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The Foundation Stage Forum EYFS December Newsletter 2019

In Newsletters

Here we are in December and the year is drawing to a close. Shorter days, dark mornings and the promise of Christmas just around the corner. This can be the perfect time to remind young children about kindness and sharing, and about giving gifts that can't be bought in the shops. We all know that the best presents for educators are words of gratitude and appreciation, spoken or popped in a card, especially if accompanied by a child's mark making. 

Christmas can be full of sparkle and anticipation, but it can also be a very challenging time for some families in our communities and many early years staff will be reaching out to support parents, carers and children at this time of year. 

Right in the middle of the festive season is the General Election. The Early Years sector has received attention from all the political parties, but what would their proposals look like in reality?  Ceeda has released a detailed election briefing examining the figures and comparing the party pledges. If you want to know what the future might hold for Early Years after 12th December, this is the report to read. 

Still on the election trail, the Early Years Alliance launched a campaign to encourage sector members to contact their MPs, and the NDNA produced a manifesto for the new government. 

There's sure to be a lot to discuss in January! 












LA Scheme

We'd like to welcome back members from Surrey authority who have renewed their subscription for their 11th year. Members from this authority need do nothing; their individual accounts will automatically be re-subscribed. 



New Content

The Education Team at FSF and Tapestry HQ have been recording more podcasts this month. We have one on Self Regulation, a topic that has been the focus of much discussion since its appearance in the proposed new ELGs. We also have a couple of light-hearted listens for you too - one full of fond reminiscences from our teaching days and another coming soon about our favourite lessons. You can listen to all our podcasts on Apple Podcasts or Spotify as well as other platforms. 

We had our second Tapestry Education Conference (TEC 2) in November - a gathering of setting managers and staff, academics and LA representatives. The focus for the day was Reflecting on Curriculum Changes. Nancy Stewart, Early Years teacher, consultant and trainer, and Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive of Early Education, gave the keynote talks and took part in a Q&A session. We held workshops in the afternoon and you can read write ups of these by Olaya, Ben and Jack

Stephen Kilgour, our SEND Advisor, has written a couple of articles for us this month. One reflects on the inclusiveness of children's books, and the other is all about the Cherry Garden Branch Maps

On that note, Tapestry has just launched the Cherry Garden Framework. Stephen developed this with the outstanding Cherry Garden School in London for children with severe and complex learning needs. The framework provides an alternative way to record and celebrate progress for children with additional needs. If you are a Tapestry user,  this tutorial explains how you can enable it on your account, but you can also download the Branch Maps for free from the links at the end of Stephen's Cherry Garden article. 

And finally, after seeing Boris Johnson attempt to make his way through the well known song The Wheels on the Bus, Ben put together a list of the reasons why Nursery Rhymes are so important for young children (and Prime Ministers!). You can find it in Nursery World

Wishing you a Happy Christmas from all of us here at the FSF and Tapestry! 


From The Forum

Observing Staff

I would like to observe staff, does anyone have a good pro forma of an observation form that I could look at please?

Mental Health Policy

Do we need to have a mental health policy?

Going Green

I am trying to change our nursery to be more environmentally friendly.

30 Hours Help!

Can any of you tell me how you are managing your 30 hour spaces (if you offer them)...?

Edited by Jules

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