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Aaagh...worksheets!


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Just need a good moan to people who will understand! I job share a Rec/Y1 class (I started in September, other teacher has been there a long time). We do a medium term plan together, talk about what we'll do each week, then do our own short term plans. Anyway, class has been quite structured and I've been really pushing for the EYFS to be properly implemented. Thought I was getting somewhere, then went into school yesterday for a meeting and found Reception children doing a worksheet where they had to circle the objects starting with 's'!!! Feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall. To top it all she keeps making remarks like 'You do the fun activities and I get them working' - has even made remarks like this to parents. It makes me feel so undermined, and I even start to question my own practice, even though I know what I am doing is best for the children. Don't really know what to do next, whether to talk to her, to talk to my head.... Sorry for the moan - needed to get off my chest. Thank goodness its half term!!

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I'm not a teacher so I can't help you with how to tackle this one - but I do know about worksheets! As you say, you know what you are doing is best for your children, and somewhere in the EYFS it does mention worksheets (or the absence of). It sounds to me that your colleague is feeling a bit challenged by your approach (and possibly how well received it is by the children) and she feels the need to justify her very different approach.

 

Hope you feel better now you've got that off your chest - half term awaits!

 

Maz

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I'd carefully tackle it with the head - see what they want (and then argue the EYFS case if necessary).

I feel for you - don't think I've done more than 3 worksheets in the past 8 weeks - and two of them are story sequencing pictures to cut and sequence. (Mind you am panicing on a different matter as a local school was told their reception weren't writing enough by OFSTED)

Would definitely do something though, as undermining you to your parents is definitley not on.

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At our inspection OFSTED wanted writing in books in September

 

That seems very strange and confirms my view that it's all a case of "the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" when it comes to things like OFSTED, government advice and the many other things we get thrown at us.

 

Personally I hate worksheets and I have given my class maybe two so far, both maths and one being just something to assess their number formation skills at the start of the year.

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That seems very strange and confirms my view that it's all a case of "the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" when it comes to things like OFSTED, government advice and the many other things we get thrown at us.

 

Personally I hate worksheets and I have given my class maybe two so far, both maths and one being just something to assess their number formation skills at the start of the year.

 

 

I totally agree with you about the lack of consistency. We actually had Ofsted last week and the inspector was a real early years specialist. She was most concerned about our classroom environment (resources not accessible enough) and the balance of child and adult initiated activities. Luckily I had drawn up an action plan of the things I knew we needed to do and she was happy with that. She did not ask to see any books for Reception, and the only examples of work I showed her were photocopies of emergent writing!

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I think a chat with the Head would be a good idea.

 

Last year in our school the year one class was treated WAY to formally in my humble opinion and it caused masses of grief!!

 

Year one children are still EYFS children until the day they are 6.

 

I don't want to knock your opposite member of staff but it seems she is "stuck" doing what she has always done and I believe this isn't a good reason to carry on down this line!!

 

All lessons should be fun and to be honest if the other teacher cannot find a better way to "teach" than work sheets with reception then I feel sorry for the children in her care.

 

Reception is a magical time and it is a time where children can be put off school by inappropriate methods of "teaching"

 

I know that doesn't help you, but at least you know that you are in the right!!!!!!

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Could you put up a display or write a leaflet for parents on the value of play for their children? Including lots of information about the benefits of play and perhaps a quote or two?

 

"Play is indeed the child's work and the means whereby he grows and develops" (Susan Isaacs, 1929)

 

It isn't a very subtle strategy but it might get the message across to a few people and maybe even the one who needs it most.

 

At least you'll have justified your approach to the parents and may feel a little less undermined.

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Could you put up a display or write a leaflet for parents on the value of play for their children? Including lots of information about the benefits of play and perhaps a quote or two?

 

"Play is indeed the child's work and the means whereby he grows and develops" (Susan Isaacs, 1929)

 

It isn't a very subtle strategy but it might get the message across to a few people and maybe even the one who needs it most.

 

At least you'll have justified your approach to the parents and may feel a little less undermined.

That is a really good idea - I think I'm going to have a chat to the head too. Thankyou all of you for your supportive comments.

KMc

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Interesting to reflect on the fact that there's no evidence whatsoever that worksheets are of any value for learning (in fact the reverse is true) - and that they are definitely not recommended by the EYFS.

 

As a genuine alternative your colleague might be enouraged to begin to take an interest in the children's own drawings, own writing and their mathematical graphics that they explore in their play and occasional adult-led groups. All provide rich evidence for parents, for assessment (and great for displays too)! And importantly children enjoy exploring their own ideas in their own ways. But take your colleague with you - working together slowly as much as you can. I'm sure she will begin to share your excitement in the children's own learning, rather than colouring in/completing worksheets! :o

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Is this actually documented anywhere?

 

I'm afraid it isn't the case EYFS covers Birth to the end of reception (which for some children in my class will be age 4 - August birthdays)

 

"More about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) The Childcare Act 2006 provides the underpinning legislation for a single quality framework for children from birth to five (the EYFS). The EYFS and the renewed literacy and mathematics Framework provide integrated advice to practitioners about supporting children's care, learning and development from birth to five. "

 

http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.g...905?uc=force_uj

"Schools and early years providers have to follow a structure of learning, development and care for children from birth to five years old. This is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and it enables your child to learn through a range of activities."

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Presch...asses/DG_171007

Edited by Marion
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Page 7 of the statutory framework(May 2008) says "The EYFS is given legal force through an Order and Regulations made under the Act. From

September 2008 it will be mandatory for all schools and early years providers in Ofsted registered settings attended by young children – that is children from birth to the end of the academic year in which a child has their fifth birthday."

 

So its easy to see why there is confusion about six year olds being in the Foundation Stage - what about children who have a late September birthday?

 

Maz

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So its easy to see why there is confusion about six year olds being in the Foundation Stage - what about children who have a late September birthday?

 

Maz

 

Children with late September birthdays would be amongst the eldest children, reaching 5 shortly after entering reception. Late August birthdays (children who will still be 4 when the summer term ends) are still considered to have their birthdays within that academic year as the next does not begin until September (after their fifth birthday).

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Children with late September birthdays would be amongst the eldest children, reaching 5 shortly after entering reception.

So these children will be 5 years 10 months-ish when their profile year ends - so for them the EYFS does almost stretch to when they're six.

 

Maz

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So these children will be 5 years 10 months-ish when their profile year ends - so for them the EYFS does almost stretch to when they're six.

 

Maz

 

and others will be 4 years 11 months ...

 

however EYFS officially stops at the end of reception KS1 begins in Y1

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  • 5 weeks later...

Interesting discussion! You may be interested to read more about children's mathematical graphics here: http://www.childrens-mathematics.net - plus lots of examples in the 'Galleries' there.

 

New booklet from the DCSF coming out very soon (for the Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1) - entitled 'Children Thinking Mathematically'.

 

And Ofsted should not be asking for children to do 'written maths' in books! Good luck with everything!

Edited by MaulfryW
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