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hi everyone


havnt been on here for a while, after a year or so of bad times (ex splitting up with me and before that him being depressed) my personal life is finally picking up and im much happier, why is it then that my work life is going from bad to worse?!


we are way overdue or ofsted inspection and our manager is becoming more and more anxious about this, and i seem to be at the brunt of this anxiety.


from my experience every inspector is diferent and what one inspector says or looks for can be completely different from another. one of our other centres has just been insepcted (part of a chain) and obvioulsy im now being pulled up on things i do.


i run the preschool unit of the nusery. the ofsted inspector has said they liked the way the other centre has a focus on reading and writing in their preschool room, my manaer has arranged for me to go an obsevre how their teacher does things- which kind of makes me feel like im not doing things right, which is getting me down loads.


im all up for going to see what their teacher does, im not exaclty sure but i know the children have handwriting books, guided reading sessions and that ORT is used.


tell me if im wrong but there are SIX areas of learning, with reading and writing only being 2 strands of one area, why does there need to be a focus on reading and writing.


off the top of my heqad this is what i do in terms of language and literacy:-


language rich environment- print all around in signs and resource labels

mark making equipment/resources in all areas of provision

children encouraged to write name on creations or make labels, or for example a score sheet when

playing a ball game

song/rhyme time

group story time- adult led- speak about the book title/what it could be about/ discuss afterwards

children opps to "read" book to adult, looiking at pictures, telling a story

access to book area

offer children/parents opps to take books home

letters and sounds games

during routine parts of the day taking opps to sound and blend letters eg " where's your c-oa-t"


would this give us an unsatisfacory ofsted grade?!!

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Hi Northernbird (love that name!)


I didn't want to 'just view' and not leave a reply - so for what it's worth here goes!


I can't see anything wrong with what you are doing currently - we are all meant to be 'embracing' the E.Y.F.S. and surely that's exactly what you're doing.


Handwriting books and Guided reading - are not recommended anywhere in the info. that I have read.


I do have a some sympathy for your manager - that is my position too and it is hard not to get very anxious about Ofsted - I know that maybe we shouldn't if we are confident about our settings - I am, but still dread the big O!


Go and have a look at what the other teacher is doing, it may be interesting - go with an open mind - but 'stick to your guns' if what you find is contradictory to what you know is required under E.Y.F.S.


Hope that is of some help.



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Northernbird, I've said it before, I'll say it again AAaarghh!!!!!! :o


You are dead right when you say there are 6 areas of learning!!!!


We are constantly finding ourselves under pressure from different people, managers, committee, parents, HTs, Ofsted, you name it they are pressuring us!! We are currently coming underfire from our feeder school for not informing them of a child's needs who is in our care who doesn't start with them until September and when the HT came in and ranted the LA hadn't even confirmed the school the child was going too!!!!!


You have worked so hard to get rid of the things your manager is talking about (I remember the posts). Ask for time off to go and look at other settings in your area who have good/outstanding reports, ones not in your chain, offer to take her along too!!


Good luck, and keep fighting your corner!!!

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hi northernbird, I say keep up the good work, you sound like you are doing a good job. Go and look at what the other group do and visit other settings like Shiny suggests. I don't think we do enough of this (well I don't anyway!) I don't know if you feel the same as me but I find children who are asked to write too early lose the desire to express themselves using emergent writing. Most young children, in my experience, find it difficult to form letters correctly and if they have to do it before they are ready they lose confidence. They become aware that emergent writing is not 'right' and start to say things like "I can't write my name, I can't do it". A bit of a waffle, sorry. mrsW.x

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Hi All - over the last year I have seen a huge difference in the marks our children are making - they are creating more symbols in pre-school this year than the children we had in last yeat - one little boy gave me a letter this morning, with so many letters written he is really feeling confident about the marks he makes and feels proud to send me a letter. We are going by Letters and Sounds and not going overboard with phrase 2 at all - we do have a few children who we feel are ready to start phase 2 which we will do in a small group next term - we are teaching children to form their letters correctly but this is taking place in the sand tray and the usual messy media we all use. I think you should feel confident with what you are doing - like others say really great to go and look at other settings though as you might get ideas in other areas, but I do think you are totally going down the correct road. Dot :o

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hi i agree with all that s been said -we recently had a letters and sounds training and it came over that we should not be sitting children down to write - they need to have many other skills before they go onto this - i did order soem books letters and sounds through ofsted online publications ( free ) which have been great help.

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keep your chin up!!


it will sort itself out.


its always good to go look at what others do, but it doesn't mean you have to take it on board.


you may just need to justify to someone (not me!) that what you do do is right for your children and your setting.

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Hi. I don't know how your setting works with the LA and advisors but when we had a similar conflict of opinion we enlisted the support of our early years advisory teacher to support our view. This was in a case of setting parents on the right path, and of course relies on the fact that your advisory teacher will support your view, that you have such a person and that the manager listens to and respects what they say. Other than that I can only say I think your approach sounds great and totally appropriate. :o

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Hi Northernbird


would just like to say that every teaching evnironment is different and depends on the needs of your children and who knows them best but you! Some children might be ready for writing and others might not and if not dont push them too early because like others have said they might lose interest but i would suggest challeging the more able when possible. We do name writing with our children once every week, they have their name card outside on the wall, they find it and register themselves. Then when they come to writing their names they find their name card on the wall and trace over their name with tracing paper. Obviously the younger children are still experimenting with marks but the older children who are going into reception in september are now up to writing their second name from memory which is fantastic. We have found that this approached has encouraged children who never visit the writing area to experiment more with their marks and put meaning to marks when drawing, writing, mark making etc. This is just something that works for us.


In relation to OSFTED, we recently had OFSTED in February and all they were focusing on was safeguarding and the childrens welfare in relation to the EYFS they didnt really observe the teaching and learning wtihin the classroom which was extremely frustrating for me.


Hope all goes well, relax and remember its not worth stressing about just do what you do best!


hope this helps


kate :o

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