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What Have You Developed In Your School Setting As A Result Of Eyfs?


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Having worked in a LA for a wee while now with all my lovely schools I can see many things that have changed this year for the better as a result of EYFS coming into force, but also things that are still difficult to implement because of the nature of a school's organisation, especially those with single class, 30 children, 1 teacher EYFS settings!

 

So my question is:

 

What has EYFS helped you achieve with your setting that you struggled to get on the agenda previously and what is your biggest achievement with it this year?

 

I have seen an overwhelming increase in SMTs wanting to know about EYFS and a fabulous growth of dedicated outside areas with shelter!

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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Hi Catma,

Thought that was a great question! Biggest thing for me has been seeking to develop Parental involvement in my school setting. I think all practitioners know how important this is but think I lacked the 'get up and develop change' spark . The EYFS 'coming into force' has, I think, perhaps motivated LA's and Network meetings to address this issue more fully as a result of the EYFS and has had an impact on my practice.

Relatively early days in my own development but pleased with progress in a short time. Using this term as a trial for Foundation Stage only cohort in September. After a mixed Rec / Y1 cohort for five years this is very exciting! luluj

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The biggest success in my school this year, for me, has been the change in focus in my teaching assistant's approach. Last year I was working with her and a job share and this year I am full time. My jobshare partner and I worked very differently to one another which was really hard for all 3 of us in the class - and for the children too! My approach was more in line with EYFS while hers was lovely, had worked well for her for a number of years, but was more formal, less free flow, less child-inititiated, more adult directed. My TA had worked closely with my jobshare partner for some years, and to begin with found the whole EYFS philosophy tricky, unsettling and was quite negative about it. (Sorry for the long-winded backstory!) The statutory nature of the EYFS has helped me successfully implement policies that I was struggling with before, as I could say that it was statutory, explain that lots of 'new ideas' were coming in at the moment and give my TA lots of reading material etc supporting it. As she was required to go with it by more than just me (!) she has now seen how it all works successfully in practice. Only today she said to me - 'I was looking round the classroom and everyone was working hard! Even though it looked chaotic, when I stepped back, actually everyone was working hard!' It was a bit of a breakthrough moment!! I'm really looking forward to September and to actually starting a year with her having that mindset in place, to some extent, and seeing just how well we'll get on with everything when we're both working with the same philosophy, rather than not, or very sceptically.

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These are good points. Similarly I would say:

- EYFS has been a good excuse for changing things as many people saw it as something new. For example - child init balance, parental partnership, routine changes.

- In my LA, training has meant an increased understanding of EY not only for SMT but also TAs.

- A lot more general chat about EY and pedagogy, whether people agree or not, has been beneficial for the development of understanding about why we do things.

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The EYFS has had a positive effect on our setting. We have totally restructured the way we set up the hall each morning

with dedicated 'areas' of learning which has impacted positively on both the behaviour and learning opportunities for our children.

 

It has made both qualified and unqualified staff aware of their responsibilities in observing and planning to move their key children on and also the fact that there is not weeks and weeks of planning to do each half term!!!!

 

All round a positive and welcome change - although some of the staff would probably disagree with me as they feel there is too much 'paperwork' responsibility with regard to the children's development records.

 

dottyp

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We no longer have free flow to the outdoors.

We no longer plan and work together as a unit.

Activities have become very "safe" and less spontaneous .

We seem to have lost the "spark" in a mountain of paperwork.

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We no longer have free flow to the outdoors.

We no longer plan and work together as a unit.

Activities have become very "safe" and less spontaneous .

We seem to have lost the "spark" in a mountain of paperwork.

Definitely can see how the spontaneity and spark can get lost in the extra paper work - but what happened with the other bits? Tell us a bit more - it'd be good to have a chance to help/support/ sympathise with you a little bit after all the advice etc you've given the rest of us! :o

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We now have a new purpose built Children's Centre where our outdoor area once was joined to us by an entrance corridor. One door leads onto the infant playground one door leads onto what remains of our outdoor area and at each end the doors lead into the CC and the FSU. The problem is these doors have been designated fire doors AND security doors. So fire doors need to remain unlocked and security doors need to be locked :o

They also weigh a tonne and the CC has already had a child squashed!

The nursery teacher is supervising the private day care provision in the CC (half a day a week) and feels nursery should be working closely with their staff and reception should be part of the infants! xD so only plans for nursery children leaving reception back in no man's land where we were pre FS.

 

I could go on but basically my heart is no longer in EYs...

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Sorry to hear that Marion.

 

I'm not sure with regards to where i am. We are a one form entry village school from reception to year 6. The head still in dark ages and so are some staff as to what we do other than just play all day. We do get left alone and no-one comes poking their noses in but are seen as keystage 1 (the reason is they don't want us to be left out) so we do not get anytime its always with keystage 1 and staff meetings are always about keystage 2.

 

Our deputy is on the ball but our head will not let us change many things even though we have showed her the EYFS etc. We have made some small changes that she has allowed - the biggest being letting us have parents in more and having parent workshops with the children in class. We have changed our planning lots of times and don't seem to be getting as stressed about it as we were and if we did space for 3 weeks because the children were enjoying it then thats ok. We have really worked hard on free flo between outside and inside and have been able to get lots of resources and have a wellie rack and outside rain capes.

 

We have a new head (his first post) starting in september a male 36 !!! and has worked in the reception/year 1 and 2 so here's hoping he is on our side i'm expecting big things.

 

I am enthusiastic about a lot of things and have been so thankful to the people on here for advice and just seeking comfort sometimes just reading a post makes me reassured that i am doing what i am suppose to be. My deputy and job share partner always say where do i get the time to come on here as i'm always coming in talking about something i may have read article or discussion.

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I'm also things seem to have taken a backward step for you Marion :o

 

We have made big changes in that instead of working as seperate reception classes that occasionally did things together we now work as a unit. We have reorganised the resources into the areas to really enable continuous provision. We always have an adult based outside so that there is free flow to the outdoors. We have found that the set up we now has really improved children's social skills and therefore behaviour - hopefully this will be noticed as they carrye on through the school.

 

We have had really good encouragement and backing from both our head and deputy (helped I reckon from the fact that in an outstanding school it was 'only' good for foundation stage!) but one thing they were concerned with was the fact that would a more play based and child initiated curriculum effect the standards - luckily we have been able to prove that the standards are still high! We now just need to get the outside sorted. At the moment we use the playground, but round the other side of the building is a grass and paved area that we'd really love but it would mean a shuffle around which would also take a bit of persuasion!

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We have been an Early Years unit since the early 90s and became a fully integrated FSU 5 years ago. In our last two OFSTEDs the FS has been highly acclaimed. Our LA uses our unit as an example of outstanding practice and advises other schools to visit and observe the way we work.... We couldn't possibly have become more play based than the way we worked pre EYFS and our outdoor area was secure and well equipped and we were able to offer free flow throughout the day.. which is why I see this as even more of a retrograde step than possibly it would be for other schools without our history of success.

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I remember you talking about the door issue ages ago. What a shame it's impacted so severely on your setting's capacity to deliver what you want. Is it the building of the CC rather than the EYFS itself though??

Cx

Edited by catma
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