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FSF Newsletter - October 2011

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Welcome to the first newsletter of the new academic year, and we hope all your new charges are settling in well! Hopefully all of you will have found time to complete the EYFS consultation document, which has now closed, and we look forward to seeing the final new EYFS when it makes its appearance in the spring of 2012, for implementation from September next year.

Congratulations to the consortium headed by the University of Chichester which has secured a contract to provide EYPS training across the South East. The partnership of six educational institutions allows training to be provided at a variety of locations. Partnering the University of Chichester are the universities of Winchester, Brighton, Portsmouth and Canterbury Christchurch, as well as Tribal Education Ltd. Between all the institutions, there will be around one-thousand fully subsidised places, which include bursaries for some and supply cover at the early years’ place of work. The first cohort of students will begin their training in January, and training will be available across four pathways, from 6 month part time courses to 24 month full-time courses. Find more details here:


There is another survey specifically for EYPs, launched by the CWDC and open until 28th October. The survey '... is an opportunity for you to tell us about the role you play and how your career has progressed. It's also a chance for you to highlight the difference you are making to the lives of young children. The findings from the survey will help to influence future policy'. They would like to hear from you even if you no longer work as an EYP, and you can take part in the survey here:



FSF News

We hope you'll take the chance to browse our newly updated book recommendations page. The old one was getting a bit dusty and out of date so we've updated it. It contains a mixture of professional and educational texts and favourite children's books, broken down into various categories such as those for situations of bereavement, PSRN and big books. Many recommendations link through to Amazon pages and will accrue revenues for the FSF if you buy from those links. All revenues will be donated regularly to children's charities and we will update the page regularly with the running totals from these purchases, letting you know which charities will benefit. Find the page from the FSF navigation menu or browse to this page:


Thanks to those of you who have commented on the new PRAMS tutorials now available. These are still expanding in number, and we have begun producing some dedicated to the Reports feature. Find them in the usual place (click the PRAMS button on the site navbar). Additionally for regular PRAMS users, please note that a new (over the summer) version of the userguide is available in the resource library, and is much more detailed than the previous one.

LA Scheme

We're delighted to welcome Oldham to the FSF LA scheme. Teachers, practitioners, and other providers from Oldham 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 third year - Kent
  • for the fourth year - Wigan
  • for the fifth year - LB of Richmond and Northamptonshire
  • for the sixth year - Worcestershire and Hartlepool
  • We're especially happy to welcome back members from Birmingham renewing for a 7th year

Welcome back to you all!

New Content

Resilience and early years experience: child, family, community

Kate Cairns invites us to consider the interaction between resilience and trauma, the key aspects of resilience, and the links between resilience and experience in the early years of life. Humans are not born able to regulate stress. At birth the brain is very unformed. Nearly all the brain structures that enable human beings to function are acquired during the first three years of life, when the brain grows and organises itself at an astonishing rate. Many of these structures in the developing brain are laid down as patterns in response to the behaviour of the adults caring for the young child. Relationships really do build brains in the early years......

Which Came First, the Forest or the School?

Sara Knight, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Anglia Ruskin University, discusses the historical meanings of "schooling" and their relevance to today's young children. She outlines four ways in which we learn, and explains her concerns regarding an over-reliance on one of these ways: instruction. Sara argues that the Forest School approach helps children acquire the learning skills and dispositions essential for them to adapt to an uncertain future in the 21st century.

From The Forum

Planning: continuous provision on a separate sheet?

We currently plan on separate sheets for focused activities and continuous provision. Both sheets are similiar with the learning objectives down the left handside split into the areas of learning, then the activities, children and look listen and note in the middle column and evaluation on the rightside. Also there is space at the bottom for individual needs etc.(adapted for plans that Catma very kindly shared a couple of years ago (thank you!))

We have recently had a good with outstanding features OFSTED and they seemed happy with this. However, I wonder whether we are making more work for ourselves by doing it on 2 sheets. Should we just add the enhancements etc that support the learning objectives under the focused activity for each area of learning?

Settling In Child, How long do you let the parent come in with the child?

We had a lovely little child start with us on Monday past - seems very sociable, chatty and happy. That was until mum and dad left and she went into hysterics. I mean screaming blue murder, crying and yelling for her mum to come back immediately - which of course we made sure she did! Then mum stayed until the end of the session, next day gran came and stayed with her the whole session and so it has continued all week - a different person every day basically and we know all the family now! Mum came back in on Friday and during snack mum moved just slightly away from the child and there was more hysterics again even though mum was clearly visible....It is having an effect on the other children in our setting - other parents are asking us now when the childs mum will stop staying as their own children have asked them the same question!

Training New Reception Class, classroom management

I have a wonderful and lively class of four and five year olds who have incredible energy and vocal chords. I am looking for fun ways to encourage them to line up and walk in a line without overtaking each other. I am also interested to know of any tips to help them understand how to sit in rows during assembly.

The Revised EYFS: they want your opinion by September 30th

I've just read up to page 14 and am stunned.... so much for less paperwork! As for appreciating early years in its own right, it all seems to be school preparation..... Anyone else read this yet?

Behaviour Management In Reception

I have decided to introduce a 'happy sun' and a 'sad cloud' to my reception classroom. This is really for the benefit of just a few select children who are proving to be very challenging.


The system goes:

All children have a picture of their face on the sun.

If they refuse to do something or are rude etc they go on the sad cloud. They immediately have an opportunity to be removed from it by doing what was asked of them/ redeeming their behaviour. If they choose not to or are put on the cloud twice on one day they will be sent to the other reception teacher.


I am just a little concerned as after only just introducing it this afternoon I have already had some negative feedback from a Mum...What are your views on the subject?


Sitting On The Carpet In Nursery, ideas....suggestions...please ?

I'm new in nursery and am finding carpet sessions difficult......especailly when there are 27 in a session!


Am I expecting too much for the children to listen to a story? Any useful ideas / songs to get the childrens attention and for them to sit and listen on the carpet.......I try not to make my sessions more than 10 minutes long..

Qualifications Going Out Of Date?

I started my ITC last night and they went through the whole "If you are level 3 you get to join the childminding network and take funded children " etc BUT when someone asked what whether her qualifications were ok (NVQ2 in health and social care and a Diploma in early years) they weren't sure because she qualified 11 years ago. So I asked about mine (BTEC diploma in childhood studies (Nursery Nursing) was the title and qualification I was awarded). I was told because I qualified over 10 years ago (1998) that it may not be a level 3 anymore and I may have to do another one to bring me up to level 3.


We've changed our FSF Search function, which previously had given you some issues. You can now search using either the dedicated forum discussions search function (found on any discussions pages) or you can use the 'Search the FSF' feature which can be found on the FSF front page and which will search articles and other resources as well. It seems much more effective than the old one, but do contact us if you have any problems.

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