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Qualifications: Fs Co-ordinator


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Hey all. Was wondering if you could clarify something for me. What warrants enough experience to take on the Foundation Stage Co-ordinator role?

 

My school is a three form entry school with an 80 place nursery. I was an NQT last year and this is my second year in the same Reception class. I see myself as a very forward thinking individual who is really focussed on developing my professional development as well as Reception. The current FS co-ordinator is retiring soon and I am not under the misguided opinion that when she goes I'll be able to step into her shoes. I feel I have been a leading role in the FS at school. My opinion is often and regularly drawn upon for current FS legislation because of the amount of years the others have worked there they often see themselves as not young blood!

 

The thing is, because I am not under the misguided opinion that I would be the next FS co-ordinator in my school, I realise that once a new FS co-ordinator is appointed, they will be around for a while!

 

I am very eager to progress professionally because I feel that I have both the desire and the capabilities to take on the responsibilities and promote the links needed between nursery, rec and y1.

 

I really need some guidance as to what constitutes appropriate experience to take on the role so that I know what I need to do now to ensure that I am on the right tracks. At the moment there is a sneaking feeling that the Y1 teacher of three years is also interested in the FS co-ordinators role. If it is simply years experience and does not have any bearing on the fact that KS1 is a whole different way of working than FS, then I need to approach things differently!

 

Hope you can help!

 

Thanks

D xxx

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Hi there.

I think the person you are is more important than the quanitity or type of experience you have. Some excellent well experienced teachers neither want nor would be good at a managing role, and some teachers are average teachers but excellent managers.

 

I job share as FS coordinator but had many years experience before going for this particular role. But that was me! Personally I think advertisement for FS Co. jobs may ask for cross phase experience and therefore you really need to get a year or two in nursery under your belt first. I also think its easier to earn the respect of your colleagues if you have been teaching a few years. But we all know Im sure of teachers who have by chance 'fallen' into managment jobs by being in the right place at the right time despite not having much experience.

 

I would also do your homework and establish the role of the coordinator especailly in a big school like yours. There is plenty enough experience here for you to pick brains, but I'm sure if I had seen my job description before I got the job I do now, id have thought twice! I do considerably more managing than I do teaching! You could also check out job adevrts to see what person specs look like and varied they are.

 

Im sure there will be lots of other advice coming your way, but at the end of the day, you know when the time is right for you, so when it is, go for it.

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Hi Donna -

Although I don't have the experience to comment on the role of FS Co-ordinator (I'll leave that to Mundia who does have that experience!), I'd just suggest that you don't need to panic too much about the idea of someone else being chosen who will then occupy the position for a number of years and effectively block your path.

 

There will be many opportunities for progression regularly over the following couple of years - if not in your school, then in others locally or further afield. You may well be experienced enough already to take this job on. But if not, jumping in because you're worried you'll be frustrated in your career is probably not a great reason to go for the job. :)

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Good advice, Mundia.

Everyone is different and we all bring with us different skills and experiences. It may be that it would, as Mundia has suggested, be a good idea to get some experience not only in nursery but also in year 1 before tackling this role and likewise to have the experience of a different school and different children.

On the other hand you may have just the skills that your school is looking for. Continue to consolidate your experience and practise and see what happens, your head may approach you directly or the job may be advertised, only your head knows ultimately what he/she wants and you can not second guess that but you can make sure that you are keen, interested and the best practitioner that you can be.

Good luck! :D

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Thanks kindly for your words of wisdom! It's not that I am power happy or anything. It's simply a frustration that I deal with daily that personally and professionally I feel that some things have been allowed to slip by the way side. Things have been allowed to carry on and gather dust because it is how they have always worked. I don't feel my development needs are being catered for nor is there much guidance from the current FS co-ordinator as far as progression, assessing and the simple things like phonics!! I sometimes feel that I do most of the implementing new strategies and procedures - I do the leg work and build more relationships with the Y1 teachers (as the FS co-ordinator really doesn't like the teachers in Y1). I sometimes feel that I do more than I get paid for (which is something I don't really think about too much), but that if I am doing it now, why can't I actually take the responsibility on for real and actually do some good rather than feel I am being taken for granted?!!

 

I've implemented targeting, fantastic individual profiles that I am so pleased with and an observation regime (!) that is actually both working and useful.

 

I'm looking elsewhere, but am also hoping that this is the school where I will eventually take on the responsibility. The head at the minute is a consultant head and there has been a new appointed head that will be starting at Easter. Hopefully then things will change for the better!

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you may want to consider getting experience in another school before going for management points. Things that work in one place may not be so easy to do elsewhere and different solutions are needed...different strokes for different folks. I would say don't stay in one place waiting for the perfect position, you could be missing other wonderful oppportunities along the way. :D

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