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Help! New To Fs


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I am very new to all this. I have moved from a Y5 class to Nursery this year with no training/ preparation/ support in advance. I am booked in for CPD at the end of November but could do with some help now.


I am working in a foundation unit with daycare, nursery and reception so getting some help and assistance there. Though you could say that the unit does not really plan and work together very well.


Need help with planning formats & planning using the EYFS document, teaching ideas, routines, observations, assessments, researching, evaluating adopting & doing baseline assessments (OFSTED want numerical! - school have asked me to address).


Therefore feeling a little bogged down at the moment. I have done alot of reading over the summer holidays (found out about the move in the last week of summer term!). Though help with the nuts & bolts of planning and assessing the children's learning in daily practice, as well as in the running and management of a foundatiuon stage unit is necessary for my own sanity if nothing else.


I have been asked to go there to try and iron out some of the issues in the unit, though I am not the coordinator and scope to change is limited. Also as a novice in Early Years and do not possess the necessary knowledge base to base gut feelings/ decisions upon.


Having said all this - although it is a mammoth task I have got through the first few weeks and am enjoying (if this is the right word!) the difference in teaching styles and philosophy. Looking forward to the challenge - just want to do the right thing by the children and give them a good start.


Would be grateful for any ideas/ advice/ pro formas/ templates/ resources/ links etc.


Thank you


Cloudy (by name and current outlook!!)

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Hi Cloudy,


You have come to the right place. Fabulous advice and resources available on this forum.


I have just made a similar move to you but into a new pre-school (ex-teacher).


I also spent the summer reading up on theory and ideas!. Books I found most useful were by Cathy Nutbrown, Vicki Hutchin,Sandra Schmidt, Helen Bolton. Early years Educator magazine (monthly in Wh Smiths) also very useful. When you've sussed all that read about the Reggio approach and Forest schools.

Coming from a teaching background I have found a tendency to over plan for the nursery age range but less is more.

A big step for me was working out this idea of 'Continuous provision' i.e the stuff you have out all the time Role-play, construction,sand + water, mark-making etc. You can search on here for 'Continuous provision plans'Somebody from 'Croft pre-school' did some great ones.


You can then do 'Enhanced provision plans' i.e a simple weekly plan to show what you are going to provide that week that is different to the usual continuous provision. Your reasons for providing those things should all be child based. For example, we started out 2 weeks ago doing a loose 'All about me' topic. As we are a new setting we keep getting parcel deliveries. I have been opening these with the children and now we are focusing more on a mini 'What's in the box' topic. So my enhanced provision this week was very box-focused to reflect their interests. We had cardboard boxes in the garden, a selection of small 'fiddle boxes' in the fine motor skills area, stories about boxes etc. But alongside that still doing self-portraits (assessment of markmaking skills) and hand and feet printing.

The majority of the children's morning is spent doing their chosen activities and they can help themselves to mark making/ construction materials etc.

Assessment is mainly done through lots of photographs and observations (casual and some longer formal ones). All this evidence goes into their 'learning journal' which is a record of their time as they progress through nursery.Lots of diff. ways of doing these. We have printed off the development matters for each area and have them at the front of the folder. We number the pieces of evidence that we stick in the journal and then write that number next to any descriptors that it meets. Each half-term we highlight the statements that the child is able to do based on our evidence a, our observations and info. from parents. we use a different colour to highlight each half-term.


So, I do.... Continuous provision plans for each area e.g malleable materials, ICT, art and craft, sand+ water, role play etc. these last all year and don't need to be done again.

I then do a very rough half-termly plan of possible ideas, things we might cover and with essential activities in bold type e.g this term self-portraits and making peg labels was essential. Hand-printing was a possible activity if the children's interests led us that way.

I then do an 'enhanced provision' plan each week (in discussion with staff and based on evaluations/observations during week). At the end of the week we annotate it, evaluate and scribble notes on it.

From that plan we pick 3 or 4 activities that will be our focussed activities of the week and write a detailed plan for each. I am not sure whether this is too many but this is what we are trying. i will try and attach mine here but have never done it before.....Activity_plan_1.doc



I am sure some people much wiser and more experienced than me can shed more light but I hope that helps to lift the clouds.....

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Hi there Cloudy


My heart goes out to you - they have really dropped you in it haven't they? If you feel that support is not readily available in the school, can you access help via your advisors or maybe friendly local settings may be able to let you visit and show you how they approach the EYFS so that you get some real life grass roots info. I am sure that there are many people on this site with vast banks of experience who can point you in the right places for all kinds of information - I'm still finding my way around too! All I would say is remember this is a huge job and many people I know with donkeys years of experience behind them are still getting their heads round it all - don't beat yourself up ,enjoy the fun bits - there will be plenty -and the learning - and remember that if you were a confident and competent teacher in Y5 then there is no reason you will not be in FS - they are still children and you will tune into them because it is in you to do it :) Good Luck and enjoy!

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