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The Foundation Stage Forum December Newsletter 2020

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Welcome to the December FSF newsletter.

As we come to the end of this extraordinary year, many of us will be looking back in wonder at last December, before the world changed. Since then, we have placed unimaginable expectations on our public services, on educators, and on families. We have learned new phrases (social distancing, support bubble, track and trace) and found new ways to be together while being apart.

There have been many schools and settings who have reflected this year on their understanding of what it means to be antiracist, engaging in antiracist training and looking closely at the representation in their curriculum and provision. Dr Jason Arday of Durham University has recently produced The Black Curriculum: Black British History in the National Curriculum Report, examining the History curriculum in England.

The APPG for Childcare and Early Education met remotely in mid-November to discuss the priorities for a meaningful review of childcare policy. The FSF are one of the sponsors of the APPG, and Helen and Jack from our Education Team were there. The meeting was well attended, with over one hundred interested parties including sponsors, practitioners, and parliamentarians – among many others. The key speakers were Helen Donohue, Julian Grenier and Dr Laura Jana. They presented their key reasons and top considerations for completing a comprehensive review of childcare policy. Some of the many topics discussed were the outdated funding formula, the lifelong importance of quality early childcare and raising the profile of early years education. We are all in agreement the review is sorely needed and hope to see the issues discussed further down the line in parliament.

If you are looking for resources to support families in your setting community, Maslaha, an organisation which seeks to change and challenge the conditions that lead to inequalities for Muslim communities, have made a beautiful short animation film to support parents who are preparing for their early years child to start school. Getting Ready for Reception is made in English, Urdu, Sylheti, Somali and Polish.

December is a month of festivities, and to give you some ideas, Ben got creative with alternative ways to share an end of term celebration with children, parents and carers in an article for Headteacher Update.

The Jewish Community will be celebrating Hanukkah, lighting the menorah for the Festival of Lights. And lots of us will be preparing for Christmas, decorating trees, wrapping gifts and listening to carols and songs. For many families, this moment in the year will be challenging, and we thank the settings, schools and other organisations who are supporting children and their adults this December.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, and stay safe this festive season.



New Content

In the Early Years section on the FSF this month we have an article by Dr Stella Louis and Hannah Betteridge on unconscious bias in the observation, assessment and planning process, and a reflection on following our career pathways from Jamel Carly-Campbell. Caroline Vollans connects with senior leaders of primary schools to find out how the first half of term went for their staff and children, and Helen explores the benefits of positive journaling with children in our Primary section.

There are comment sections on every article page so you can engage in conversations related to that particular subject. Here you can share thoughts, reflections, and other relevant things you have read or listened to.

Our new podcasts include the education team in discussions relating to the new DMs and Dr Julian Grenier’s new book Working with the revised Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice, as well as an inspiring conversation with early years ambassador Jamel Carly-Campbell, and reflecting with university lecturer Annie Richardson on early years qualifications and what needs to change in the sector. You can find these wherever you normally listen to podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know when a new podcast has been added.

If you are a Tapestry user looking for creative ways to use Tapestry in your practice, Jack from the Education Team recently wrote an article exploring three ways to use Tapestry for your reading records

Thank you to all our FSF members and visitors for the much-welcomed support, advice and ideas you have offered one another this year. 



From The Forum

School Nursery and 30 hours advice

Currently we only offer 15 hours but are looking at offering 30 hours...any schools that have already been through this that can offer words of wisdom? 

Colour Blindness

Wondered if any of you have advice for a child in preschool who may be colour blind?

Edited by Jules

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