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Confused And Stressed - Please Help

Guest Cathryn1974

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Guest Cathryn1974



I had another consultation today with our EYFS consultant. She said that the environment in Reception had not progressed with the children and that our continuous provision. She said the sand and water did not contain enough science and maths. We have jugs, measuring, cylinders, sieves etc. All the usual. She says it needs to be more scientific like a lab and the reading corner more like a library.


The deputy then said that I should have cards or labels out instructing children / challenging them (I thought this was enhanced provision) that we do do sometimes if it is appropriate. Everytime I meet with her I feel confused as I can't really see what she is saying to be change - it feels a bit ambiguous. Am I being really thick?


Please could anyone send me a copy of their sand and water or science / investigation continuous provision for reception or let me know what you have in your areas and if this changes across the year - or would that be enhanced?


HELP PLEASE _ feel so confused.


Cathryn (thanks in advance any advice would be appreciated)



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Hi Cathryn,


I don't think you'll ever find two advisors or SLT who agree of what effective continuous provision is! I've used several different continuous provision plans that I've found and taken what i think works in my class from each one. I'm not under any illusion that it's the best planning but our SIP has looked at my planning and she thinks it's good. She's an EYFS moderator so she must know a thing or two!!


I did do a combines Sand and Water Area plan as the chidlren tend to use similar resources in both areas, and a lot of the content would have been similar in both. So doing one plan saved me time and made sense!




Hope that's of some use to you,

Jess :o

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Guest LornaW

Oh Cathryn how dreadful at this end of a year when there is so much else to do.


Take a deep breath and try to think of all the good things about your environment - I am sure there are lots!




What part of England are you in?

Are you new to teaching?

Have you visited an excellent reception class?


I ask becasue that is how I learn best by seeing how others do it and then adapting my practice. If you are in the north of England there is the Early Excellence Centre you could visit.


also have you seen the great free resources Community Playthings do on enabling environments?


I think the best thing to say to your consultant is what ONE thing do you want me to do. Make sure it is a negotiated agreement give yourself a time scale and then invite her back. If she is still not satisifed ask again what OBE thing can you do.


I am sure there will be loads more practical advise but please don't get stressed over this as i am sure you have plenty of other pressures at the end of a year.


Good Luck.



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I'm not reception so my plans wouldn't be much use to you but I wanted to say that one thing I have found when confronted with an advisor who I just can't seem to please, is to ask him/her to kindly give some practical examples. Now this isn't to get out of doing it but simply because I feel I have obviously not been able to understand the advice properly and a practical example can be implemented and then tweaked to fit the setting better. Do you think you could do this? Possibly ask her to come and actually show you what she would like to see in the sand and water area, set it up for you and then you can use this to develop your other areas.

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I agree with Holly - turn it around and ask if she were you what would she put in and how would it be presented. Does she bring or have any photos of exemplar settings she could show you...


Alternatively if you are happy with your areas build up a small scrapbook of photos and quotes from the children of how the areas are used. Then on the next visit sit down and show her how you meet the specified learning.


Often when advisors come out they aren't able to see the best times and can't envisage it either - photos are very powerful and difficult to argue with!


When she talks about 'progressed with the children' is she meaning with their interests and developments and does she really know and how? Is she with you regularly? Might be nice to keep a class learning journal as the term develops. This would allow you to show progress and add reflections of how you have amended/changed/enhanced areas to meet the developing needs and interests. Its also great to look through with the children and record their 'voices', it can be used as Ofsted evidence or even for new parents or children who need ideas


Remember most 'advisors' are only there to 'advise' not to insist you do something - especially if you don't believe in it or its not in your children's best interests!!



Can you tell we've been through this many many times...and then another comes along and contradicts the first! Grrrr


Ps we are daycare

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Hi, firstly I'd agree with others to turn it round on her - what specifically does she want to see?


To an extent these people have to justify their jobs by finding something wrong!


I wonder if she just means to have some more focused activities at this point in the year, for instance a set of jugs in graduated sizes, and a little card asking the children to do an experiment to find out which one holds the most, that kind of thing. Rather than it just being free play iyswim.

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