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The Foundation Stage Forum April Newsletter 2021

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Welcome to the April FSF newsletter.

This edition comes with a great deal to reflect on. As educators, we have a responsibility to children, and to the society they will shape in the future. It is a far-reaching role, and one that requires constant self-reflection and learning. At times perhaps this seems overwhelming, but knowing there is so much to learn, individually and alongside children, is also energising and affirming.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report, led by Dr Tony Sewell, has recently been published. We were hugely dismayed on reading it, and as a team here at the FSF and Tapestry we recognise the ways in which structural racism is present in all aspects of the education system, and our responsibility to work to dismantle that. You can read a short piece we have written in response to the report here. 

Last week Tapestry held a conference Reflecting on Anti-racism in the Early Years, with co-host Liz Pemberton and speakers Faith Chow and Shaddai Tembo, sharing their knowledge and experiences. In the light of the Sewell Review this conversation is more important than ever. You can find the presentations and recording of the event here. We hope they will be valuable resources for you on your anti-racism journey.

If you are reflecting on your own position when discussing LGBTQIA+ in your setting, and representation in your resources and the language you use, then the LGBTQIA+ Early Years Magazine is a place to go wherever you are on your journey.

The Birth to 5 matters non-statutory guidance was launched at the end of March by the Early Years Coalition who have developed it. Drawing on and updating previous guidance for the EYFS, it can be used to support your practice and provision. This document also requires educators to reflect on all aspects of their provision, including inclusive practice and equalities. Turning away from any media coverage and looking directly to the guidance itself as you consider how you talk with young children about race, and how you encourage their own conversations about difference, will allow you to reflect openly with your team.

Meanwhile, the final version of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage is now available, which will come into effect on 1st September 2021.

Wishing you a happy and safe April.



LA Scheme

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

Slough - 10th year

Hampshire - 16th year

New Content

On the FSF there is more to support your reflections. We have new articles from Emily Mason about engaging with families and communities through the Schools with Roots project, from Joanna Grace who discusses the language we use in ‘I am Autistic’, and Linda Pound who explores the teaching and learning of Maths in the Early Years.

If you like to listen, we have some new podcasts for you: Charlotte Peck, director of MOVE Europe and Simon Wright who is the MOVE coordinator at Cherry Garden School, join us to talk about the benefits of the MOVE programme which enables disabled children and young adults to gain independent movement; Latifa Akay and Emily Mason discuss the School’s with Roots project, the need for sustainable anti-racist practice in schools and the different ways schools can engage with their families and communities; and Joanna Grace, founder of The Sensory Projects, chats with Stephen and Jules about the importance of knowing how to use the sensory resources you have, how to listen with all your senses, and why the best sensory resources are tailored to the individual child. You can find these episodes here, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

You may notice some new images appearing on the FSF. These have been designed by our talented resident artist, Kat, and are part of the continued Spring clean of the FSF. Keep an eye out for a new-look Forum page soon too!

Over at Tapestry HQ the first ‘assessment’ screens to accompany the new Development Matters on Tapestry have been released. On this screen, practitioners will be considering each child’s progress and development. They will be able to choose from “Concerns”, “No Concerns” and “Review” for each of the 7 areas of learning. To find out more check out a couple of tutorials here and here.

As previously mentioned, the reformed EYFS will become statutory in September 2021. The education team have put together a few steps to help you and your team prepare for the new academic year. You can find them here.


From The Forum

Best ride ons/first trikes for toddlers

Hi - we have had a cull of our outside equip. recently and are looking at purchasing some new ride ons/ first trikes etc for our youngest children so suitable from about 15 months plus. What do you have at your setting?

Celebrating Difference and Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the EYFS

Has anyone come across this document?  It looks a really interesting read. 

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