About Us


Fsf Newsletter July 2017

In Newsletters

Welcome to the July edition of the FSF newsletter


Since our last newsletter, back in the heady days of June, we have been very busy in the world of early years. The General Election provided us all with an opportunity to listen to what the different political parties were saying about funding for early education and then following the election there was a cabinet reshuffle on both sides of the house. You can read about the new ministers on these two threads: New early years minister and New shadow early years minister.

The provision of 30 hours free childcare remains high on everyone’s agenda. Political parties, local authorities, providers and parents have been working hard to be ready for the Autumn term when the full roll out comes into effect. There have been teething problems along the way and updated guidance has been published to help clarify some pressing issues, you can read the guidance here.

The DfE has also issued updated guidance for providers regarding exemptions from the EYFS for individual children. The guidance can be accessed here and our forum discussion is here.

Additionally, it was announced at the beginning of July that a trial of PISA tests for 5 year olds would be actioned this year. These tests will involve a series of tablet based tasks for children to complete which would, together with information from teachers and families, create a baseline assessment for children. You can read our news flash here.

FSF and Tapestry news

Whilst keeping our eye firmly on the information coming out of the DfE we have also been working hard this month on our own updates and releases. As we explained last month we are really excited about our new KS1 and KS2 assessment and monitoring system. If you are interested to see what it is all about you can see it here: New from Tapestry, unique KS1 and KS2 package. We have been delighted with the take up so far and can see that many schools are now deciding to continue with their use of Tapestry through Reception and into Year 1. If you are not already a Tapestry user, you don’t have to have used Tapestry in the early years for you to be able to use it effectively through the rest of the school. If you think you might be interested get in touch with us: customer.support@tapestry.info

We have also begun beta testing the Montessori curriculum on Tapestry this month. This has been linked with the EYFS to give ideas and opportunities for observations and assessments. If you are a Montessori setting or school we can help you get started with this newly available framework. Contact us at Tapestry HQ and we can help! customer.support@tapestry.info

If that wasn’t enough excitement, it was announced in July that a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for PVI settings has been established and we, the FSF, are one of the 5 founding members. We will be reporting back regularly and also asking you for your input so that we can be sure we are putting forward the views of our members accurately. You can read about the APPG here.

We didn’t manage to find someone who wanted to take pride of place on our home page to celebrate their inspection this month :( and so we are doubly eager to find some more now! If you were inspected in the summer term and would like to share the results with our community then get in touch. Have a look at this thread and see what other settings have been up to! Celebrate your inspection

LA Scheme

New for 2017! We now advertise courses and events that are available to all practitioners offered by our participating Local Authorities. Over the next few weeks we will be adding details of Autumn training from many of our Authorities and the details of them can be found here.

New Content

On our forums it has been a very full month with staff beavering away to ensure they have everything ready for the ‘end of the year’ handovers. We constantly monitor our forums to ensure that threads are constructive and welcoming. We also use the forums ourselves to keep members informed and to generate discussion about any changes in the world of early years. This month we alerted members to a new piece of research funded by the DfE which you can read here: Longitudinal Study of Early Education and Development (SEED)

We have also published two book reviews since our last newsletter. Firstly, ‘Tools of the Mind’ which considers how a Vygotskyan approach to teaching and learning can empower children to manage their own learning and behaviour. You can read our review here. We have also reviewed ‘We’re ok with risky play’ which is an excellent starting point for staff who lack confidence when planning and facilitating children’s more adventurous play.

From The Forum

Joining pre-school with local primary school. Pros/Cons?

This is actually a personal question relating to the setting that my child attends. As a parent I have been notified that the pre-school has received a proposal from the local primary to "join up with the School and become part of the School".

Although the building is on the school grounds, the pre-school is currently a CIO and completely independently run to the school. We have an EGM soon to vote on the matter and I'm looking for some input of the pros/cons/questions to ask so that I can make an informed vote.

I would be extremely grateful for any input you can give - whether you've gone through a similar change or have considered and rejected this in the past. Thanks in advance



Can you share your ratios for outings please. I am talking local regular outings to the woods, shop, library etc places the children are familiar with. Current policy states minimum three adults but I am reviewing the policy after speaking to our adviser. Wondering if we should specify a ratio of 1:4? Children that normally participate are 3-4 year olds. Our two year olds do not go on outings.



Just wondering if you share details of funding with your parents?

I never have, although it is no secret on this forum what I think about the pittance that we are paid, I always kept my thoughts to myself with regard to parents (really it's not their problem)

This week has been quite trying (not the children they are lovely :1b ) - but management/paperwork issues - I now have to register for 30 hours even though I only provide 15 - this because a couple of children also attend a childminder.......

Was reflecting on how much work is continually being piled on us.......

Kent is raising funding by 5p per child per hour in September which brings us up to the grand total of £3.96 per child per hour

I'm thinking that maybe it is time I shared that info with my parents........


Grumpy of Kent

Tracking progress-age related expectations

To get a consensus amongst staff about what is expected on entry we are saying they should be:

Nursery at baseline in September are 30-50 E

Reception at baseline are 40-60 E

We are then thinking about how many steps of progress is typical progress.

However where should children who start in January and stay for 5 terms be when they start?

Operational Plan

Hi All

Do Ofsted still request to see your operational plan? I've seen conflicting info.

I've been doing a lot of reading of our documents lately and there are some updates needed.

Last inspection was Jan 15.

Our operational plan is fairly up to date apart from some staff changes which I have updated. Do I need to share with staff or put in a file?

Thanks. This being chair business has become a full time (unpaid) job!

Safeguarding scenarios

Hi everyone

I'm just wondering if anyone has any safeguarding scenarios we could use as training during our staff meetings or any ideas of where to look for some

Thanks in advance

Updating Learning Journeys

Just wondering - of those settings who do not use Tapestry but continue to do paper versions with photographs etc.  How have you proceed with Ofsted in gaining permission to have them off of your premises so that staff can up date them at home?     How have you for instance, made sure they are kept confidential, or risk assessed their storage and transportation.  Do your staff only take home parts of  the Learning Journey rather than the whole thing?  Do they have to stick photographs in once they are back in the setting and not at home?

Sorry lots of questions - in the past we have found the only way we can complete Learning Journeys is to take them home, being a packaway and working to ratio does not allow for "time out" to do this work during the normal run of the session.     Just trying to figure out the best way to do this and maintain confidentiality and security.

If you have been through getting permission and can share how you did it, I would be grateful for any input.

Ofsted Inspection/Chair

Hello All

I've got it in my head that we will be inspected soon. Last inspection was early 2015.

As the Committee Chair I am also the Nominated Person with Ofsted (I sent my EY2 but didn't have the suitable person interview)

What would be expected of me during an inspection?

Recruitment: I think we have covered. We have a Safer Recruitment Policy and have recently recruited so have got references, copies of necessary qualifications etc)

Safeguarding: I have recently reviewed the Policy. Understand the procedures etc

I have read all our policies etc so know to look to them if needed?

Anything else I should be aware of?


User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.