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The Foundation Stage Forum June Newsletter 2020

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Welcome to the June FSF newsletter.

This June is a month of transition. Many settings and schools will open their doors a little wider this month to welcome back more children. So much preparation has gone into this moment. Staff have had to consider the practicalities - how to accommodate more children in the space while meeting social distancing requirements, what resources are safe to have out, how to manage arrival and collection times, how and when to clean everything, hand washing facilities, how and where to have lunches. They have also been putting the children's well-being at the heart of their considerations - how to prepare them for their new-look learning environment, how to give them a sense of ownership, time to listen and talk, how to keep their 'bubbles' connected, how their curriculum can offer recovery and togetherness. 

The wider opening has not been without controversy, uncertainty and inconsistencies. Some settings and schools in England welcomed more children on 1st June, some will do so soon, and some remain closed or open only to vulnerable children and the children of Key Workers. Welsh schools are focusing on the end of June, and Scotland and Northern Ireland are waiting until August/September. Some parents have kept their children at home. The Early Years Alliance have carried out a survey of parents, showing the impact this could have on the financial stability of early years settings. There will be children about whom staff are incredibly concerned, whether they are in a setting or staying at home. There will be children, parents and staff who are grieving. 

In the face of all of this, educators and children are coming together again. Nurseries and schools will be brightened by the sounds of more children's voices, expressing their joys and worries, and staff will be there to hear them. Dr Chris Moore has written An A to Z of a Nurturing Environment which offers some thought-provoking words and suggestions to take into your days, settings and classrooms as we move forwards and support children to play, develop and learn. 

So, as we enter this period of transition, whatever it looks like in your setting or school, we hope you can find positive things to share with children and families.


New Content

Here at the FSF and Tapestry we are quite used to working remotely now, and we have been busy preparing some new articles for you: in our Primary section, Clare Hancock reflects on Teaching and Learning in the 'New Norm' and Georgina Walker explains how she redeveloped the music curriculum at her school. We also have an article from MOVE, an activity based framework that uses the collaborative approach of education, therapy and family knowledge to teach disabled children the skills of sitting, standing and walking. Also for those wanting to expand their SEND knowledge, we have an article on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) from Stephen, our SEND Advisor. 

Helen Moylett, early years consultant and writer, has written an article for us called Is this health crisis becoming a children's rights crisis? It examines where we were before, what is happening now, and how we should move forward for the benefit of our youngest children. 

We have also been busy recording lots of podcasts. This month for International Day of Families we discussed what makes a Family and the pressures families have found themselves under during lockdown. We chatted with Lisa, otherwise know as @Tishylishy, about her experiences of teaching right now, and also with Michelle @EarlyYearsIdeas and Stacy @StacyBenge about the weekly #EYShare and how social media has influenced their practice. And we discussed how schools are preparing to welcome more children back. You can listen to our podcasts on Apple Podcasts or Spotify as well as other platforms. Don't forget to subscribe so you know when a new one has been added.  

On the browser version of Tapestry this month you now have the ability to order media within observations, memos, reports, reflections, planned Activities and activities in your own collection. You can do this when adding or editing one of the posts just by using up and down arrows on the right-hand side of each piece of media. Videos, audio clips, and pictures sit separately from documents when the page is saved (documents appearing below them in their own section), but you can change the order of them in each of their groups. If you are interested in how Tapestry can support Key Stage teaching, Jack from our Education Team has written an article on Tapestry.info to explain more. 

We continue to add activities to the Tapestry Activities Catalogue each week and our regular Early Years infographics are available for everyone to download here

Take care and stay safe. 


From The Forum

Attendance at multiple settings

Just wondering how everyone will be managing the return of children to their settings from 1st June, who also attend other settings or childminders?

Education Committee inquiry

As one of the 5 founders of the APPG for childcare and early education, the FSF are being asked to contribute to the education committee inquiry on the following topics.

If you 'd like to let me know your views, I will make sure they are passed on.

Activities for re-opening

Looking at resources to use if/when re-opening...

Track and Trace

Just watching the briefing about track and trace.  What is everyone going to do if a child and their family have been contacted to isolate for 14 days because of track and trace?  

Edited by Jules

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