it but that my personal opinion. However it does works for us. I've not yet felt that I'm missing the separate planning docs and supply teachers have no problems with how we do it either.

As for assessment, we've just had a couple of staff meetings about this and basically there are two kinds of observations that should be going on. Planned observations - no more than one a week as it wouldn't be manageable - where you've thought about it prior to the activity and then incidentals which are those WOW moments. For example I had a little boy today who balanced on a plank in PE for the first time today so have done a sticker to go in his records.

I don't know if I've answered all your questions but feel free to ask me anything else. Unfortunately in year r, if the school leadership team aren't behind us, we are being pulled in 2 ways - fitting in with KS1 while trying to follow the EYFS. What some people don't seem to realise yet is that we are not KS1 and should not have to use the same planning formats as everyone else. (Sorry on my high horse) Basically the most important thing though is that the children are having a positive start to school and therefore are happy. That's what the majority of parents want. After all happy children make the best learners.

One other thought is that you could ask your head to find a school that is deemed as being an example of good practice for EYFS in year R. We did that last year and it helped us set up our year R unit so much. Most schools are very open to sharing good practice. Good luck!

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Hi there, Garfield. Welcome to the Forum!

 

You do sound very unhappy indeed and I'm in pre-school so we face a completely different set of challenges so I can't really help you with most of the issues you raise. SP61JH raises a very valid point: if your head teacher sees the EYFS as being a watered down KS, then you will be coming from very different directions and this will always be the cause of friction.

 

Do you have a dedicated Foundation Stage advisory team in your Borough? If so they might be a useful source of support. If not then perhaps you could approach other teachers in your situation and organise informal support networks to discuss planning and assessment issues?

 

I think one of the difficulties about the EYFS is that there is no 'right' way to deliver it and as we say all the time on this Forum - your planning and assessment procedures and paperwork needs to work for you and your setting. What works for one teacher might not work so well for another - but if only someone could wave a magic wand and tell us all exactly how to do things, then a wave of relief would spread throughout the country. :o

 

There have been lots of discussions about these issues here - you could try a forum search (click on the 'search forum posts', type in a subject you're interested in) and see what turns up.

 

Good luck with finding some answers - but remember we're all here to listen when you feel the need to rant at the world or vent your spleen!

 

Maz

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Take heart, I have been teaching reception for most of my 30 years in the profession. I too am confused as the goalposts change yet again! I'd managed to work the 'old fashioned' literacy and numeracy sessions into reception friendly format, all for it to be a no-no again. I tend to spend more time on observations than actual teacher directed planning to help me see where children are heading and where their interests are. Except for my strict synthetic phonics regime....

I agree, they need to be happy and confident in their environment to learn, but they need a happy teacher too! Stick with it, reception is so rewarding - enjoy the freedom! :o

I have yet to master my continuous outdoor environment....

Not much practical help here, sorry, but believe me, you are not alone.

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My advise would be to contact your early years team or school improvement team, they are there to help you and support you with just this very thing! They dont bite honestly.

 

Managers in schools do seem to be having a hard time with EYFS it really has reversed their thinking, it is now a bottom up model rather than cascade down. Planning should be around continuous provision and children becoming independant around choice, play and putting the resourses back both indoors and out. Your planning should be a learning journey around each child helping them to become confident individuals.

 

Take a deep breath . . . in and out . . . in and out . . . open a bottle of wine . . . and relax :)

 

Really in the morning if you cant find your answers here - be bold and ring your team

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Oh Garfield please take advice from the good folk here. Planningshould be meaningful to you. It should be built from what you have learned about your children. Assessment is your observations and what they tell you about the children. Use these then to look at Development Matters and see where you need to plan from next. I don't go to the profile until the end of each term I use the development matters to plan from.

 

YR is such a great year group as they are like sponges and so enthusiastic so you will enjoy it if you don't have all the pressures you seem to be under to show the SLT what you are doing.

 

You will find as many ways to do it as there are teachers so the best advice I can give is to do what is best for you - if you are happy then your children will also be happy and they will learn. In Kent we have Leading Early Years Practitioners in both settings and schools and I have used them many times and found some great ideas. Ask you Headteacher or mento to go on a visit as someone has suggested to a good practitioner and then take away the bits you like.

 

Another good resource at the moment is on the NAA website the video material is great. So far I have watched A trap fo Baddies and the Architect both great.

 

Keep your pecker up!!!

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Wow -didn't expect so many replies so quickly! THANK you everyone -even though I know I still have an uphill struggle at my setting I do feel a bit better now having aired my worries. I'm off to have that glass of wine right now -thanks again! I will try your suggestions certainly although again I know the 'powers' are not keen on 'outsiders' coming in -shows their insecurites possibly??? Anyway, I will keep you posted. :o

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hi,

firstly well doen for being open about how hard life in reception is at the moment, i think it's easy for us all to say "oh yes it's fine I am following EYFS etc" but underneath to be feeling as if we are being pulled in a hundred different directions.(Some leadership teams do not seem to be grasping the EYFS challenge and giving us the freedom to adapt as LEA's are advising)

The advice above is really helpful but try not to climb the mountain in the next week. Break each concern down and tackle it one step at a time, if you try to do everything you will end up feeling worse. It is worth persevering and Reception is a fantastic place to be when we all get things sorted but don't beat yourself up trying to be wonder woman. give yourself some down time as well otherwise you will be no good to anybody.

 

Sorry if this all sounds a bit tough but I know that we are all great at "grade 1 guilt" as I was told this week when I was signed off for another week with a problem with my knee and in the end we have to support each other and make things work for our children and for us .

 

Nicky Sussex xD:o

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I thought Ihad it, but Im confused too Garfield. PLEASE can somebody tell me whether or not we are obliged to fill in the e-profile (or keep termly tracks) of where our children are at points wise. I thought this was only meant to be done once rignt at the end of the foundation stage. !!!! :oxD

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tattyboggle ( lovely name) you are only obliged to compete the EYEprofile at the end of reception.

 

I used to hate the thing but complete it every seasonal term and have found it really useful to show the powers that be that the children are learning and making progress. It is also good to show them how important it is for all six areas of learning to be progressing and not just Lit and Num.

 

Garfield there is a really good article in the EYE magazine this month and you may find that helpful. I find it a really excellent publication as well as Nursery World.

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