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"assessment Overload Exhausts Early-years Staff"


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very interesting, i can see how it has impacted on reception teaching as the format pre eyfs was different , however in my case (daynursery) the eyfs hasnt brought that many changes as we were doing obs to inform planning previously, so just a few tweak. with more focus on continuous provision, the main impact has been with under threes who were prviously planning arround birth to three matters but we have found the eyfs much easier and more beneficial to the children, i personally think its an improvement and helps you get to really know the childrens needs. its just a matter of getting ther balance right with paperwork, theres no need to over complicate it

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I agree that there are lots of people out there that are struggling with knowing how much evidence is needed. I think the unfortunate thing is that it is very county dependent on the level of expectations when it comes to moderation and how well you are supported by the EYAT. We are very lucky in that our EYAT has a very clear understanding of what is required. He always passes clear messages on (our previous EYAT was quite airy fairy and we never quite knew what was what). I think what is needed is common understanding across the country so everyone, no matter what county, is getting the same message. This would hopefully stop the panicking and mean that everyone would have a common understanding with no myths like you must have 3 pieces of evidence for each profile point.

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Some teachers are being asked for a minimum of 6 pieces of evidence for each profile point for each child...

 

I thought this was interesting

 

"HOW MUCH TIME TO PLAY?

 

Sue Ellis of the National Strategies is keen to dispel the myth that children must now spend 80 per cent of their time playing.

 

The idea arose from the EYFS assessment document, which states that evidence should come 80 per cent from child-initiated and 20 per cent from adult-led activities. But there is no such rule. Basically, one-third of the day should be spent on adult-initiated and two-thirds on child- initiated activities, half of which is spent playing alongside adults."

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I think it is difficult for people new to the early years. For me, I teach F1 and have made very few changes to my practice. We have to trust ourselves as professionals and put things into perspective. Most of us are doing a very good job with the interests of the children at heart. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing. If you feel that you are running round chasing your tail and constantly looking for evidence etc then you are probably doing too much. Everything in moderation I say.

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I'm with you on that one Cait. I've put learning journeys up to date, and planned the first couple of days back and now have a whole week for 'me time' and time with my daughters.

I haven't much changed what we have always done, just am now more aware of what the children choose to play with and the skills they are learning from that activity.

Oh and I don't decide what topics we do now, :o

 

jackie.

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that's right - I've done the same as you!

 

Apparently mine want to do something about cats, but I'm not holding my breath - we've had a mouse in over the holidays so they may want to investigate that!

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Hi,

 

Thanks very much for this. I've been looking for a nice, definite quote from authority to pass on to the usual parents who think the children should be sitting down getting ready for school in September! Just added the breakdown figures to our daily timetable sheet and our timing for adult led and playing alongside adults was already almost perfect. Definitely no more sitting down time is needed. I'm having real trouble getting parents to understand that school should be more like pre-school, not pre-school more like school, especially when the local school doesn't seem to know that either!

 

Sharky

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I found this article very interesting but not overly surprising !

 

I must say I don't think its just teachers that are finding it hard to manage their observation and assessment systems. I know we are finding it incredibly difficult to manage ours and I have spent the last week trying to make sense of the pathways we do for each of our keychildren. There have been a lack of observations in both long form and post its and I have now found enormous gaps in certain areas of learning.

 

Trouble is I just can't see how we can be observing our children, caring for their needs, supporting them in their learning, set up and pack away in the time we are given. We have already been told there is no further money to allow us more time, so I just don't know how we are going to implement what needs to be done for the EYFS.

 

The staff are all stressing out and we know we are due an inspection any day, but we only open 3 hours a day I can't see what more we can do, without jeopardising the learning and care that we provide for the children.

 

Oh well I suppose we will just slog on until Ofsted tells us what we are doing wrong, but I know our children are happy, contented and progressing well even if it is not all documented.

 

Motherclangerx

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Oh well I suppose we will just slog on until Ofsted tells us what we are doing wrong, but I know our children are happy, contented and progressing well even if it is not all documented.

Do you not think this is the key issue here? Like you I know our children are happy and developing annd progressing very well, but it iisn't all documented and cannot be. The only way to document it all would be to then have staff members doing nothing but writing and that kinda defeats the object. I'm determined that if Ofsted come in and say we dont have enough written evidence I am going to tell them quite firmly that they will have to trust some of it to our proffesional judgement. Of course there have been times in the past where what we have been dong hasn't been working and we have changed our practise and I'm sure this will happen again in the future. This we do document so surely that should be enough?

Motherclanger I would trust your own judgement.

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off topic but I had to laugh when someone in the TES comments wrote about overpaid advisors...I wish.

 

To be honest, I don't look at hundreds of post its etc when I moderate. I want the teacher to know and to be able to talk about their children and use their written/other evidence to exemplify what they are saying about that child. My job is to draw out the breadth of the scale point from that conversation. All the nonsense(in my humble opinion) about x pieces of "evidence" is just misleading. Moderation is a professional dialogue not an interrogation. If there's any other moderators out there I'ld be interested in your views too.

 

I really feel the point of it all is the everyday interactions. Nothing infuriates me more than people running around with post it notes "observing" ie waiting for something to happen. My general advice is to put them down, get stuck in with the children and when something does happen that adds to what you know then grab the note pad for a minute. Then put it down again!

 

I think of it as bits of knowledge rather than observations. Observation implies watching primarily and I think that is maybe where the problem lies in the interpretation of what is required. There's maybe too much watching and not enough finding out about children by working together. As a wise man said, it is possible to observe whilst working with children.

 

Has anyone found where in the EYFSP handbook it says you have to have x pieces of evidence??? !!

 

However I do know that 30 children x 117 scale points each =3,510 bits of knowledge as a minimum!!(I also know not everything needs to be written down to evidence it)

 

Cx

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catma you sound very like the sensible advisors in my LA who are more interested in my knowledge of my class than lots of scraps of paper that may or may not be useful... if only all LAs actually followed the guidance :o there would be far fewer stressed teachers.

 

Unfortunately the fear surrounding the moderation process is leading to some staff spending most of their days clutching post its and/or clipboards (and actually telling children "don't disturb me I'm observing!") rather than engaging with the children. I was amazed to read on another forum about a teacher who has sewn bags for al her staff (from child friendly fabrics) that contain pens/ post its /camera/ etc ..) is this really necessary?

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Hi everyone, I am really enjoying reading everyone's messages, it helps to see that I'm not the only one stressing out about continual observations and wondering when to fit in time to actually sit and play with the children, which is what I enjoy most. And then I worry about how to plan for the whole group, or my own individual key children. How do you do your planning ? I've always done it week by week, focused on a topic and the child's interest, but I am finding it so hard wondering how to cover it all and whether I'm doing it right anyway. Is there anyone out there who has a template of weekly plans for individual children ? or how do you do it so that you're not spending all your "free" time writing. It seems to be taking over my life. Sorry if I sound stressed but I was left in the lurch by our Playleader last year and I'm finding it sooo hard at times, because I want to get it right, if there is a right way !!!!

Ah !! That feels better, got it off my chest !!!

Thanks, Di

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Some teachers are being asked for a minimum of 6 pieces of evidence for each profile point for each child...

 

I thought this was interesting

 

"HOW MUCH TIME TO PLAY?

 

Sue Ellis of the National Strategies is keen to dispel the myth that children must now spend 80 per cent of their time playing.

 

The idea arose from the EYFS assessment document, which states that evidence should come 80 per cent from child-initiated and 20 per cent from adult-led activities. But there is no such rule. Basically, one-third of the day should be spent on adult-initiated and two-thirds on child- initiated activities, half of which is spent playing alongside adults."

 

 

This seems to be the latest advice coming out of the NS for Reception. We had a regional advisor speak to Reception teachers in our authority before the holidays - she said although a 50/50 split was ok, we should be looking to move towards 1/3 adult led 1/3 completely child initiated and 1/3 supporting play (sustained shared thinking I guess).

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Hi everyone, I am really enjoying reading everyone's messages, it helps to see that I'm not the only one stressing out about continual observations and wondering when to fit in time to actually sit and play with the children, which is what I enjoy most. And then I worry about how to plan for the whole group, or my own individual key children. How do you do your planning ? I've always done it week by week, focused on a topic and the child's interest, but I am finding it so hard wondering how to cover it all and whether I'm doing it right anyway. Is there anyone out there who has a template of weekly plans for individual children ? or how do you do it so that you're not spending all your "free" time writing. It seems to be taking over my life. Sorry if I sound stressed but I was left in the lurch by our Playleader last year and I'm finding it sooo hard at times, because I want to get it right, if there is a right way !!!!

Ah !! That feels better, got it off my chest !!!

Thanks, Di

 

Hi Di,

 

You certainly aren't the only one to stress out about planning and everyone seems to be constantly striving to find a workable system that meets all the criteria without taking too much time. :o However, planning is one of those very personal things which needs to be adapted to suit the setting and the people working in it, so a one size fits all template just doesn't work. There have been countless conversations about the subject though, with plenty of people offering up their own planning as examples. You just have to search back through the previous threads in this forum area and I am sure you will find plenty of food for thought. xD

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This seems to be the latest advice coming out of the NS for Reception. We had a regional advisor speak to Reception teachers in our authority before the holidays - she said although a 50/50 split was ok, we should be looking to move towards 1/3 adult led 1/3 completely child initiated and 1/3 supporting play (sustained shared thinking I guess).

 

Hmmmmm I don't feel that it's new really as it's been part of the EPPE research outcomes.

I also think it's pretty much saying the same thing: 1/3 CI + 1/6 Shared work = 1/2 child initiated and 1/3 adult directed +1/6 shared work = 50% adult directed. (I've attached a picture to show what I think more clearly.)

 

What annoys me is that we(advisers) go to all the same central trainings for moderators and advisers. We all get regional adviser support who are all coming from the same on message platform. So how come it's so different all over the place?????? The QCA are in particular very specific about the core rationales and methodology for moderation and we are moderated/RAG rate on our processes too!!!!

 

CX

adult_and_child_time.doc

Edited by catma
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However I do know that 30 children x 117 scale points each =3,510 bits of knowledge as a minimum!!

 

AND lots of those profile statements for KUW and CD include lots of different things in one statement, so that's even more!!

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Hi Di,

 

You certainly aren't the only one to stress out about planning and everyone seems to be constantly striving to find a workable system that meets all the criteria without taking too much time. :o However, planning is one of those very personal things which needs to be adapted to suit the setting and the people working in it, so a one size fits all template just doesn't work. There have been countless conversations about the subject though, with plenty of people offering up their own planning as examples. You just have to search back through the previous threads in this forum area and I am sure you will find plenty of food for thought. :(

Thanks Carol, you're right, planning is a personal thing, I must stop worrying about it and enjoy the job that I am there to do, which is look after children, and make sure that they are safe, happy and having fun. xD

Di

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Hmmmmm I don't feel that it's new really as it's been part of the EPPE research outcomes.

I also think it's pretty much saying the same thing: 1/3 CI + 1/6 Shared work = 1/2 child initiated and 1/3 adult directed +1/6 shared work = 50% adult directed. (I've attached a picture to show what I think more clearly.)

 

What annoys me is that we(advisers) go to all the same central trainings for moderators and advisers. We all get regional adviser support who are all coming from the same on message platform. So how come it's so different all over the place?????? The QCA are in particular very specific about the core rationales and methodology for moderation and we are moderated/RAG rate on our processes too!!!!

 

CX

 

 

Article on this in yesterdays TES.

 

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6011924

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That's what baffles me - never have we been told to get x pieces of "evidence" - what is wanted is knowledge of how this child does this thing in their usual approaches to learning. So when others (LAs/teachers/SMTs etc etc) make stuff like this up I get very annoyed. And then my teachers get baffled because they read different stuff to the advice we give and it gets very murky.

 

The issue re schools depressing scores/requiring FSP scores to = a NC level is very hard to tackle as it is often SMT decisions made from lack of understanding and a desire for a quick fix.

 

Cx

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Phil

 

sorry no comment on article but love your little name hammered ............. sums me up the other nite!! although it is not something i do often as i cant cope with the hangover

 

really made me smile

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