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The Foundation Stage Forum EYFS March Newsletter 2020

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Welcome to the FSF March newsletter. Outside my window, the rain is beating down - again. I have just read a worrying news item about Coronavirus - again. But on my way to work this morning I passed families scurrying to school and nursery, all wellies and umbrellas and puddle splashes, dog walkers with bedraggled dogs, runners (impressive), the men who deliver the beer to the pub next door calling to each other as they swung the heavy barrels into the hatch, the steamed up windows of the chip shop and cafe...Life carrying on. And children are really good at reminding us of this, with their curiosity and resilience. They don't stop learning and so we don't stop guiding and teaching them.

So, taking a look at the wider world, on 26th February we attended the first Childcare and Early Education APPG meeting of 2020. The group discussed last year's outcomes and outputs, the changing dynamic of the new government, and how to move forward with plans to make a difference to the sector in 2020. 

Rebecca Swindells, education consultant for the FSF and Tapestry, focused on Coronavirus in a recent article for Nursery World. She shared her setting's examination of policy and procedure in the event of an outbreak or escalation of the current situation. This is well worth a read to see how one nursery is planning ahead. 

It was World Book Day on 5th March. A day to focus on inspiring children of all ages to enter the wonderful world of books. Here at Tapestry and FSF HQ we held a community event for Year 1 children from a nearby school. Local author and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson ran a creative session based on her brilliant book Troll Swap. It included Leigh drawing a giant Troll to the children's specifications! 

March 17th sees the official launch of the BBC's Tiny Happy People campaign. Tiny Happy People provides resources for parents and carers to support their child's communication and language development. There are lots of short video clips demonstrating simple interactions and games, as well as bite-sized dives into why families play such an important role in this vital aspect of early learning. The resources are well worth sharing with your parents and carers to encourage and guide them in how they can shape their child's language development. 

This month it is also time to celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi, on 9th and 10th March. Also known as the 'Festival of Love' this is a joyous, colourful day. We wish you a very happy Holi. 




An update: the launch of the BBC's Tiny Happy People campaign has been postponed. You can still access the resources via the website link above. 



LA Scheme

We'd like to welcome back members from the following authority who have renewed their LA subscription. Members from this authority need do nothing; their individual accounts will automatically be re-subscribed:

Suffolk - 15th Year

New Content

This month on the FSF we have a much needed article by Jenny Barber exploring the ways you can offer CPD for your staff even when the budget is tight. Sarah Ottewell inspires us with her piece about the continuing journey her setting has embarked on as a Nursery of Sanctuary. And Emma Cook shares her second article about staff well-being, discussing the engaging and inclusive ways her setting has nurtured team cohesion. 

We have some new podcasts available, including some guest speakers! We were delighted to chat with Cheryl Hadland from GECCO in our podcast about Eco Sustainability in Early Years, looking at the ways settings can become more sustainable one step at a time. Then, in our podcast Running a Sustainable Nursery, we were joined by Louise Lloyd Evans of Young Friends Nursery, the only plastic free nursery in Brighton. Louise talks about how her setting has introduced sustainable teaching, learning and care with children, families and staff. We also had a fascinating conversation with children's author Miriam Moss, discussing how to engage children's imagination as they learn to read and write, the wonder of words, and Miriam's own writing process. Thank you to all our guests this month. You can listen to our podcasts on Apple Podcasts or Spotify as well as other platforms. 

As well as our author event here at Tapestry and FSF HQ to celebrate World Book Day, we also held our first story writing competition! Children in local schools were encouraged to let their imaginations run wild, and then get those ideas down onto paper. Look out for the winning entry coming soon to a 'Coffee Break' near you! 

We have been continuing with updates to the FSF. Over the next few days you will notice a couple of new pages appearing: The Bookshelf will get its own page, and we are also starting a Primary Page for articles and resources related to Key Stage 1 and 2. Over time we will be building up content on these pages to support educators. 

The Tapestry Team have introduced a new Reports system, replacing the original version. In the new section there are a number of framework templates available to use to create your own reports, including EYFS, Key Stage, SEND and Montessori. Take a look at this tutorial to find out more. 

Wishing you a curious, resilient and happy March! 



From The Forum

'Free' early education under scrutiny Radio 4

The early years miracle? Might be worth a listen...

Evaluating Training

How do you all evaluate the training your staff have done? 

Teaching specific subjects in EYFS

At the moment Staff evidence via Tapestry on an as and when basis for U the W, they don’t make specific entries for science, history and geography...

Edited by Jules

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