About Us


The Foundation Stage Forum August Newsletter 2020

In Newsletters

Welcome to the August FSF newsletter.

The sun has been shining and we hope you will find time to take a moment for yourself during August. 

Uncertainty is all around us, and it can be hard to find a direction for our practice, our settings or classrooms, and our children's learning. Perhaps this is the time to reflect on what we do know rather than worrying about what we can't control. We can be sure of our own pedagogy and our knowledge about how children learn, at whatever stage or age we are working with. This can form the basis of how we can adapt and be flexible to the needs of children and their families, and make any new changes and guidelines work for our learning communities. 

In the Early Years sector, a report commissioned by The Sutton Trust called Getting the Balance Right: Quality and Quantity in Early Education and Childcare  has recently been published. Authored by Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive of Early Education and Nathan Archer, an Associate at Early Education, it examines the tug-of-war between affordable, available and flexible childcare and high-quality early years provision offered by well-qualified, well-valued educators. It confirms the findings of Steps to Sustainability, a report commissioned by the APPG for Childcare and Early Education. The APPG is sponsored by the Foundation Stage Forum, Cache, National Day Nurseries Association, The Early Years Alliance and Tops Day Nurseries, and it now has a new Chair. Steve Brine, Conservative MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford, takes over from Tulip Siddiq. He will be working with the early years APPG to highlight the many challenges facing the sector. 

The Social Mobility Commission has published a report highlighting the crisis in the Early Years workforce, stating that it is 'underpaid, overworked and undervalued'. It seems there is a common theme underlying all the reports mentioned here this month: that policy makers need to recognise the impact of early life experiences on the adults children become, and therefore value the vital work early years educators do with our very young children to prepare them for their future. 

As headlines talk about the nation choosing between keeping open pubs or schools, the Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield has published a briefing stating that children must be put first in the event of future local or national lockdowns. 

We wait to see what September brings.






New Content

We've been busy creating some content for you to read or listen to, and even watch, over the summer period.

In our Early Years section we have an article from Mine Conkbayir, EI or IQ? Which Matters Most to You?, offering thoughts and practical advice on how to support young children's emotional intelligence. Our SEND Adviser, Stephen Kilgour encourages adults to have some fun telling stories to young children in Spinning a Yarn - fuelling the imagination of our preschoolers. Our Primary section includes an inspiring article from Julie Fisher discussing the importance of play in Year 1. We also have a piece from Alice Hagger, a secondary school English teacher and KS3 English Department Lead, explaining how her school is preparing to welcome a very special cohort as they transition from Year 6 to Year 7. 

For those who like to listen to discussions about education, we have some new podcasts. The education team take a closer look at the Early Learning Programmes that are part of the changes to the EYFS. We also chat with Lyndsey Hellyn and Stephanie Bennett, co-founders of The Curiosity Approach; Beatrice Merrick and Nathan Archer discuss the tensions between quantity and quality of early years provision based on their report Getting The Balance Right, mentioned earlier; and executive producer from BBC Education, Joe McCulloch, joins us to talk about Tiny Happy People.  You can find all our podcasts on Spotify, on Apple iOS or Google Android, and you can visit our podcasts home page

We add places to chat about new podcasts and articles in the Forum area Foundation Stage Forum News. We'd love to read your thoughts. 

And if you like your education information to come in a visual format you can take a look at the Tapestry Online Learning Journal YouTube channel. We have been adding to the content of this, and will continue to do so, with a mix of video clips from our podcasts as well as lots of support on using Tapestry in your setting. 

The Tapestry team have added an easier way to upload profile photos for children, staff and relatives. You can read about it in this tutorial. We are also pleased to announce the Cherry Garden School and MOVE branch map is now exclusively available on Tapestry for MOVE customers, to support the recording and evidencing of progress for children with physical needs. You can read more about the branch map here and if you are a MOVE and Tapestry customer and would like access to the MOVE branch map on your Tapestry account, you can get in touch with them by emailing move@enhamtrust.org.uk to arrange this. 

In our July newsletter we included a short survey relating to your recent experiences and looking to the future. If you haven't taken part in the survey yet we would love to hear what you think. Responses are anonymous and we will use them to support our public relations and marketing, and to inform our own work here at the FSF and Tapestry. To take part in the survey please follow this link

Take care and stay safe. 









From The Forum

Children holidaying in areas where the R rate has increased

Hi, I have a child who will soon be holidaying abroad where the coronavirus is spiking again and the R rate is currently 2.6.

September Opening

Do people think the guidance for early years will change again before September? 


Just wondered what people's plans were for introducing more resources in September,  like play dough, water, sandpits, dressing up clothes,  books, soft furnishing etc. Are we able to re-introduce these? 

Edited by Jules

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.