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To think that the early years foundation stage has far too much paper work

(83 Posts)
ReallyTired Fri 16-Nov-12 14:53:37

DD's nursery has a massive A4 folder on every child inspite of the fact that none of the chidren have been at nursery that long. I feel that the amount of paper work must take away from time spent on the child.

Is there any evidence that documenting every time a child farts actually improves out comes? Do other countries assess pre school learners as much.

I would like teachers and carers to spend their time interacting with children rather than form filling.

weirdlyunique Fri 16-Nov-12 16:24:55

Yes basically it does take away from spending time with children and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you

I spend so much time filling in forms and planning next steps for the children and making sure it is all recorded it is insane because if ofsted come and the next stops are not written clearly down you will fail

I also have to chase all my parents to write comments on each observation that is done to ensure i am making the parents involved in their children's learning and ensure that all activities meet more than one part of the eyfs as each child learns and grows as a whole person and not as individual sections although i have to ensure i do not use the eyfs as a check list as each milestone in the book is a guide and not set in stone as we are so often reminded and if we think otherwise it is not seen as best practice

All of this is still not helping the children as they are understanding less, developing in certain areas as a whole less and still less ready to go to school as a whole and progress on to be competent and happy adults

So remember to be extremely greatfull to all your nursery staff who although you may not always see it have to jump through a lot of hoops

MrsTomHardy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:42:02

Agree with Weirdly.

I run a preschool and the amount of paperwork I have to do is ridiculous. Also we're supposed to have half termly staff meeting (in our own time), supervisory meetings half termly (in our own time), appraisals (once a year but in our own time) and when 1 of us goes on a course we then have to have a meeting to tell others members of staff what was learnt on the course ( in our own time).........bloody ridiculous!!!!

FreakySnuckerCupidStunt Fri 16-Nov-12 16:49:20

Studied it as part of a Childcare Diploma, absolutely agree.

bigknickersbigknockers Fri 16-Nov-12 16:54:02

I have to work on my key childrens learning journeys in my own time... unpaid, and it pisses me off. angry So no, the amount of paper work doesnt actually take me away from caring for children.

bigknickersbigknockers Fri 16-Nov-12 16:56:44

mrstomhardy I totally hear what your saying, I feel its getting beyond a joke to do the job I do, and its not even a well paid job!

weirdlyunique Fri 16-Nov-12 17:02:09

Also if you don't have a observation or photo of a child doing each one of the eyfs goals as proof to ofsted the child has not done it and please bear in mind that the eyfs is broken down into 3 prime and 4 specific areas with each section broken down again in age bands of birth-11, 2-20, 16-26, 22-36, 30-50, 40-60+ months and early learning goals with each of those sections having at least 3 different statements

ReallyTired Fri 16-Nov-12 17:08:51

Goodness, I didn't even realise it was that ridicolous. The nursery nurses at dd's nursery are lovely. It seems sad that they are spending all this time on a massive document that no one other than OFSTED ever look at.

I don't dd's nursery nurses doing unpaid over time. Its not as if they get masses of pay. I want them to have a work life balance like everyone else.

Who is this massive folder for? Please don't be offended any nursery nurses reading this, but as a parent I'm not that interested. I just want my little girl to be happy.

MrsMelons Fri 16-Nov-12 17:16:47

Yes its excessive and really sad that the time has to be spent away from the children.

I paid my staff an extra 2 hours per week to work at home to get learning journies up to date.

The thing Ofsted look at is how the staff are developing the childrens next steps which means documenting everything and planning their next steps.

Its a huge amount of work and most parents just want their children to become more sociable and independent in preparation for school.

My DCs pre-school staff did an amazing job and they have got the paperwork side down to a tee now but it was really hard to get to that point. I think its a real shame that Ofsted seem to be more interested in paperwork than the quality of care.

At our last Ofsted a couple of years ago we were unable to get an outstanding as they deemed the childrens next steps were not clearly documented. We deserved better than a good in reality and there was another local pre-school who did get outstanding but even the EY professionals had told me the level of care was dreadful!

tablefor4 Fri 16-Nov-12 17:25:36

The amount is ludicruous and I always feel sad about the amount of extra (and as you say often unpaid) time spent doing it by the staff.

If it's any consolation I really treasure the books I have for the DDs (which I think are the learning journies).

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 16-Nov-12 18:04:06

What would really help is if there was one system that was widely used by other pre schools, nurseries and primary/infant schools, so that reception teachers don't have to repeat half of the paperwork that has already been done when they get to school.

There is a lot of paperwork, and I can't see it going away, but I do think some settings do more than is necessary, just because they are so worried about upsetting OFSTED if they don't.

LindyHemming Fri 16-Nov-12 18:07:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 16-Nov-12 18:09:09

I'ts absolutely bonkers. Government guidelines and all that.

blackeyedsusan Fri 16-Nov-12 18:13:13

I am pretty sure the framework says there is no need for portfolios for individual children... I would have to check... but cba at the mo.whether ofsted can read or not though has yet to be proved...

thebody Fri 16-Nov-12 18:17:10

Yes yes yes yes yes yes... Gave up as a cm as overwhelmed with this..

Now a TA and its still here but not my responsibility! Thank god.

Did anyone see the Finland documentary on education,

No formal school or lessons until 7. Start school, no uniform or book bags. No assessments until 16!!!!!!

And if course they do far far better than we do in public exams and happiness factor..

Why why do we do this to our poor Kids??

Goldchilled7up Fri 16-Nov-12 18:20:21

Thebody what channel was it on, I would love to see it.

VinoEsmeralda Fri 16-Nov-12 18:39:48

Another one here that does most of this in my own time. The profiles are IMO not very well thought through ( milestones that are either set too high or low). Focus too much on reading and writing, these children need to play, run and get dirty, use scissors properly and lots more.

Another big bugbear of mine is this rigid cut off in age. Why do children have to adapt to the curriculum and not the other way round? A ( small ) minority would benefit from redoing a year but it's simply not an option in the UK and on the same note at the other end of the spectrum.

Also various European countries introduce reading and writing from 6 or 7 onwards, guess what- by the time they are 10 they are academically stronger then their UK peers. And let's not forget the statistics on happiness, UK scores low!

If only I had the time, resources and knowledge I'd love to start a national campaign!

weirdlyunique Fri 16-Nov-12 18:43:31

Blackeyedsusan Its not a portfolio for the children its called a learning journal/scrapbook/what ever your setting calls it and parents have to contribute to it otherwise we are failing the children and are bad bad people

ReallyTired dont worry you have just echoed what a lot of the parents who use my setting say its nice to have at the end of the term/year but what you remember is how well your child is looked after and how happy they were at the setting

So all this hard work is for Ofsted it is for no one else as any good nursery worker worth there salt knows the children they look after inside and out and plan and set up activities to challenge them and to ensure they are hitting all the milestones they should be, However if it is not written down and clear as day flashing brightly at ofsted when they come to visit it has not been done and you are failing the children and will fail your inspection

Ofsted think parents want this and what parents really want in my experience is a few photos of children learning not essays about it (except there are a few who think their child/ren are the next coming and dont believe we do enough and should willingly give up our time to do them because their child/ren are that special)

MrsTomHardy Fri 16-Nov-12 18:43:49

I don't actually mind doing the journals themselves its the bloody next steps I hate...aarrgghhhhhhhh

Also I've been on 2 courses recently - ones was Changes to the EYFS and the other 2-3 year old reports....these courses were great and full of new info so that's all good but then I have an Aquire meeting and get told some of what I have learnt is wrong, we should still be doing xyz, not abc blah blah the hell am I supposed to know what I'm doing when I'm told 2 different things!!!!! It really pisses me off!!!!

weirdlyunique Fri 16-Nov-12 18:47:16

MrsTomHardy you sound like me smile the two year old check reports are one of the new things that bug me as they initially were meant to be done by health visitors when they were suggested by the government but then all the health visitors at least by me went into hiding it seems and now it is another form that i fill in for no reason

At your training did you have the line about oh your supposed to be using this form/booklet and then when you ask where it is your told its not been produced yet but it is coming

NoWayNoHow Fri 16-Nov-12 18:47:18

YANBU in the slightest. I have a diploma in Montessori pedagogy, and the issues outlined in your OP are the very reasons that I don't practise.

DS's nursery teachers were paid £6/hour (this is in SW London, btw, so a full £2.50 below London Living wage), yet the nursery were charging us £1,100 AFTER our free 15 hours for DS to be in full time.

And yet, these teachers are supposed to be in loco parentis. They don't get paid enough to do the dogsbody work they do, as well as spend hours every evening planning "lessons" for 3 year olds.

It's a disgrace, and I can't think of a single other country that is as barmy as we are about the Early Years.

babybythesea Fri 16-Nov-12 18:54:12

My sister works in Early Years. Last half term we went away for a week together. She spent three sodding evenings out of our six together trying to get her learning journeys and profiles done (photos cut out and stuck in the right place, goals ticked off on the right form etc etc). For Ofsted, who were coming just after half term and because she'd spent too much time trying to get the children new to her class settled in, and devising activities for them, to get the paperwork up to scratch during the first few weeks of term.

Vino: Also various European countries introduce reading and writing from 6 or 7 onwards, guess what- by the time they are 10 they are academically stronger then their UK peers. And let's not forget the statistics on happiness, UK scores low!

Yup. But then the government decide that our kids are 'failing' and the solution is to get them into school earlier and set more rigid goals. Drives me mad - why don't they look at the evidence???

MrsTomHardy Fri 16-Nov-12 18:55:11

Hi Weirdly

I have the 2-3 year old forms, I downloaded them with the new journals...which was a nitemare in its self as it took hours to find them on the website!!

We are quite lucky where we are as we take children from 2 1/2 but most start just before 3rd birthday so we won't have to do the check as we won't know the child well enough grin

MrsTomHardy Fri 16-Nov-12 19:03:03

Also I'm finding that now we have to involve the parents in the next steps it works ok for 2 of us who have good relationships with our key worker parents but 1 of my staff finds that side of things difficult so I'm constantly having to keep an eye on that side of things and it just gives me more stress tbh sad

ptangyangkipperbang Fri 16-Nov-12 19:03:35

Have any of you seen the iphone/ipad app called 2simple Early Years? It has revolutionised life in our Reception Class. We all have an ipad and when we photograph the children we can then add notes about what they are doing and then look at the Early Learning Goals and tick those that are relevant.

No more sticking photos into Learning Journeys! No more post it notes! It is brilliant. You can even take pictures of a group of children involved in an activity and then with a few clicks drop the photo and notes into each childs profile. It is then printed off to create the Learning Journey.

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