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FSF Newsletter - June 2010

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The change in Government has resulted in many ruminations on the potential impact this will have on early years education, from childrens' centres to the EYPS. No hard information is available while the DfE (the renamed DCSF) is formulating policy. However,  the coalition government has produced a 'Programme for Government' document, and you can read their stated broad aims for families and children here. In the meantime we've linked to a couple of discussions below for your interest - and keep checking the Forum for any information that does get picked up by our eagle-eyed members!

Our series evaluating Ofsted inspections of nurseries for common themes proved very popular, so we've revisited this but concentrating on childminders' Ofsted inspections (see 'New Content' below'). Hope you find them useful and we'd be very interested in feedback!

Anyone who found the May competition's 'Lost in Translation' task impossible (and there were many of you) can find the answers and relieve your frustration here (subscribers only as this competition is held in the 'lounge' forum area). Thanks as usual to Beau - a wonderfully fiendish task - and congratulations to the winner Sandie!

LA Scheme

We're delighted to welcome The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the City of London to the FSF LA scheme. Teachers, practitioners,  childminders and other providers from Kingston and City of London can now register and subscribe free of charge (visit the LA index page to learn more).

We'd like to welcome back members from the following authorities, which have renewed their LA subscription - members need do nothing, their individual accounts will automatically be re-subscribed:

  • for the second year -Manchester
  • for the third year - South Gloucestershire, Wandsowrth, Cumbria, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Medway and Milton Keynes
  • for the fourth year -Brighton & Hove
  • We're especially happy to welcome back members from NE Lincs, Middlesbrough, Sandwell and Suffolk who have just renewed for a 5th year

Welcome back to you all!

New Content

Ofsted Inspection Reports for Childminders (Part 2)
In this article we look at the quality and standards of the early years provision and outcomes for children.

The Practitioner as an Explorer: Effective Observation Techniques
Observation is at the heart of effective provision, and it ensures that we keep the child at the centre of our practice. This article discusses various tools and techniques practitioners need to carry out effective observation and to support learning within the EYFS.

Becoming an EYP: key issues raised in research conducted by staff at the University of Brighton
A commissioned piece of research into the factors which help or hinder early years graduates in successfully undertaking EYPS.

Ofsted Inspection Reports for Childminders (Part 1)
What have recent Ofsted reports focused upon? In a two-part article we summarize over fifty childminders' reports from April and May 2010. How does your setting measure up?

From The Forum

More About Getting Men Involved

Some interesting links to articles about men in childcare

Childrens' Centre inspection

Our centre manager told us last week that a children centre in Kent had been visited!!!!and was awarded 'outstanding'

Just wondering if anyone on here from down south knows anything about it?

Future of the EYPS/EYFS - what do you think?

I am worried my efforts on the EYPS have been wasted. I am so close to the deadline of my written tasks. Don't get me wrong I am determined to finish but it just makes me wonder whether the EYPS will matter in a few years.

Transitional Summative Forms

I have filled in most of the transfer forms for the children we have leaving nursery and going to school(working together with the child's key worker to ensure we have summed up the child correctly) however one of the keyworkers at the setting wanted to do hers independently which I welcomed but, as manager said I needed to look at prior to giving to parents. She has made a judgement of her children at the higher end of the EYFS in most areas - which I think it unrealistic.....tricky situation as I am questioning her judgement!

EYFS profile and expected progress to end of KS1

I am a KS 1 teacher- special school. Have been informed that children from EYFS who achieve 8 on the 1-9 scale for EYFS profile should achieve NC level 3 at end of KS 1 and those achieving 6 points should achieve level 2. Does any one know if this is correct, please?

Help needed for On Entry assessment - what info should I expect from pre-school?

I have been doing lots of visit to the pre-school that feeds into my reception class and they have been making lots of visits to us so I am getting to know the children and am making observations about what they can do. I will be given their learning stories to have a read through - these are not referenced to EYFS but I will get a general feel of where the children are at. What I wondered is if I should use these to mark off which development matters they show they have achieved? Or is this too much?

What happens to your Observations?

We put our observations and photos of each child into a book, which I shared with parents at our Parents Evening last term when we were discussing their progress. Several parents asked if they could keep the book at the end of the year but I wasn't sure I could do this. Generally, we send home all the children's work (which we keep in folders) but the observation books get passed on to the Year 1 teacher. Until this year, I was teaching mixed YR/Y1/Y2 so I was effectively passing books on to myself and I have to admit that I never actually looked at them. When I passed them on last year, the new Y1/2 teacher also didn't do anything with the books and only used the highlighted profile points as reference.

So, my question is - can I give the parents their child's observation book to keep as a record of their Reception Year? Seems to me that they would treasure it far more than we do!! What do others do?

Learning Journeys

I was just hoping that somone might be able to help me with learning journeys. How do you organise yours? Folder/books? Do you split them up into areas of learning? Any help would be much appreciated.

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