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Crisis of confidence


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Hello all

 

I wonder if any of you can offer me help and advice. I am the lead teacher in a school nursery and am feeling the pressure of the job and having a bit of a confidence dip. I seem not to be able to get on top of the work and don't feel at all to grips with the revised curriculum and what needs to be done.

For the past 4 weeks, since term started we have been putting all of our combined efforts into trying to settle a rather challenging cohort and our focus has been on simply enabling the children to get used to routines and how to play cooperatively with one another.

However, I feel I have lost sight of the bigger and don't really know what I should be doing in terms of addressing the revised EYFS. Is there anything that I should be doing in particular?

Sorry this is so vague but I just feel like I am on the verge of giving up. I really could do with being in a setting with someone more experienced and where there is more support - I feel everyone waits for me to come up with the answers/way forward and I don't always know.

This probably does not make sense but I don't know where else to go...

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Not sure what to say to help- other than you are not alone :( I'm in pre-school and feel pretty much like you at the moment.

 

It is difficult when everyone just expects you to have all the magic answers. I'm lucky that I do have a new deputy and she is great helping with the paperwork etc............ it's just finding paperwork that everyone it happy with that I'm finding draining.

 

Our children have been quite good this year, but the parents :mellow:

 

xx

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You're not on your own with getting them settled at all. I though I had made progress but the last part of last week made me question that! I've got some planning and observation formats I'm sort of happy with but I don't feel like we are moving forward as yet, more just retreading old ground each day.

 

On a course I went on last week though we were advised not to panic about the changes too much and try to focus on making sure we had addressed the changes to the aspects of learning on our documents and also that we can show the characteristics of effective learning on our planning. I was recording these on my observations of children and I can talk about how the different children like to learn but I now need to shoe-horn this into the planning format too somehow! My class is in a quite traditional school so I feel I need to please the rest of the school in terms of "getting them ready" for Y1 as well as doing what I know is right for them now. A lovely balancing act!

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Hi Holly and Loubylou

phew... It's nice to know I am not alone but still feel scared of the prospect of it all. We have received no training as yet regarding the changes so am at a lost as to what I should be changing. Holly may I ask how you are incorporating the changes to the aspects of learning and characteristics on your documents/planning? I would be grateful for some guidance along these lines?

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Hi Apple the Snowman,

 

Someone put a super observatiion sheet on the forum a few months ago which listed the COL on it for highlighting. I will check who it was when I go to work tomorrow unless they shout out before then.

 

I think many of us are in the same frame of mind as you. I am the manager of my setting and I also struggle to do and think of everthing myself. I wish sometimes my staff would show some initiative and come up with some ideas themselves. All I seem to do is feed feed feed them information and ideas which they are very keen on but never actually really bother to put them into action. Sometimes I could scream when I walk into the one of the rooms and see the same toys out every morning and have to challenge them to remember to put out the enhanced provision ideas.

 

I feel we could be an outstanding setting but until ALL my staff sing from the same songsheet it just wont happen no matter how much I nag.

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I'm in a fortunate position as I am an NQT and started my role this September so I basically took some time over the summer to write my observation and planning formats as they suited me and as they reflected the changes. All my paperwork is an amalgamation of things I found very kindly shared on here and things I had from uni. My planning is fairly loose at present except when I need another adult to deliver something when I use the lesson planning format I used at uni. I have a coded DM sheet which saves me typing/writing in every word of the DM statement I am focused on in my lesson, and as my children are reception aged it only covers from 16 months upwards, but it would be easy enough to cover the earlier age ranges in a similar way. I will try to attach them here for you but if it doesn't fully answer your questions please ask. The only change I haven't made yet is how to put the Characteristics of Effective Learning on the planning. I know which children learn best from playing and exploring for example, so I plan to observe them and support their learning in those types of activities rather than have them at a table with me, but we were advised to record it as such too. I suppose so we can show whoever without having to say it aloud!

 

Currently my planning is based on a weekly timetable and is similar to that which you might expect in Y1 as I inherited this from the teacher before me. Each part of the day has an adult input (5-10 mins) and then children have freeflow time and we do observations and small group work. My adult input tends to be followed up with a small group activity on the same, but sometimes it is more skills based for the lower ability children, rather than directly about the learning I fed in.

long obs.doccoded DM and ELGS 16mths+.doclesson plan.doc

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Hi there, all you need to do is now start to record where the new children are at against the Prime areas only for now - that's PSED Physical and Language. Look at development matters (most LA's have done a grid). It's only about now you should be starting to record - settling in always comes first so no need to panic. Aim by half-term to have recorded on entry which should give you picture of where the children are at.

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We all have a crisis of confidence now and then, my ob sheet has characteristics of learning to highlight, until the super one is unearthed. Haven't actually used it yet, but planned it during the summer to try and make me focus on COL myself. To begin with I am just trying to get as accurate baseline as possible and then will target groups for future learning and development once they are settling down and becoming familiar with routines - getting better every day.

Keep calm and carry on...

new EYFS blank ob sheet for FSF.doc

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Hi Apple, think lots of us feeling a bit less confident now as soooo much new information and advice to take on board!

 

I thought we were doing okay...then along came our Improvement Advisor and burst the bubble!! On top of that Landlords told us our one day when we could leave our setting out...me and deputy work hours on this day shifting, planning, labelling etc etc.....was being taken from us.....for a Ballroom dancing night!!!! Really felt I CANNOT GO ON!! Only having to pay back a huge overdraft for the business that gets me out of bed :(

 

Anyway calmed down now and like you still trying to square the circle........

 

Good advice from androyd ( i hope cos thats what we are doing now). And the form Snowdrop mentions regarding Cols is I think what we are finding very useful. Though how you put CofL on overall planning.....beats me, and why we need to, beats me even futher!

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Hi Apple the Snowman,

 

Someone put a super observatiion sheet on the forum a few months ago which listed the COL on it for highlighting. I will check who it was when I go to work tomorrow unless they shout out before then.

 

I think many of us are in the same frame of mind as you. I am the manager of my setting and I also struggle to do and think of everthing myself. I wish sometimes my staff would show some initiative and come up with some ideas themselves. All I seem to do is feed feed feed them information and ideas which they are very keen on but never actually really bother to put them into action. Sometimes I could scream when I walk into the one of the rooms and see the same toys out every morning and have to challenge them to remember to put out the enhanced provision ideas.

 

I feel we could be an outstanding setting but until ALL my staff sing from the same songsheet it just wont happen no matter how much I nag.

Hi Apple the Snowman,

 

Someone put a super observatiion sheet on the forum a few months ago which listed the COL on it for highlighting. I will check who it was when I go to work tomorrow unless they shout out before then.

 

I think many of us are in the same frame of mind as you. I am the manager of my setting and I also struggle to do and think of everthing myself. I wish sometimes my staff would show some initiative and come up with some ideas themselves. All I seem to do is feed feed feed them information and ideas which they are very keen on but never actually really bother to put them into action. Sometimes I could scream when I walk into the one of the rooms and see the same toys out every morning and have to challenge them to remember to put out the enhanced provision ideas.

 

I feel we could be an outstanding setting but until ALL my staff sing from the same songsheet it just wont happen no matter how much I nag.

 

Its good to know I am not alone - I could have written your post!! I have no support from my deputy or management team - it is up to me to think of everything and try to get it implemented. We are due Ofsted and I am barely sleeping! I am happy with all our planning, observation and assessment sheets but they are not completed consistently by all staff. I went in this morning and could have screamed.....The baby and toddler rooms are fine (I think!) and the Pre-school room is definetley ready but our two year old department is NOT ready. They just do not seem to understand the importance of it all! I seem to be asking them to do the same things every single day.....

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Just to digress slightly from your original post when you say the team all wait for your lead I wondered if there was a way of changing this. I was very lucky in the setting I worked as we had paid weekly staff meetings where as a team we came up with ideas for the following weeks planning based on children's interests we had witnessed and topic based ideas. In addition our manager gave us each areas of responsibility linked to our areas of interest so some of the pressure for specific areas were taken off her shoulders although she obviously monitored our ideas and mentored when needed to.

 

As a member of staff having ownership of one element made me feel important for want of a better word and I took pride in planning my bit so that not only did me and the children enjoy the activities but so did the other staff. I was 'Circle time girl' and I played around with it a lot and did lots of activities not necessarily identified as your typical circle time but if the children enjoyed it and we were in a circle and I could justify what we were doing and what the children were learning from it I had pretty much free reign.....it was great :1b

 

Having said that the first month of the new term was all about settling in and we pretty much planned to the children's interests and abilities to make things as easy as possible for all involved.

 

Hope things get better soon x

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Hi Apple,

Sorry to hear about your crisis of confidence. It can be a lonely journey sometimes in a school nursery..at least I often found it to be!

Can you pin point what your major worry is? The revised EYFS hasn't changed good practice, so is it the documenting that's bothering you more? Or is it about the team and getting them all together? Or something else that is at the centre of your crisis?

 

In terms of 'planning' for the characteristics of effective learning, I think this is about looking at your enabling environment (what the adult provides), and the positive relationships (what the adult does). This comes through in your continuous (and then enhanced) provision, your setting ethos; vision and values (in essence your long term plan). That's the way I see it, does it make sense?

 

I hope you re-find your sense of well being very soon!

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