About Us


The Foundation Stage Forum EYFS newsletter May 2018

In Newsletters

Welcome to the first newsletter of this summer term! You will find links to useful articles and forum discussions throughout - click on a link and get involved!  Hopefully you are enjoying some beautiful sunshine and are taking advantage of your outside space. It is surely the season of mud kitchens and water play! Whilst the children are learning to manage their own risks in the outdoor environment we know that you are hard at work managing the risks of data handling in the light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into effect this week. With GDPR still high on everyone's lists,  forum threads are very busy. Topics concerning  the encryption of email data  and the seemingly never ending list of things to be done have been very active! We, at FSF, have uploaded many resources to our growing library, that will support your journey to GDPR compliance. Please remember that they are to be used only in your own setting and should not be uploaded to any other sites. You can access our resource library from here. The full forum area where we are discussing GDPR  is here.

At the beginning of May, Tracy Brabin, the shadow early years minister was interviewed for The Guardian newspaper and made her views regarding the state of the sector clear. She spoke of putting "the joy back into early years education"; you can read the interview from here. There have been several important announcements of consequence to the early years sector since our last newsletter. At the FSF we work to bring you all the significant news and updates as promptly as possible. Just in case you have missed anything, here is a resume of recent announcements. The DfE announced a fund to boost early language skills and have published the remit for a new SENCO qualification. Ofsted have updated their compliance handbook and there has been discussion concerning possible changes to the existing Ofsted grading system.

LA Scheme

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

For their 11th year – Derbyshire

And a special welcome back to Hampshire renewing for their 13th year

New Content

We have published an inspiring article by Alistair Bryce Clegg this half term. In it, he discusses the ways in which different theorists impact on our practice. At FSF HQ the practitioners amongst us agree we are probably all 'magpies' lifting little bits of ideas and innovations from different places to make our setting unique for us and for the children in our care. Have a read of Alistair's article and see how his ideas and experience compare to yours. The article is here 'Putting the theory into practice', you can comment underneath the article.

If you haven't visited the FSF site for a little while you may have missed some of our updated areas. On our courses and events page we publicise high quality training that is open to all. The training includes courses and events that are offered by local authorities and also those which are offered at low prices by professional organisations. There is an extremely useful search tool that will help you find exactly what you need. To access this search tool click this link. The resource area has also been refreshed making it clear which resources have been made by the FSF and Tapestry 'in-house' team and which have been kindly donated by members. If you would like to see the full range of resources we have available please follow this link to our library. courses and events.png 

In addition, this half-term we have reviewed an extremely useful early years management book Effective leadership and management in the EYFS by Jenny Barber. It is easy to read, full of practical tips and ideas and would be ideal for anyone new to the manager's role.

From The Forum

Moving the children from outside to inside, and tidy up time

Hi everyone, I've just joined, so apologies if I have put this in the wrong place or if it has already been covered - I did a quick search but couldn't find anything. Anyway, my problem is this:  I have one nursery class (Northern Ireland)  of 26 children aged 3-4, and one nursery assistant.  When we tidy up I put on a tidy up song as a cue to start (I also verbally remind them beforehand that it will be happening soon).  When we start, some children tidy and quite a few others start to run about the room and get quite 'hyper'.  I realise the music is very jolly, and I have tried different tempos, or not putting music on at all and using a shaker for instance, but it is very hard to stop some of the running about.  We try to model tidying up, and obviously do it with the children, but it is very difficult to manage the behaviours sometimes when we start. Straight after tidy up time we go outside.  This presents my second problem: Our hallway is tiny, and I am having difficulty stopping the children from rushing towards the door to get out after tidy up time, and then pushing and shoving in the small hallway.  The problem is that the room needs to be tidied before we go out because our routine is outdoor play and then story, and my nursery assistant re-sets it when I am reading story so the tables need to be cleared, but as the room gets tidied I realise children are 'milling about' and I know that is why the behaviour starts.  I have tried to let some out first with my nursery assistant, but our playground and nursery are as such that when me or my assistant go out by ourselves it is hard to see all of the children, or to see the other member of staff if someone falls for instance.  It is a little easier now that it is getting warmer and children are not wearing coats, but when we need coats it is tricky.  There is a class set of waterproofs, but I haven't even attempted this yet, which I know is a shame.  I am new to the class this year, and I know the previous teacher lined them up for outside play, and they waited in line to get their coats on, but I don't want to do this, because I think they will still push and shove, and be standing around doing nothing for this time, waiting.  Also, I just don't like the idea of 'lining up' nursery children.  I would prefer the transition to not stop and start as much.

What I am trying to do is to make these transition times as 'flowing' as possible, so that the children are not standing about doing nothing, or running around.  I realise it is my classroom management that is the problem, so I was just looking for advice.

Thanks in anticipation.


Well had the day from hell today. I took on a Nursery Manager role at the end of last year that I knew would be a challenge but not quite the challenge I have listened to the staff views when I joined as to what they felt needed changing and have tried my hardest to improve the setting, I have made planning a whole lot easier, bought new resources, redesigned the room, making staff well being at the for front and introducing things to make them feel appreciated but........ I am not getting anything back, observations still not being done, journey's not updated, staff sitting at activities not engaging. I have held several staff meetings airing my concerns and been told by the staff team that they will change. Anyway today our  Areas Senco visit today for a child turned into a meeting with me with her discussing the poor state of my practice which I know needs changing but to be told by an outside professional is BAD, to say I was mortified is an understatement. I left a good with outstanding elements setting and am feeling very disheartened, angry and ready to throw the towel in which i do not want to do as I am by no means a quitter.

Any suggestions before I start rocking in a corner would be greatly appreciated, I might like to add I have gone down the verbal warning  route with one staff member.

Early Years teachers

Does anyone in a small PVI setting employ an Early Years Teacher? What is their pay rate and what is their job description?

I'm asking because I have a member of staff about to complete her EYT and is who starting to ask what I see her role as and what will I pay her. She wanted to do this qualification but I'm not sure I can afford her or in fact need an EYT. I do all the planning, assessment and tracking myself, mostly because I enjoy it but also because I do it at home, out of hours - not something I think she would be prepared to do.

New ideas?

With the continued pressure on funding we continue to rely on fundraising to pay for extras. However with the introduction of 30 hours we have more working parents who just aren't getting involved (weirdly it seems to me that the less people pay the more they expect for free!). We are going to have to rethink the PTA next year as we have struggled to get things going this year. We have 2 big events which we will still run ....somehow! and we do a couple of cake sales which i reckon we can achieve but i am struggling to find ideas to create the community feel i would like. Does anyone have any easy ideas or suggestions...or should i just give up now and stop attempting this!!!!

Heating child's lunches

We are a term time only pack away setting open until 3 two days and 1pm 3 days. We have a child that attends all the hours that we are open and Mum has asked today about us heating his lunch. I have only been at this setting a term but previously at other settings I have always said no. Our numbers are quite low so we can't afford to upset anyway, so I said I would look into it. There is a microwave in the kitchen. Where do I find the info on safe heating of food though. Do other pack away settings offer this?

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.