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The Foundation Stage Forum EYFS newsletter April 2019

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Welcome to the April newsletter from The Foundation Stage Forum - it's been an incredibly exciting week here at HQ. On Monday we moved to our new offices. For those who have been with us for some time you will know that we were previously based in Steve and Helen's house. No more :(; we now have swanky new offices in Lewes High Street. We are all getting to know our new home this week and are really excited about the potential and opportunities these new surroundings offer (think podcasts, training, conferences ...). We'll be sure to let you know via the Forum when we have things to share. :D Here are a few photos from our exciting moving day!


Outside_the_post_office.JPGOur new home is the old town Post Office for Lewes.  The inside is a lot more 'finished' than the outside! !  
Conference rrom.JPGThis is our conference room.  
Our_new_number_.JPGOne of our amazing team (Emily) made these delicious cakes to celebrate our new home (we are at number 65).



Now back to work ... Since our last newsletter (after February half term) we have been following developments regarding the draft Education Inspection Framework (EIF). We detailed the consultation launch in January and since then have been wrestling with some of the new structures and ideas coming through. One aspect which has particularly got us thinking has been the introduction of 'Cultural capital' as a phrase that will be of significance in the new framework. We have discussed what this might mean in two podcasts: Podcast 1 addresses our initial thoughts and Podcast 2 covers our thoughts following the Ofsted Big Conversation, held in London during March. We have also written two articles, one of which explores the theories behind Cultural capital and the other considers how one might think about Cultural capital in an early years setting

As well as keeping you abreast of the changes in the sector we try to encourage new thinking and ideas. Having read an article in the TES we thought hard about how we are teaching children to share and take turns in our own settings. We found that some of the methods we have been using were not actually all that helpful for children. Read the article and join in the debate!

We love following the forum threads and hearing about the different ways that staff and managers work. A question came up this month about how best to manage the issue of staff having their own children attend the setting. You can read about it here. Sometimes, following a forum conversation we find we have templates of policies or procedures to share. Following the discussion about staff children FSF Rebecca uploaded the terms and conditions document she uses in her nursery. You can see it here. The resources section of our forum is a great place to find template documents and ideas. You can download and edit any of the documents for your own use - sometimes they are really helpful just to get you going on your thought process - it's helpful to see what others have done previously. If you have a resource you think others would like to use then please upload it! If you need help, email Rebecca (rebecca@eyfs.info) and it can be uploaded for you.

LA Scheme

We'd like to welcome back members from the following authorities, which have renewed their LA subscription. Members from these authorities already registered need do nothing; their individual accounts will automatically be re-subscribed:

For their 5th year – Rutland

For their 9th year –  Cornwall

For their 14th year – Suffolk

To see if your authority participates just click here  to find out how to get the scheme password that will allow you to join for free.  If you are already a member of the forum but not as part of an LA scheme you can get the scheme password and then just email us with your username and the scheme password and we can upgrade you.

New Content

In this month's article we have been thinking about the managers who struggle in the first few months of their role. It can be hard to 'manage' colleagues who you have worked alongside as an 'equal' for some time - in her article, Anni McTavish talks to some managers about the difficulties they have faced and the hints and tips that helped them succeed. 

From The Forum

Sharing policies with old parents

i wonder if you have come across or heard of sharing policies with parents that have either already left or are not registered to start. A parent started their child with us but would not leave their child to settle without them (despite have been through the settling process). During this time they observed a staff member enacting the behavioural policy on a child and decided that wasn't something they agreed with and so took the child out of nursery. They did feedback to us what they had seen and we subsequently investigated the situation, the outcome of which was that the policy had been followed. The parent is requesting the investigation outcome (which i'm in two minds about giving) and the behaviour policy.

Recent recommendations

I've been having a bit of a scoot through some recent inspection recommendations from our local areas (Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex) and there are a couple of recommendations that seem to crop up more than others - I have no idea if this is a national 'push' or if it's purely coincidental. They are from a range of inspectors too - so not just an inspector with a particular 'bee in their bonnet':

  • Monitoring staff performance to raise good practice / opportunities for staff to gain new knowledge and skills
  • Link with parents to continue learning at home

With the new inspection framework and the revision to the ELGs happening this year it will be interesting to keep an eye out to see if any 'agendas' make their way through the back door ... I have my eyes peeled:ph34r:

English and Maths qualifications

Quick question, haven't recruited for a while and just wasn't sure about the English and Math qualifications status.  I have a lady applied with a Level 3 who has 20 years experience of running a Pre-School but she doesn't have any other formal qualifications can I consider her for a job.

Management issues

Hi, I was wondering how many roles managers take on and how manageable it is. I took over as manager of a committee run playgroup 2 years ago and have been gradually making changes as it is a well established setting with staff who have been here a long time. As well as being manager I have key children and am the DSL and senco O.o It's a bit much tbh but the other staff members are reluctant to take on other roles. Also how often do other settings have visits from LA's? Thankyou!

Schedule of growing skills

Does anyone have a copy of this developmental assessment for the under 5's /Not sure if it's copyrighted!! would be really useful to have the assessment sheet. Thanks

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