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The Foundation Stage Forum December Newsletter 2021

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Welcome to the FSF December newsletter.

As the winter break approaches at the end of another year, there is much to contend with. Storms Barra and Arwen have hit hard in parts of the UK affecting homes and education settings. The rapid increase in transmission of the Omicron covid variant has prompted the government to implement Plan B of restrictions, meanwhile LAs, schools and settings are making their own decisions about whether to continue with festive shows and gatherings, and are trying to keep teaching and learning going. Amidst this, the rising crisis in recruitment in the early years sector is highlighted by a recent report from the Early Years Alliance.

In November, Children and Families Minister Will Quince wrote an open letter ‘to all parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)’ in which he outlines his commitment to delivering the SEND Review. Meanwhile, Labour has made a change, with Helen Hayes MP replacing Tulip Siddiq as shadow minister for children and early years.

The APPG for Childcare and Early Education (CEE) have a campaign coming up to celebrate early years educators. It will run from 24th-28th January 2022 - watch out for the hashtag #WeAreEducators.  The first APPG for CEE meeting of the new year will be on 25th January at 2pm, and the focus will be SEND in the early years provision. You can find out more about the APPG on the Forum.



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:

Bedford 8th year

Lincolnshire 11th year

Sandwell 16th year



New Content

On the FSF we have a thought-provoking article by Caroline Vollans taking a closer look at compliments and the impact they can have on young children, and a short reflection on a research project where teenagers are taught about how babies’ brains develop.

In our podcast episodes for this month we chat with Jo Fitzgerald who has worked with children to support transitions; teacher Kiran Satti reflects on why we need to diversify the narrative in our learning spaces from an early age and shares her favourite alternative fairy tales; Activity Team Leader, Jack, tells us about the experiences children and families can have when they stay at Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice; and Sarah Mackenzie from N Family Club talks about their innovative early learning programme. Remember you can listen to all our podcasts from this link, or wherever you usually get your podcasts.

Kirstie Page, founder of Launchpad for Literacy, is running some more SLCN/EYFS training. These are free virtual sessions delivered through Wensum English Hub. You can find out more about them in this forum post.

Over at Tapestry HQ, Jack and Stephen from our education team, recorded a webinar about ‘Communicating Progress to EYFS leaders using Tapestry’. They covered the challenges facing leaders and managers, how to see that progress is outstanding without data, showing progress for children with learning differences, and how Tapestry can help the process. You can watch this on the Tapestry YouTube channel.

Wishing you all safe and happy holidays,

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

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