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Rebecca

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  1. This practical workshop will take place outside and practitioners must ensure they are dressed appropriately. The session will provide an introduction to the background and ethos of Forest School and offer a range of practical activities that can be recreated back at your setting, school or home. Please bring a drink of water, there will be no whole group refreshment break during the morning, a hot drink will be available at the end of the session. You will have access to the toilets at the Visitor Centre at all times. “I learnt how to use activities in the setting without formally having a forest school and what can be done with natural resources from our surroundings Great activities!” For further details
  2. This workshop will introduce the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Development Matters guidance materials which supports and underpins learning and development of children 0-5 years. The workshop will provide an overview of the quality of the EYFS by introducing the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning and the principles which support young children’s learning. “I have a much clearer understanding of how to make use of the non-statutory guidance more effectively” For further details
  3. Unlocking Outstanding Potential is an innovative and interactive leadership programme with a variety of strategies and opportunities to help you strive or maintain outstanding practice and performance. This one day Pathway to Excellence workshop is designed to support strong settings with a 'good' or 'outstanding' Ofsted judgement, to self- evaluate their quality and processes to aim for an improved or sustained Ofsted judgement at their next inspection. “The day encouraged reflection, vision and development of the whole team. Well delivered, informative…lots of interactive learning” For further details
  4. Are you Ready for Your Inspection?

    This course supports Early Years managers in understanding the current Ofsted inspection framework. Using the Ofsted documentation, it explores the main elements of the inspection process and provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your current practice and provision in preparation for inspection. “Become more clued up and confident, ready for Ofsted, take away tips/ideas for improvements” For further details
  5. Unlocking Outstanding Potential is an innovative and interactive leadership programme with a variety of strategies and opportunities to help you strive or maintain outstanding practice and performance. This one day Pathway to Excellence workshop is designed to support strong settings with a 'good' or 'outstanding' Ofsted judgement, to self- evaluate their quality and processes to aim for an improved or sustained Ofsted judgement at their next inspection. “Great interactive session – good to hear what others do and share experiences Tutors are very supportive and politely challenge your thought process.” For further details
  6. Are you Ready for Your Inspection?

    This course supports Early Years managers in understanding the current Ofsted inspection framework. Using the Ofsted documentation, it explores the main elements of the inspection process and provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your current practice and provision in preparation for inspection. “Become more clued up and confident, ready for Ofsted, take away tips/ideas for improvements” For further details
  7. Peer Obs

    Hello! I've had a look in our resources section - I can't find anything suitable sadly. Perhaps, if you upload the one you are using at the moment, we can work together to revamp it and then out it inour resources section for others to share?
  8. Letter to parents

    Good morning Amanda35, Which letter is it specifically? - if you have found one on the site before it will still be there as we haven't deleted any Tapestry resources. Resources that were made by the in-house team are here Resources that have been made by other members and uploaded by the team are here Obviously you will need to be logged in to download them
  9. GDPR child transfers

    Transferring a journal doesn't necessarily concern everyone else's children. As you say we do need to be very mindful of the data we are sharing and make sure that we use the transfer option carefully. On Tapestry, every child has their own journal and they are transferred individually. In the light of the new GDPR we put in the following features; when you prepare to transfer a child's journal you have the option to exclude group observations. You can also strip out all the photos and videos and send them separately to parents, sending only text to schools. I hope that reassures you
  10. This did come up recently - I'll dig about and see if I can find the infomation, Helen andI met with Ofsted to discuss this exact point. The full thread is here The specific section is below: Qu: Why was a change made that prevented a setting manager being the ‘nominated person’ for Ofsted purposes? This doesn’t make sense given that they know more about the setting that anyone else involved. Answer: It was explained that this was to bring early years in line with schools. The Ofsted team explained that the registered provider should be viewed in the same way as a school governing body. They are ultimately responsible for the curriculum, the staff and everything that goes on in the provision including the appointment and discipline of staff. The nominated person is the representative to Ofsted of the registered provider. The manager cannot be the nominated person if they are not part of the registered provider because they cannot be responsible for the curriculum and for appointing and disciplining themselves (as a person that works for the registered provider). We found this easier to understand once we had viewed the registered provider as being equal to the governing body of a school. It made sense to view the nominated person as the ‘chair of governors’ and the setting manager as the school head teacher. Ofsted were clear that the manager can talk to Ofsted (as can the head teacher) but cannot hold overall responsibility if they are not part of the registered provider (the committee/ governing body)
  11. Ofsted have today released their 'Bold beginnings: The Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools' report. In the report, findings from research led by Gill Jones HMI, recommendations for practice and considerations for DfE are raised. Click on the link (above) to read the full document or here are the main headlines: Executive summary A good early education is the foundation for later success. For too many children, however, their Reception Year is a missed opportunity that can leave them exposed to all the painful and unnecessary consequences of falling behind their peers. During the summer term 2017, Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) visited successful primary schools in which children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, achieved well. This report examines the provision in their Reception Year and the extent to which it was preparing four- and five-year-olds for their years of schooling and life ahead. Reading was at the heart of the curriculum in the most successful classes. Listening to stories, poems and rhymes fed children’s imagination, enhanced their vocabulary and developed their comprehension. Systematic synthetic phonics played a critical role in teaching children the alphabetic code and, since this knowledge is also essential for spelling, good phonics teaching supported children’s early writing. The teaching of early mathematics was not given the same priority. However, it was clear what children could achieve. The schools that ensured good progression frequently used practical equipment to support children’s grasp of numbers and, importantly,to develop their understanding of linking concrete experience with visual and symbolic representations. More formal, written recording was introduced, but only when understanding at each stage was secure and automatic. The schools visited understood that teaching had different purposes. Play, for example, was used primarily for developing children’s personal, social and emotional skills. They learned to investigate the world around them, both physically and imaginatively. However, around two thirds of the staff inspectors spoke to confused what they were teaching (the curriculum) with how they thought they were supposed to teach it. This seemed to stem from misinterpreting what the characteristics of effective learning in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) –‘playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically’ – required in terms of the curriculum they provided. The EYFS profile (EYFSP) is a mechanism for statutory summative assessment at the end of the foundation stage. However, in nearly every school visited, the staff felt that the EYFSP was burdensome. Many teachers devised tasks simply to tick off elements of the early learning goals so that they could provide evidence of children’s achievement. By default, these tasks – and ticking them off – became the Reception curriculum, with a significant loss of focus on learning, step by step. Reception and Year 1 teachers agreed that the vital, smooth transition from the foundation stage to Year 1 was difficult because the early learning goals were not aligned with the now-increased expectations of the national curriculum. Progression and continuity in mathematics were seen as particularly problematic. The strongest performing schools, however, had found ways to improve their assessment processes and support transition. Checks of children’s phonics knowledge, standardised tests (for reading, for example) and scrutinies of children’s work provided the essential information that Year 1 teachers needed. Such information was quick to collect and more usefulfor them. These successful schools made sure that they gave reading, writing and mathematics in their Receptionclasses sufficient direct teaching time every day, with frequent opportunities for children to practise and consolidate their growing knowledge. The headteachers made sure that their curriculum was fit for purpose, so that children were equipped to meet the challenges of Year 1 and beyond. Please share your thoughts and opinions below
  12. The DfE have published an information leaflet concerning the new baseline assessment (comes into effect from September 2020). You can read the leaflet from here. The leaflet provides information for schools about the new reception baseline assessment. It includes information about: why it is being introduced what it will look like how results will be used the development process
  13. registers and visitors books

    I will have a rummage!
  14. Sometimes we realise we need a shake up and to refresh our setting; maybe we don’t realise it consciously but sense it is time to reflect, review and develop. For this to be successful and to achieve its aim there are certain key factors to take into consideration. For the process to be as effective as possible, everyone needs to be involved. A joint approach supports team work and a collective responsibility and commitment to continuous improvement can act as a motivator. Even before any practical strategies have been put in place, there needs to be a clear understanding and awareness of effective reflective practice. Reflective practice is never going to be truly effective unless we are 100% honest with ourselves about what we do, remembering there is a distinct difference between what we might say or think we do and what we actually do. Reflection is like putting a mirror up to your work and seeing from the reverse viewpoint what you are doing. It is the honesty that is critical as it means we are truly delving into our practice and provision and scrutinising what we do. That might sound painful and awkward but it doesn’t need to be; it is really about attitude and approach and demonstrating a clear commitment. So what tools can we use to implement this reflection and review of our practice and provision? It can be helpful to put in place a focused review and reflection month. Introduce the idea at a staff meeting, explain the methods that are to be used and assign key responsibilities and tasks. Once the month is up you should come together to review and discuss, the conclusions can then be put into your Quality Improvement Plan. With everyone involved, the drive for that improvement is more likely to be successful. By including everyone you are drawing on multiple viewpoints, which gives a more rounded perspective. Having gone through an in depth process, you will find that certain strategies and approaches become embedded as party of every day practice. So what are some of the strategies that can be used? • RESOURCE AND PROVISION MONITORING Looking at the resources you have and identifying what is used and how it is used. Time sample observations can be particularly effective, focus on an area or particular resource and note down every 5-10 minutes who is using that resource/area and what they are doing. Over the period of a month one could be completed on all areas/resources and this would give a clear indication of what is popular, how something is used, by whom and what this tells you about that aspect of your provision. During an after work meeting, ask practitioners to use post it notes and write on them which area/s of the EYFS they think a resource/area of provision best supports and stick it on that resource/area. This can then give an indication if any areas of learning and development are provided for more than others, if there are any gaps or if there is too much emphasis on a particular area of learning and development. It can also be helpful to do this exercise reflecting on child development areas instead of the EYFS. It is essential this is completed both inside and outside. These prompts from Learning through Landscapes Cymru First steps outdoors provides some differing ideas for reflecting on provision outside, but equally most could be considered for inside. Where can children: • Be excited, energetic, adventurous, noisy? • Have responsibility, be independent? • Imagine, dream, invent? • Hide, relax, find calm, reflect? • Investigate, discover, explore, experiment? • Run, climb, pedal, throw? • Talk, collaborate, make friends? • Create, construct, make music, express? • Dig, grow, nurture? • Tell stories, make marks, find patterns? Can you identify these opportunities within your learning environment? I feel this approach is particularly effective, as it is more rounded focusing on experiences and opportunities; a refreshing change from the EYFS. Asking the children what they enjoy and what they would like to be different can elicit some interesting and valuable responses. We want to encourage curiosity and enable children to see endless possibilities. Having completed the resource and provision monitoring, it is then time to maybe declutter, look at which resources need replacing, removing or presented in a different way. Considering the use of provocations; provocations are designed to stimulate thought, ideas, discussion, questions, creativity and possibilities. They should be presented with no fanfare or introduction, just simply be there for the children to be curious about and want to explore. An effective provocation is an example of effective teaching, as you have tapped into the children’s natural curiosity and made them want to explore further. As the explorations occur, you may ponder with the children, perhaps with the use of statements or further thoughts. I remember a setting telling me finding items to provoke curiosity became something of a competition between staff, one of the best sourced items was an old wall mounted pay telephone, found in a charity shop. • AUDITS Carrying out review audits can support incisive reflection. If they are completed by different teams and individuals they can enable a deeper reflection as there will be different viewpoints, particularly about the effectiveness of elements of practice and provision. There are many audit tools available online, focusing on a variety of aspects of practice and provision. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are also useful audit tools, considering how something is implemented and how it could be developed and improved. https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/downloads/download/635/early_years_foundation_stage_eyfs_audit_tools http://entrust.education/Page/471 • STAFF AND ROOM OBSERVATIONS An effective leader/manager needs to know exactly what is going on in their setting and this requires focused observations. It isn’t about walking through the rooms or around the setting or being in numbers, it means sitting and observing in a room as your sole purpose. These observations could be on an individual or on a whole room, this will help you to identify key strengths to build on and areas for development either for an individual or a team. This can help to see how the routine and flow of the room works, identify the fine details that support or hinder good practice and provision. It can be helpful simply to do this with a blank piece of paper so you write down key observations of what is happening or you may choose to focus on a specific aspect of practice e.g. extension of learning, interactions, key carer relationships. An alternative approach can be for two members of staff to observe a room together and then discuss what they see and their views. Do they agree or is the interpretation different? What can be learnt from that difference? You then need to decide how to use the information and insight gleaned from these observations. They might highlight points for discussion and reflection with the team. Several together might identify a trend or an issue, perhaps surrounding consistency which may have a knock on effect on children’s behaviour which previously had not been identified. You may spot a strength in someone you hadn’t previously seen which can be utilised to support others. • VISITING OTHER SETTINGS Often there is a reluctance to visit other settings simply for the purposes of seeing their practice and approach. This though is one of the best ways to expand our thoughts and to see what we could do differently and equally what we are doing well. It is an opportunity too for professional discussion. It is all too easy to get cocooned in our setting and not look properly beyond it. Perhaps another setting is doing something you are thinking of implementing, it can be a great way to see how they do it, e.g. rolling snack, a greater emphasis on outdoor learning. Obviously it requires time and organisation to release staff, but I know settings who do engage in this process find it extremely useful and beneficial. • NEW TRENDS AND THEORIES It is important to keep up to date on new trends and research within early years, as well as revisiting familiar theorists. Refreshing and reviewing your setting, can provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on the ideas of others and see how their philosophy is reflected in your practice. This could be set as a task for an individual or a team, as well as researching new thoughts and ideas. This could all then be presented in a staff meeting and then discussed in relation to how it could support development and improvement. Fredrich Froebel is a good starting point, reflecting on his quotes on play and how they are reflected in your setting, or Margaret Macmillian, a great exponent of outdoor provision, thinking about this quote and is it true of your setting, “The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky”. These are just a few ideas for attempting to look at everything with fresh eyes. Once this month long review has been undertaken, what happens next? There needs to be a collective discussion, involving everyone who has participated (hopefully the whole team) and the following points need to be discussed and reflected on: Which approaches worked well and which ones were particularly enjoyable? What each approach revealed and what this told you about your practice and provision? What are the areas of practice and provision that have been highlighted for development and improvement, in what way and how would that be best achieved? What do you think the impact of these improvements/developments will be? What are the key strengths identified which can be built on? Are there any training needs identified, which can be followed up and once the training has been completed those who attended cascade to the rest of the team? Once this review and discussion is completed and targets for improvement highlighted, they all need to be put into a Quality Improvement Plan. This QIP will identify the targets, the process to achieve, who will be responsible for taking the lead, when it is to be completed by and the expected impact. So, looking at your setting through fresh eyes, is really looking to see what the mirror tells you about your practice and provision, looking at the detail and putting it under close scrutiny. In essence effective, realistic and honest reflection.
  15. We have just published a new article by Jenny Barber. Jenny is the author of 'Effective leadership and management in the EYFS' which we reviewed recently. Her article has many tips and ideas to enthuse and motivate you to move your setting on! Shake up! Refresh! How to reflect and move your setting on...
  16. Children's addresses

    At the end of every year we strip out the filing cabinet and remove all the details for children who have left. We keep enrolment forms, accident forms and medication forms and anything pertaining to safeguarding - everything else is shredded. We then make a 'bundle of papers' and mark them 'Leavers 2018' (for example) and then store them securely. We add staff records as they leave to the same bundle so that it's easy to find. Now that some records are on Tapestry e.g accident forms we will download these to a small memory USB and keep them all together.
  17. Hi ncosby! Welcome ot our wonderful FSF world We use the report section on Tapestry and write a few sentences in the Prime area boxes. We leave the assessments in the Specific area boxes and put a brief comment if there is anything particularly note worthy (problems or high acheivers). We also write a general piece in the key person's box on the report. Hope that helps
  18. Multilanguages

    I've sorted it for you (I cut it out and repasted it as plain text - not sure why 'bold' wasn't working properly)
  19. Following the treasury select committee's damning comments on the early years funding calculations Ceeda have calulated that there will be a £500 million shortfall in early years funding. You can read the Ceeda report here. This, from the Pre-school Learning Alliance news site explains the headlines clearly "Accurate hourly costs: An hour of quality care and education for three- and four-year-olds is estimated to cost £5.08 an hour to deliver – 17% more than the average rate paid to providers. As a result, Ceeda has calculated that there is a total funding shortfall of £370 million across the various funded childcare offers available to parents, even with additional funds available to providers such as the Early Year Pupil Premium, SEN inclusion funding and Disability Access Funding.Total annual shortfall: However, Ceeda’s research also revealed that the majority of early years providers use the income from places for three- and four-year-olds to cross-subsidise losses made on places for younger children. With this factored in, Ceeda belives that the total annual shortfall for all care delivered by PVI settings is £536 million." (by Rachel Lawler, PLA)
  20. With a generous invitation from the Pre-school Learning Alliance Helen and I set off for London last Friday 1st June. Working at The Foundation Stage Forum, we are constantly reminded of the pressures that exist for those working in early years. Our forums resonate with questions: ‘How are you going to make this (30 hours) work?’, ‘What would you do if this happened to you (behaviour issues / staff issues)?’, ‘Is anyone else struggling to recruit staff?’, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do’. These are themes that recur and we never underestimate the value of our supportive network of members who listen without judgement, help without hesitation and support without question. We, at the FSF, value so much this professional friendship given so willingly. However, over recent years, relentless policy changes, changes of focus and personnel make for an unsettled sector. The desire to do the absolute best for children means that early years professionals consistently battle and feel the tensions created between doing what is right (and will result in the best outcomes for children) and what is possible (given the availability of suitably qualified staff and an ever-shrinking purse). This seemingly never-ending dichotomy unsurprisingly creates anxieties and tensions which ripple through personal lives and professional responsibilities. It was not surprising therefore, that the PLA’s conference focus this year was the well-being and mental health of both the adults and the children in the early years sector. The conference was titled ‘Minds Matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the early years’ and each key note speaker Alastair Campbell, Amanda Spielman and Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes addressed aspects of the #MindsMatter2018 agenda pertinent to their own speciality. The conference was opened by Jenni Trent Hughes who reminded us that despite the difficulties the sector faces we are all united in our desire to get the best for the children entrusted to our care. She acknowledged the shared understanding amongst early years professionals that ‘the more effort that is put in in the beginning for children, the larger the benefits in the end’. Jenni reminded us that we were aiming to develop children who had confidence in themselves, a confidence that would carry them successfully through the next stages of their learning. This focus on supporting, nurturing and developing children’s confidence was understood and appreciated across the conference floor. The first speaker asked us to consider the impact of this child-centred focus on the workforce. Neil Leitch, the PLA’s the chief executive, spoke passionately about the results of the recent PLA survey. The survey results formed the basis of the PLA report published to coincide with the conference. The data collected in their ‘Minds Matter’ survey proved stark reading. In his speech, Neil reminded us of the issues currently facing the sector: the questions surrounding sustainability such as “How can providers afford to deliver what they set out to do?” and “How can providers do what is best for children?” He pointed out that these issues are only going to get worse as we are seeing ‘more children with more issues earlier and earlier in their lives’. That over half of survey respondents “say that financial resources have been a source of stress ‘fairly’ or ‘very often’ over the past month” is concerning. There is little ‘good news’ on the horizon as we were reminded that the current direction of travel for UK education did not offer any hope for those working in early years. The survey results show that the ongoing datafication of education and the associated recording of points against which key stage progress can be measured, is demotivating the workforce and creating a mental health timebomb in the sector. To try and defuse this mental health timebomb Neil announced that the PLA would be working with both Ofsted and DfE on a workload and paperwork review. The appreciation of the conference floor was palpable and we, at the FSF, look forward to working with PLA through our forums and through our shared work on the APPG Childcare and Early Education. Neil closed by thanking the early years sector and reminded us all of the very crucial work we do in making a real different to the lives of the youngest members of our society. The next speaker, Alastair Campbell, drew attention away from the children in early years and focused instead on workforce well-being. Alastair began by reminding us that we are who we are because of the things that happen to us, not despite them. He emphasised that the things that happen to us shape us, build our character and make us stronger. This resilience then impacts across our lives, into our relationships, our work place and into society. In our role in early years, Alastair implored us to recognise our own ability to support and shape future generations. We should never underestimate the impact we have as teachers and our responsibility is to help the next generation to take us forward with positivity and hope. There was acknowledgement that mental health is more freely spoken about now that it ever has been previously. However, although it is easier now to discuss mental health issues there remains much to be done regarding the general availability of treatment and support opportunities. This means that employers have a great responsibility to ‘lead the charge’ and take care of their existing workforce and welcome honesty and openness concerning mental health when recruiting. Alastair said “You can wait for a long time for the Government to come and help you … make the best of what you have and never forget that “the greatest wonder of the world is the mind of a child” and we, in our varied roles within education, have a great opportunity to make a difference. Following on from Alastair Campbell was Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector. There had been that morning a front page ‘splash’ in the Daily Mail concerning the speech that was to be made at the conference. The full transcript of the speech is here. Unfortunately, because the speech was entirely scripted and read verbatim it came across as somewhat stiff and stilted. The Chief Inspector again sought to allay the fears of the sector regarding the Bold Beginnings report. We were reminded that it was with the 0-5 age group that we had the greatest opportunity to make a difference to children’s lives. We were told that early literacy was a “lynch pin of education” without which failure at every future stage was a very real possibility. “When you make a reader you give them the world” was the emotive point to take away. We were reminded of the key findings and recommendations from the report and reassured that the report was aimed at the Reception year, not pre-school. We were to feel reassured also that Ofsted were not calling for play to be removed from the Reception year. It seemed odd that this reiteration of intention was presented at a pre-school event with an ongoing message of ’It’s not about you, you don’t need to worry’ – there seemed to be little recognition or realisation that the sector moves seamlessly from one age and stage to another and there is much overlapping of provision and practise – consequently, something that affects Reception teachers will affect the early years providers in time as Reception teachers will be needing different things from us. Moving on from the Bold Beginnings aspect the Chief inspector announced a new focus for Ofsted on children’s physical development skills. These skills, both gross and fine motor, impact hugely on a child’s school readiness and can have negative effects on a child’s future achievement if they fail to take every learning opportunity available to them in their Reception class. The Daily Mail headline concerning toilet training was particularly stark with Ms Spielman referring to an ATL survey: “Reluctant as I am to go down this route, one important basic skill for 4-year-olds is being able to use a toilet. This is a simple, but necessary, expectation. So it is alarming that more and more schools report children turning up on their first day of Reception unable to do this. Indeed, there have been recent news stories about children being sent to school in nappies! A recent ATL survey found that some 70% of schools were finding more children were starting school without being toilet trained, compared with 5 years ago. And just this week there was another survey highlighting the amount of time early years teachers spend cleaning up after children having accidents.” In early years we recognise this is an important part of our contribution to getting children ‘school ready’ and it was impressed upon us how much we should be doing to work with parents and carers to help ensure that all children are appropriately prepared. Given that this was a speech made at an early years conference to delegates who by their attendance demonstrated their understanding of the crucial nature of the early years profession this was somewhat ‘preaching to the converted’. It is important to note though that this emphasis on school readiness, physical development skills and literacy is sure to come through strongly in the next statutory framework (it is currently being reviewed) and therefore will be a key feature of the next inspection cycle. Ms Spielman was eager to press the point that Ofsted were listening to the sector and wanted to make clear how important it was to have an open and honest dialogue. Examples cited of times when Ofsted had worked to support the sector included the Ofsted’s Big Conversation, the mythbusting guide and the managing risks advice*: “take risk seriously and to supervise children properly. But equally, don’t take away the climbing frame in case someone falls or avoid journeys to the park for fear of crossing the road. Some level of risk is part of a proper childhood. And without it, we stifle children’s natural inquisitiveness and their opportunities to learn.” *Read Gill Jones’ article for The Foundation Stage Forum which clearly explains Ofsted’s view of risk and safety culture in the early years. The final speaker, Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes, presented some stark facts in relation to the ‘datafication’ of our education system. The facts presented created a sombre mood as conference attendees considered the impact these had on the mental health of very young children. We were reminded that if, at the end of Year 1, a child had not reached the required standard in the ‘Phonics test’ a letter was sent to parents telling them that their child had ‘failed’ the test – these children are 6! Dr Roberts-Holmes railed on the proposed baseline assessment of children in Reception pointing out that the results of the test would be used to measure those children for the next 7 years. Reducing everything to a competition, where there are winners and losers will affect children throughout their school lives, and thereby potentially negatively affect their mental health throughout school. His point was that the insistence on making everything quantifiable so that it could be measured, tracked and reported on is solely for the benefit of decision makers – it has no positive impact on children. Indeed, quite the reverse, it creates anxieties and problems for children. It was explained that the current situation is ‘gaming’ with children’s school lives - Funding is targeted at the lower achievers in an effort to get them to reach expected levels of development. However, because this is a competitive model it is not possible to have ‘more winners’ it is only possible to have the same number of winners, so the goalposts are moved and higher expectations are demanded. Dr Roberts-Holmes spoke at length about the damaging consequences of ‘ability grouping’ for children. He compared our apparent insistence on ability grouping to the Scandinavian model where ability grouping is illegal in Sweden, due to the negative effects it has on children. As Dr Roberts-Holmes said, children know which group they are in and “write themselves off before they’ve even started”. Ability grouping damages self-esteem and consequently stores up problems for the future. In the Scandinavian system the professionalism of educators is trusted, quantifying testing is limited, results for children are better and levels of self-esteem are higher than in UK. Dr Roberts-Holmes suggests that we rethink how we measure and test children and proposes that we look to the Scandinavian model for the way forward in order to protect the mental health and well-being of the children in our care and education system. Certainly food for thought in this conference – I took away the following message; look out for yourself, look out for your colleagues but most of all look out for the children entrusted to you because #MindsMatter2018.
  21. Interestingly I have just read a post on Twitter referring to this statistic. The ATL survey has 700 respondents, it was 70% of those schools, which is not the same as 70% of all schools.
  22. Toddler's safety gates

    We have had some success adding straps and clips from toddler harnesses - If you cut a length of the strap and heat seal the ends you can screw the strap to the wall to provide an additional fixing. We have our gate to the kitchen locked with the 'normal' stair gate lock and then we have put the additional lock on ourselves - you can screw the straps to the wall and loop through or, as we have done, screw them to the gates themselves if they are wooden.
  23. Statutory Framework 2017

    Ta dah! EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017 (1).docx I have a magic gadget!!
  24. excel accounts spreadsheets

    Can you draw me a picture diesel10? If you sketch it out I'll give it a go! If you draw a picture and take a photo you can upload it here
  25. educare

    Yes, Mouseketeer, we had the same. Sorry diesel10 🙁
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