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The Foundation Stage Forum April Newsletter 2022

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Welcome to the FSF April newsletter.

It has been a month of publications, plans, and pledges. Here’s a quick round up…

Earlier this month the SEND Green Paper was published (you can read it here) and there now follows a 13 week open consultation period. This is a good moment for us all to reflect on our understanding, attitudes and biases when working with children with learning differences and disabilities – and to take a look at the Beginner’s Guide to Ableism written by autistic speech and language therapist Emily Lees. You can download the guide from this link

Also in early April, Ofsted published a new briefing: Education recovery in early years providers: spring 2022. The document discusses the impact of the pandemic on young children’s development, drawing on inspection evidence from the spring term 2022 and conversations with early years inspectors. You can read it and add your thoughts in this forum post.

Meanwhile, Amanda Spielman spoke at the recent Nursery World Business Summit, laying out plans to make early years the focus for Ofsted over the next 5 years. Ms Spielman emphasised the importance of professional judgement and knowledge of each child, and the impact of the pandemic on young children. You can read the full speech here.

The sector continued to be a focus for political discussion as the Labour Party pledged a greater focus on early years if it wins the next election. Labour’s shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, shared the party’s proposals as part of Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan.



New Content

Our Coffee Break on the FSF this month considers the SEND Green Paper, and the deeper need for a shift in mindset - identifying the barriers to education and learning for children with learning differences and disabilities, and what adjustments we need to make to our provision so that it can be truly inclusive. You can read it here. If you are considering ways for you and your team to understand more about ableism and its impact on our provision for children with learning differences and disabilities, Tapestry CPD has a new course written by autistic speech and language therapist Emily Lees with our SEND advisor Stephen Kilgour. You can access the course - An Introduction to Ableism – here.  

Early years consultant Anneka Russell, takes a closer look at the hugely important role played by pack-away settings in their communities. Find out more in Anneka’s article: Pack-away power. Anneka also recorded a podcast with us recently - you can listen to it from this link.  

We are moving to fortnightly podcast episodes – still released on Thursdays. This month we chat with David Wright, co-founder of PaintPots Nurseries, reflecting on David’s experience in the early years, developing a curriculum, and shaping our pedagogy. We also go on location to the University of Cambridge Primary School to record a podcast in person with Aimee Durning MBE. Aimee talks about the changes in the role of support staff and the importance of creating a learning community. You can find all our episodes here, or wherever you usually listen to your podcasts.

Over at Tapestry HQ the education team have created some new infographics for you to share with families. They unpack some of the common words and phrases we use in the early years. You can find the link to them in this forum post.

Wishing you a safe and happy April,

From Helen, Steve and all of us at the FSF and Tapestry.

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