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It's a sad old, mad old world (at times)


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"We create non-negotiables from nursery."

 

No words. Just none at all.

 

I'm even trying to replace 'teaching' with 'modelling' as an alternative to cut her some slack, but even that's not working!

 

I love the tweet from Sue Cowley at the bottom - @Sue_Cowley, tweeted, ‘I’m not entirely sure how you prevent three-year-olds mark making’, while@DeborahFielden countered 'In fact probably best to remove fingers altogether. Best mark makers of all'.

Edited by Running Bunny
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So no mark-making only 'writing' with a correctly held pencil. Are they not allowed to draw a picture? It must be a joy to work in that nursery class...

 

And 'eliminating SEN' as if it's some kind of terrible disease. Words fail me. :(

Edited by Stargrower
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Do not slap me :unsure: , but I have learned that children love structured challenging activities. There is no push or pressure for it but if it is done in a right time and place it works. Our children in the setting are not even 4 yet. Majority has just turned 3 but we have a child who reads at the level of Year 1 and we have recently introduced SSP.

 

When I did my EYITTP there was a whole standard related to Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) and there was a bit of push on it, so I needed to implement it in my setting. To my surprise, kids love it. Even the youngest (I mean two and under) stroll towards the reading corner when we call them to do Phonics, and they enjoy copying moves and sounds. When I did my course, I visited this forum with hope to find some ideas to gather evidences for Standard 3.4 (Demonstrate a clear understanding of systematic synthetic phonics in the teaching of early reading), however found more useful info in KS1 section than here.

 

With regards to SEN kids, I believe that high expectations do a trick.

:ph34r:

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Panders, do I have a forum fever? I am on holiday, what am I doing here? Your prediction came true! This forum takes over my life! Aaaaahhh! Help! Kick me out of here! Ban me! SOS!

Too late I'm afraid Oksana, the damage has been done. xDxDxD

 

From watching the full interview I can see where she is coming from and some of her expressions were unfortunate and taken out of their context sound awful. If your little ones are enjoying their phonic sessions, what's the harm? If they can walk away when they want to or do other things if they wish to, that's fine by me!

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No one will slap you Oksana (honest), we like a difference of views here, it sharpens our own thinking, and we're pretty good at sharing different points of view in a polite and professional manner.

 

For me, the fact that some young children CAN learn phonics at 2-3 doesn't mean they SHOULD. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that children taught phonics at 2 (or even 4) have any better a reading age eg at 11, and more importantly enjoyment of reading than those taught at 5 (or even 6). For me, there are just so many better things to do when you're 2 and 3, and Id much rather foster a love of books and stories than do phonics any day of the week.

 

I actually left my last school because I was 'made' to do phonics with 3 years old who couldn't speak any English... it was the last straw for me at that time. And I'd do the same again if I were faced with that situation now.

 

I must confess to not having listened to the clip yet, so cant really comment on what she actually said...I will try and do that later on.

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There is too much pressure in Early Years in the UK. The more I read about Finnish system, the more I understand why their education system still very much at the top tier of the world's best performing educations systems. I have a friend in Finland and I asked her about their early years and kindergarten (their kids go to school at 6 or 7). She said there are no tracking of the progress and she never heard about planning. Teachers do planning but it is more about the activities for a particular day for the whole group rather than addressing individual needs and interests into individual planning. She said that sometimes there can be up to 30 new kids coming from nursery to kindergarten and they do not have individual Learning Journals, no reports from the previous settings, no medical history, nothing! Welcome and play! (Please note I am not talking about the whole country, I am talking about one particular town where my friend lives and this info is from her experience working there).

When I did EYITTP I learned lots of new, exciting, interesting things which I am keen to implement in my setting now. However, I have also been pushed to do things which go against my believes, my believes as a teacher and as a parent. During my final assessment interview I was asked how I implemented phonics in my setting and even though my whole body wanted to scream "My oldest children only a few months ago turned 3!" I needed to remain calm and answer what I have done so far.

Are you all familiar with Community Playthings? We all know they make a really good but very expensive (in most cases unaffordable) furniture but do you know that they also have a nursery there? I had a pleasure of meeting some of the members of their Darvell Community on several occasions. They promote the importance of open-ended free play. You probably familiar with it. When I asked them how often they do planning (termly planning, weekly planning, individual planning, etc) they raised their brows. Can anyone tell me whether they are registered with Ofsted at all? Where is the report? I personally couldn't find them on Ofsted register.

​We have been pushed to far by Ofsted and DfE guidelines.

If someone could organise a strike, I would be first to join it. We are simply being ignored for too long. :(

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Their school is definately inspected. Look for Darvel school.

 

I'd take issue with your comment about their furniture being unaffordable. I have bought all my CP furniture, one piece at a time ( saved up when I could) and they have always been good about that. I have been to Darvel a couple of times; it's a wonderful place, and the grounds are fantastic.

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I also have CP furniture and absolutely love it, but to be honest it is very expensive, not all settings can afford it.
Darvel school is independent school if I am not mistaken. However, I'm talking about their early years setting not the school. I have visited their community twice on my own and once as a part of the course. I love their concept of open-ended play, so was gathering more info. But it is not related to the current thread. What I was trying to say that when I watch videos as mentioned above I see trend (jolly phonics, RWI, read-write, etc), competitiveness and pressure and it makes me feel sad (even though I learned now that SSP can indeed be introduced very early in life), but when I look at Community Playthings presentation about open-ended play I say "WOW, brilliant, inspiring". But how easy to implement it under current rules? It is easier to do what is said in a video than let children themselves determine what to do, how to do it and what to use.

 

Narnia, I am not against CP, I absolutely adore them and their furniture but to be honest a changing table for £1250 in my opinion is a bit too much. My setting was lucky and we got it as a grant, otherwise I would never be able to afford it, never!

Edited by Oksana1975
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Oksana 1975 - so glad your hooked - because I like what you say!! Totally agree with your point that we are all far too led by Ofsted and the DfE. Only wish Ofsted inspectors were consistent in their judgements of us.........

 

I too would love CP furniture but have no chance of affording anything for our setting! :(

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Having now watched the YouTube interview I understand her rationale for doing what she is doing, bearing in mind the area of deprivation, level of SEN etc. However, I can't square the circle of teaching 3 year olds to be motivated readers and writers from the get go.

 

My son is 5.5 and just about to go into Year 1 - he is a very motivated learner, according to his EYFS profile is exceeding in writing but he has only just mastered tripod grip and is a reluctant writer (in my eyes) I can't see how the structured approach for him, at 3, would have worked or inspired him to learn. But, he wouldn't have known any different either, if they were all doing it. It is only because he has been able to learn through play and will continue to do so next year, with structured learning too, that he has developed his own autonomy. And that is as important to me as a parent and as an early years professional.

 

If the structured learning she is talking about was replaced with key person time/circle time/small group activities as we would do them in our private settings, would this be any different? It just seems to go against the likes of Anna Ephgrave and her no theme/no adult led actiivty approach.

 

But if it works and is working, hats off to her and her team.

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I had a look at the schools websites, and the one thing that struck me is how incredibly well staffed thee classes are. A teacher and two or three TAs in the one reception class, a TA in every other year group, with additional learning mentors and 'specialist' teachers. In my anecdotal experience, every time I hear of a school doing 'amazing' things, they are so much better staffed than any school I have ever worked in, frequently with better facilitates, and better environments. What research is available that links success (as given by 'results) and levels of staffing in schools, I don't know, but it seems to be a theme that runs through many highly successful schools. I therefore wonder how much of what they achieve is actually down to the teaching methods?

 

One thing that did strike me that I did like was the fact that she passionately believes that senior teachers (eg asst heads) were actually class based, Im not sure how achievable this is in a large school, but it does mean that the senior leaders in the school are still doing the job.

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