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FSF Newsletter - June 2012

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We've been a litle remiss with our newsletters recently, but hopefully you've found the short newsflashes useful - for example on the release of the revised EYFS. It's a busy time on the forum, with providers and LAs turning their attention to how to implement the new EYFS in September, how to deliver the 2 year healthcheck and when to broaden the focus from the three prime areas on to the (now) seven areas. Do come and join in the debate - you can find the EYFS dedicated forum area here.

There has also been concern over the proposed de-regulation of childminders, and a resulting discussion here.

For any PRAMS users who haven't visited the PRAMS forum area over the last couple of weeks, PRAMS has now been updated to include the new EYFS areas, aspects and statements. ELGs are now listed separately, and you can choose with each new assessment period, whether to use the old or the new EYFS to record observations.

We have also just released a questionnaire on PRAMS. If you're using PRAMS (or have used it in the past) please do try to find time to complete this questionnaire as it is only by hearing from you that we can decide how best to upgrade and improve it in the future. Find it here!

The Department for Education has asked us to host an area for them to provide FSF users with news and resources. This is now available here - they have offered to answer questions sent via this page, so if there are aspects of policy or government specific questions you'd like answered, do pop in and ask them. I know you'll pose these questions in the usual positive FSF way!

LA Scheme

We're delighted to welcome Slough & Rochdale to the FSF LA scheme. Teachers, practitioners, and other providers from these authorities 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 - Cornwall
  • for the third year - Kingston Upon Thames
  • for the fourth year - Reading, Guernsey
  • for the fifth year - LB of Barnet, Wandsworth and Derbyshire
  • Welcome back members from Brighton and Hove, Southampton, Leicestershire, Essex and East Sussex renewing for their 6th year!
  • We're especially happy to welcome back members from Sandwell, Suffolk and Hampshire renewing for their 7th year!

Welcome back to you all!

New Content

Twenty top tips for helping to develop self-discipline for positive behaviour management in young children

With increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with special educational needs such as ADHD and autism, managing challenging behaviour in a positive way is a challenge most practitioners face in their settings on a daily basis. As practitioners we need to help children develop an awareness, knowledge and understanding of what is expected of them and how to behave acceptably and appropriately towards other people in a variety of situations. Martine Horvath has put together some top tips for you to support children in developing their own self-discipline and self regulating coping skills for life.

Early years settings and social media

In the last few years the use of social media has grown rapidly. It is now estimated that 65% of all adult Internet users access some form of social networking site. The most well known of the social networking sites are Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Written by Kathy Brodie, this article gives a brief explanation of the uses for each of the different sites and their unique qualities. There is a discussion about the benefits of using social media for nurseries and practitioners, and also the pitfalls we should be mindful of. It is concluded with some recommendations for good practice.

Nature Deficit Disorder

Have you heard of the phrase ‘Nature deficit disorder’? Just recently there have been lots of reports, book releases, news articles, and interviews on TV and radio about the need to reconnect children to nature. Many of our children’s lives are well organised by well intentioned parents going from one adult led activity to the next e.g. school to football to drama class to ballet where they often don’t need to do much creative thinking for themselves. They live an over-scheduled, over-organised childhood. Here, Helen Irving shares with us a summary of recent reports on the subject of children's lack of engagement with nature.

Feeling positively positive about the revised Early Years Foundation Stage?

Martine Horvath identifies the significant features of the revised EYFS. She states that "It’s important to stress right from the very beginning that all our energies should be channelled into celebrating the positives, continuing to be the confident and positive practitioners that we are, interpreting this revised framework in the spirit that it was intended and acknowledging our own responsibility to use our professional autonomy to keep the children and key principles at the very heart of what we are about; in everything we do, reflect on and work towards, so that we do not unintentionally suffocate best practice with negativity". Read on for inspiration...

Aspects of Art

Art is a rich and magical area of learning. It can open children’s eyes to the world around them and offer them new and exciting ways of seeing, thinking and doing. But this doesn’t just happen; presenting children with the opportunity to use clay, paint or charcoal is not enough. Adults working in the early years need to think creatively themselves, explore ideas and resources with the children and celebrate the artistic process.This is a new series on Art in the Early Years, with activity ideas for six different aspects of art – drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, textiles and collage. It begins with a brief look at how we should approach art with young children.

From The Forum

Revised EYFS Now Available

The revised EYFS has been published and the statutory framework is available here.

(Come and join in with a discussion of the revised curriculum; one of our longest forum topics ever!)

New Development Matters Statements

Hi All

Thought I'd share the below with you. I have cut and pasted the new development matters unique child statements into a booklet which we will use alongside our learning journeys (all short obs are linked to the devel matters statements in our LJs). This is what we did with the old devel matters and it worked really well.


Anyone Gone To Court For Non Payment Of Fees?

We are taking a mother to court for non payment of notice period (4 weeks). Long story short - we were the 4th setting the child had attended and mum withdrew him from every one due to 'inadequate care.' This mum never stopped complaining to us from the day her son set foot through the door (and did the same at the other settings). We made the decision to pursue her for non payment (as per our policy) and she is now counter claiming using sub standard care as her excuse for not paying. We have plenty of evidence that this was not the case and so feel confident in going to court .

Managing A Child With A Broken Leg In The Setting (Injury At Home)

Just heard that one of our nearly 3 year olds has broken his leg over half-term and was wondering if any of you have any experience of managing a child with a broken leg in your setting. I'm assuming that we can accept the child, I would certainly want to. I presume I would have to assess the risk to him and to others within the setting?

Must, Should, What's The Truth?

I have read the new EYFS thoroughly and note that it states all staff must have food/ hygiene training if preparing and handling food. Now I have just received all my audit, Rag rating criteria through our LA and in one section it states must and in another states desirable does anyone know the truth?

EYFS Becoming Optional For Independent Schools?

It seems five hundred or more independent schools plan to discard the EYFS as plans emerge to make the framework optional in some situations.

Home Visits

I have been advised by our new headteacher to carry out home visits as part of our induction process in the summer term for the new children starting in September.

I have never done a home visit before and was just wondering if anyone had any advice about what to do, what questions to ask, what to take etc. Just need some general advice and tips! Also the headteacher has suggested we carry out a risk assessment to present to governors in advance. I was wondering if anyone had completed one before that I could have a look at.

Parent 'wow' Moment Comments For Learning Journals

I was just wondering if anyone had any fab new ideas about how to encourage parents to note the 'wow' moments they see their child displaying which would then be added to their learning journals. I have the old ideas like leaves on a tree etc... but was wondering if anyone had any interesting ideas for inspiration?

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