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Am I Doing It All Wrong?


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Hi, I had my first lesson observation today with the 'new head.' She admits to knowing little about EYFS but brought up two points for discussion during my feedback... I did 'fight my corner' but just wanted your opinions- doesn't take much to make me doubt myself!!!

 

1. Should I let the children access outdoor provision without an adult to supervise them? Some mornings I don't have another member of staff and therefore don't use the space... the gate to the yard can't be locked and the fence is low and I consider it risky... she wants me to have 'free flow' all the time... she suggested I buy a bike lock to secure the gate.

 

2. How much of my provision should be linked to my 'theme'? My lesson was developing vocab to do with texture- we'd already done lots of feely bags, standing in different textures, different malleable experiences and in the lesson we were making pages for a 'That's not my....' book- that part she liked (!!)- she suggested that i should have had more obvious links in other areas e.g. a textured mat for the cars- should i be making more links in my provision? She raved about a lesson in her previous school where the chilldren were learning about churches and were drawing, making and writing about churches!!!

 

Sorry I'm 'off on one now' I may suggest that she come back with an EY advisor so they can do a paired observation but want to make sure I'm doing it right first!!!!!

Thanks

LEVS

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"She raved about a lesson in her previous school where the chilldren were learning about churches and were drawing, making and writing about churches!!!"

 

 

What at this time of the year? I'm spending most of my time getting the children to socialise, share and initiate conversation rather than snatch and hit out!

 

I know you need to let the children take risks.... and if I could let a small number of children go just outside my door where I could see them through the window then I would.

 

what does everyone else think?

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1. Should I let the children access outdoor provision without an adult to supervise them? Some mornings I don't have another member of staff and therefore don't use the space... the gate to the yard can't be locked and the fence is low and I consider it risky... she wants me to have 'free flow' all the time... she suggested I buy a bike lock to secure the gate.

 

 

I wouldn't let children outside without a responsible adult - think of the implications if anything happened! I'd be horrified as a parent if I thought that my nursery or reception child were left outside unsupervised.

 

ts the beginning of the year too; you dont really know the children yet - scary!!! That's just me though- others may think differently. :o

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On the outside thing, we can't at the moment as we have no fenced off area but as soon as that has been sorted I would feel that as long as an adult can see them through the window then some children could be outside. Obviously only you know your children and whether they can be trusted to do so and how safe the area is but if the head deems it ok then I would have thought it would be fine.

 

As for the lesson observation - well my feeling is you could make links to everything but would it be quality links and would the children notice anything and make any associations? The answer is probably no. It sounds as though the children have had great fun exploring different textures. As our head said yesterday, if you are going to do cross-curricular/themed teaching & learning then the links need to be meaningful not those ridiculously tenuous links that are so often apparent!

 

I also agree with Hedgehogs that this time of year is all about developing social skills so any other learning is great as far as I'm concerned!

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On the outside thing, we can't at the moment as we have no fenced off area but as soon as that has been sorted I would feel that as long as an adult can see them through the window then some children could be outside. Obviously only you know your children and whether they can be trusted to do so and how safe the area is but if the head deems it ok then I would have thought it would be fine.

 

As for the lesson observation - well my feeling is you could make links to everything but would it be quality links and would the children notice anything and make any associations? The answer is probably no. It sounds as though the children have had great fun exploring different textures. As our head said yesterday, if you are going to do cross-curricular/themed teaching & learning then the links need to be meaningful not those ridiculously tenuous links that are so often apparent!

 

I also agree with Hedgehogs that this time of year is all about developing social skills so any other learning is great as far as I'm concerned!

 

Feeling much better now- am going to purchase a bike lock and give some thought to outdoor provision...

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I wouldn't let children outside without a responsible adult - think of the implications if anything happened! I'd be horrified as a parent if I thought that my nursery or reception child were left outside unsupervised.

 

ts the beginning of the year too; you dont really know the children yet - scary!!! That's just me though- others may think differently. :o

 

 

I agree that parents would be horrified and imagine the comments if we stood inside and watched break time from afar... i know that there would be more children but it just doesn't seem right!

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What at this time of the year? I'm spending most of my time getting the children to socialise, share and initiate conversation rather than snatch and hit out!

 

 

As a pre-school owner, can I ask something? We spend a lot of time socialising the children and teaching sharing etc. - do the children forget all this when they start YrR or are you talking about children that have never had contact with nursery/pre-school/childminders etc. I would be horrified to think that any of the children I have sent up to their primary schools were not able to behave well.

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Feeling much better now- am going to purchase a bike lock and give some thought to outdoor provision...

 

I think if your head thinks that it is adequate to secure the gate that she should buy it, not you. Should anything go wrong you want it to be her responsibility.

 

I think I would also make sure that I had a risk assessment in place, detailing concerns and how you are going to address those risks---ie low fence etc

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Guest tinkerbell

I agree with answers given about the time of year and the activities being suitable for the children.

 

My children have access to the outside and they do go without an adult at times...the gate to the field has a bolt and it is our fire escape route to the field where we assemble....be careful with he bike lock if the gate is a fire exit.

 

Tinkerbellx

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As a pre-school owner, can I ask something? We spend a lot of time socialising the children and teaching sharing etc. - do the children forget all this when they start YrR or are you talking about children that have never had contact with nursery/pre-school/childminders etc. I would be horrified to think that any of the children I have sent up to their primary schools were not able to behave well.

 

The problem we have is that having children from about 8 different settings they all have varied standards of behaviour, they have also had at least 6 weeks without being at pre-school and some children react differently to meeting new children. Also children often like to test boundaries with any different adults. It's not that the pre schools don't do a great job, it's just the new situation.

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I think if your head thinks that it is adequate to secure the gate that she should buy it, not you. Should anything go wrong you want it to be her responsibility.

 

I think I would also make sure that I had a risk assessment in place, detailing concerns and how you are going to address those risks---ie low fence etc

 

 

Great idea to do a risk assessment- thanks

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The problem we have is that having children from about 8 different settings they all have varied standards of behaviour, they have also had at least 6 weeks without being at pre-school and some children react differently to meeting new children. Also children often like to test boundaries with any different adults. It's not that the pre schools don't do a great job, it's just the new situation.

 

 

We still get children who haven't been to any type of pre-school provision or ones whose attendance at nursery has been very erratic. Our main feeder nursery is great but they can only do their job if the children have attended.

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I agree with answers given about the time of year and the activities being suitable for the children.

 

My children have access to the outside and they do go without an adult at times...the gate to the field has a bolt and it is our fire escape route to the field where we assemble....be careful with he bike lock if the gate is a fire exit.

 

Tinkerbellx

 

 

Will take great delight in adding this comment into the conversation tomorrow- yes it's a fire escape route!

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The problem we have is that having children from about 8 different settings they all have varied standards of behaviour, they have also had at least 6 weeks without being at pre-school and some children react differently to meeting new children. Also children often like to test boundaries with any different adults. It's not that the pre schools don't do a great job, it's just the new situation.

 

 

Thanks for that reply - I just get a little disheartened sometimes when reading posts from Reception teachers who are struggling with children exhibiting such blatant unruly behaviour. Your explanation puts it all into context. We get invited into one of our feeder schools at Christmas to see our "old clients" in their new surroundings and I have to say, I am truly in awe at the good behaviour I see, when I think sometimes how we struggle with transitions at ages 3 and 4 and then I see a YrR teacher just ring a very tiny hand bell and all the children stop what they are doing and face her and listen to what is going to happen next - well.........if only!!!

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Thanks for that reply - I just get a little disheartened sometimes when reading posts from Reception teachers who are struggling with children exhibiting such blatant unruly behaviour. Your explanation puts it all into context. We get invited into one of our feeder schools at Christmas to see our "old clients" in their new surroundings and I have to say, I am truly in awe at the good behaviour I see, when I think sometimes how we struggle with transitions at ages 3 and 4 and then I see a YrR teacher just ring a very tiny hand bell and all the children stop what they are doing and face her and listen to what is going to happen next - well.........if only!!!

 

That's what we aim for - the advantage we have is that we have all the same children everyday, they are a bit older and you guys have done a lot of the ground work. Also, our main pre-school, has different combination of staff everyday where as in our situation it's always consistent (or as much as possible) so this helps get our 'perfect' children!!!

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I have a canopy just outside my classroom with two doors leading out on to it, and the whole 'wall' is conservatory styled. Because of this I let my children go out unsupervised, but only under the canopy - its quite large and houses, sand, water, snack table, creative area, some construction, book area etc. However if they want to play on the rest of the playground then they can only do that when an adult is present, and normally they ask to use something like the bikes, so someone goes out. That's not to say my ta and I spend the whole time indoors, its just if a small group are outdoors and we are supporting play or doing an activity indoors there's no-one there. Quite often we are outside, or at least one of us, supporting them.

That said - if I had a lesson observation I would be scared letting mine outside unsupervised incase my head didn't like it - though I'd probably check with them first.

 

Can also agree re the behaviour thing - the preschools do a fab job. However when half your class are the only one from their preschool coming up, a lot of social time is needed as otherwise they wouldn't know anyone.

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Oh Pandas, I'm sorry... Pre schools of all kinds do a great job socialising the children in their setting.

 

But we took from 24 different settings this year and that's a lot of settling in and getting to know you sessions. Plus of course those who didn't attend anywhere..... our fire escape gate is never locked, just closed but it leads to the playgroud which is locked.

 

Have to run just realised the time and will be late if not careful!

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Completely agree with you Tattybogle - no way would our children go out unsupervised, if anything happened you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. If your head insists then she should be prepared to cough up for the apppropriate staff!!! Makes me REALLY cross for you! We too have the 'fire escape gate with a bolt' issue and have had a couple of 'runners' over the years - if there had not been an adult outside I dread to think what the consequences might have been. Please make sure you cover yourself whatever the outcome.

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Completely agree with you Tattybogle - no way would our children go out unsupervised, if anything happened you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. If your head insists then she should be prepared to cough up for the apppropriate staff!!! Makes me REALLY cross for you! We too have the 'fire escape gate with a bolt' issue and have had a couple of 'runners' over the years - if there had not been an adult outside I dread to think what the consequences might have been. Please make sure you cover yourself whatever the outcome.

 

 

Thanks.. nice to hear that it isn't just me being awkward!!! We do have 'free flow' every afternoon as we have an extra member of staff and i do try to make use of the outdoor space when possible but as you say without the staff cover I feel really uneasy.

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