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hi guys. my name is phil and i'm new to the forum. I'm a second year ASEY BA/QTS student and my course is going really well (yes i'm a guy lol). at the moment i'm in a nursery setting on placement and i'm achieving many of my standards. however, once i finish this placement i have to write up a 2,500 word critique on the foundation stage document. i'm having trouble finding any negativity other than the obvious ones on play and extending the foundation stage approach to the further years. any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated thanks a lot

Phil :)

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Hi philk

 

Difficult one... i would say that the foundation stage document is good and has really helped my staff get their heads around the elgs..

...but as a supervisor and the pressure put upon pre school staff because children are funded from the term after their 3rd birthday and so much is expected - its all basically all too much...

 

especailly if you are asked to go for accrediation as well...

 

it just all puts too much work k on low paid staff members who are expected to plan and observe all aspects of children to get them ready for schiool, when basically pre school is there for socialisation (psed) and thats it!!

 

sorry not much help maybe... but i feel that maybe pre schools should be asked to concentrate on PSED and nothingt else!!!!! :D

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Phil, welcome in!

how exciting and how brave. :D I'm sure the children must love having a male in their midst.

I know my class fall on the male visitors we have!

 

Anyway, a critique doesn't have to be critical or negative, does it.

I think you need to relate its theory/ practise etc to educational trends and theorists--learning styles etc.

Presumably you will have covered some of this in your course to allow you to do this and you have the evidence and experience of your practise to back you up.

 

Unless anyone knows any different?

 

Good luck. :o

 

Susan

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Hi Phil, and welcome to the forum :)

I'm not sure I can add much to the above, but I have a question. When you said "the obvious ones on play", I'm not sure what you mean?

I agree with Susan, that you don't have to find something critical to say if there isn't anything! I personally think it's a great document and covers everything I would want to see being offered in an FS setting.

Your essay might include how practitioners can use the document, eg for planning and assessment purposes, and how a thorough knowledge of it (maybe by having sections of it displayed on the walls of a setting, and rotated weekly/monthly) is hugely beneficial to the staff. There's no point in having such a document if practitioners don't get to know it really well!

Good luck with the assignment and I look forward to your future posts :o

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Hi Phil, Id also like to welcome you on board.

 

I can echo what Hali, Susan and Helen have said, but would just add that at our last nursery conference we discussed this very issue. The only negative that came up was that the document is wonderful for those who are early years trained and/or experienced, but can be lost on those that dont really understand early years philosophy. I have seen this often when I get teachers coming down to Foundation from KS2 who really dont have a clue, and who tend to misinterpret the guidance and think that the Early Learning goals are all that matter and then prescriptively 'teach' those.

 

I not sure if that makes any sense..I am very tired this evening... :o

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Whilst we all find ths FS documents really supportive the sections on CLL, and to some extent Maths, are rather vague as to exactly how these areas of learning are to be delivered, and to how much depth. If you look at the statements they do not really break the learning in CLL down enough in reading and writing hence the problems we have with the 'mixed messages' from numeracy and literacy consultants and their strategies. In many schools FS2 is planning from these strategies rather than the FS documentation.

Anything I read about Early Learning is also a bit vague. Lots of play learning, lots of lovely examples of writing etc. but no real examples of exactly how this was acheived. Or is it just me...?

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I agree with the positive comments above but while assessing the document we felt the stepping Stones were not always developmental/sequential and there are some gaps and that this document alone was not sufficient. We also thought the document did not provide a long term planning framework, but it could be developed into one. There should be a CD with the document for easy of producing planning documents.

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Not really relevant, I know:

 

But just when we had all got to grips with DLO's, we then got ELG's.

 

That could have been a very negative way forward for all of us EY practitioners.

 

The positive point of view is that, although some of the objectives changed, practitioners have worked with the new curriculum.

 

I keep wondering: "what next?".

 

In the present climate, EY practitioners have to be more adaptable than any other teaching professionals. Schools do it with a unified front (when something changes, all the schools get together).

 

Some of you have recognised qualifications, lots of us do not. Mutual

support is needed: it will get some of us the qualifications that are needed.

.

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hi Phil

 

If you feel desperate for a critisism I would question the ages and stages of the stepping stones we are finding like Hali that at this stage the children are developing PSED far above those ELG's outlined but some of the other areas dont necessarily match the childrens development or follow through in the childs development I know that some children will achieve at different rates but we are finding a development pattern emerging that is making us question the order of some of the stepping stones in relation to the childs actual development and repeatedly they are achieving the ELGs long befor some of the stepping stones.

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Hi, Stepping stones were only ever intended as a suggested possible route to acheivement of ELGs.

It was recognised at outset that some children would reach the ELGs on different pathways and that not all stepping stones would necessarily be "acheived".

 

I find it quite worrying in many respects that so many of us plan to stepping stones in such a dedicated way!

 

Susan

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Well I am probably doing it all wrong then.First and foremost I plan to childrens interests, interesting themes that we all enjoy doing -----children and staff. Then I find a learning goal/stepping stone to work towards. This has never failed yet. I can't get too obsessed with the curriculum.I think I cover every aspect of the curriculum. If the children are not having fun they will achieve nothing. If the staff are motivated they will pass their enthuisiasm on to the children and we are all happy bunnies. My plan for the day is addressed by asking the children which activities they would like out the next day. I then work through the learning goals /stepping stones and do my plan that way.Our last inspector was "au fait"with this idea. I hope the next inspector is or I will come unstuck.

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I plan similarly to you Bubblejack. I plan a theme and and then sort it into the ares of learning and into definate and possible activites. Experience has told me that children are likely to respond to set themes in fairly predictable ways ( there is always the exception!)

My weekly planning has learning objectives for each area of the room or activity and these are from a breakdown of the Stepping Stones. Very often it is their response to the activity which identifies the level and not that the activity is set at one level only. Children work at several levels at once and not always the same one . Hope you understand what i am saying as it sounds a bit garbled.

I have heard both Jean Ensing and Margaret Edgington (?) talk about the FS and the message was plan the learning experiences the children need, and identify the steps they acheive FROM the learning you observe taking place, and not the other way around. After all just observing one activity can give information on many learning areas.

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Hi! My perspective is very much from a pre-school point of view and may not be too relevant.

We have found that a lot of our children move onto Reception already achieving the ELG's which is great from our perspective. We have found the reception teachers less than pleased however. Sometimes they question our judgements and sometimes their response is 'what are we supposed to do now, just fill in the gaps?'. I understand their frustrations, especially for the Autumn intake (here in Shropshire we will only move from 3 to 2 term intake in January 05). There is also the dilemma for summer born boys who are still some way down the stepping stones when they move on to School at Easter, with the expectation of starting KS1 in the September.

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thanx to all you guys who replied. as for my comments on play i was refering to the 'free/ structured' and is there too much/too little outlined in the document argument. Anyways at least i am not on my own when trying to find any negativety in the document. Although after recently researching the reggio emilia approach i feel it wouldnt harm our F/S to take what it can from itally and transform/intergrate it into our own culture.

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Hi Phil,

Have you heard about the Reggio exhibition that's coming over to this country from next month? I'll get Steve to put the details on the front page of the site. I missed the last one, and am determined to go this time. :)

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Reggio Emilia:

 

The Hundred Languages of Children 2004 exhibition

 

Manchester 07 April - 04 May

Newcastle 15 May - 13 June

Cambridge 24 June - 21 July (I will go, I hope)

Kent (where in Kent?) 08 October - 31 October

Birmingham 08 November - 15 December.

 

Contacts:

0191 261 7666

info@sightlines-initiative.com

www.sightlines-initiative.com

 

 

As professionals, we can all use aspects from Reggio Emilia, much as we use schemas, Montessori ideas, Steiner practices - we are open to anything that is useful, fun and productive.

 

Diane.

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:o Thanx guys i really appreciate all the reply's to my post. and thanx for the dates of the conference's about reggio. my nearest one is manchester so i'll try to pop along :)
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