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CMs.. EYFS, I feel like packing it in

(26 Posts)
crace Mon 08-Jun-09 22:06:19

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person - you know but I can't for the ever loving life of me get my stupid head around this. (read I am frustrated)

I don't get what Ofsted want us to keep on each child, I don't get what obs get done when, I don't get how to plan, I don't get how to do learning journeys, and I certainly don't get how the honking hell I am meant to pre-plan and link 5 areas of rubbish EYFS to each ever loving thing.

Help me, because I frankly feel like giving up.

crace Mon 08-Jun-09 22:08:05

I do feel very comfortable with the risk assessments (thanks shoshe) and my policies/permissions and procedures.. it's just.. oh.. every thing else.

KatyMac Mon 08-Jun-09 22:08:18

Would it help if I said you could do you planning retrospectively?

KatyMac Mon 08-Jun-09 22:10:07

Have you got my observation sheets?

& the coding for EYFS?

crace Mon 08-Jun-09 22:23:43

I think I do Katy - it's the termly planning sheet right?

Could you send me your obs sheets? Sorry I am so pathetically crying for help

KatyMac Mon 08-Jun-09 22:25:23

email me & I'll send it back (i don't have nicknames & email addresses cross matched)

KatyMac Mon 08-Jun-09 22:59:56

Off to bed at 11:15

Catch you tomorrow?

Littlepurpleprincess Tue 09-Jun-09 07:57:29

Well this is what I do,

for the first couple of weeks I do abservations, a few longer, planned ones during free play and small, incidental ones, when a child does something new or interesting. There is no set amount or time. Don't write it if it's not helpful.

Then I look at the next steps for each obs. What can I do to reinforce what the child knows and move them on a bit? Write down a few activities/ideas.

When I've got a good few, I transfer the next steps ideas onto a PLOD (there not called this anymore but it's what I'm used too, can't think of new name) so basically, under each EYFS heading I have a list of goals and activities. I also write at the bottom, which are my responsablity to carry out, and which need support at home.

After that, I have each child's PLOD infront of me and transfer those ideas onto a big planning sheet that goes up on my wall.

All activities that come from the obs are written in green. This covers the EYFS, meeting the child's specific needs and interests.

I then look at it and see if there is anything I'm not covering. Or something new I would like to introduce to the children. This is written in blue on the planning sheet and covers "proving a balanced curriculum".

All obs, photos and examples of the children's work is kept in the learning diary.

Once a term or something I fill in the development passport but I think that's something we only do in our area, not sure.

It sounds like an awful lot doesn't it? I found it really hard to get my head around it. I feel like I write down every process that I just do naturally, without realising, as a mother.

Hope this helps. I've just discovered that it helps to write it down or explain it someone else! grin

HSMM Tue 09-Jun-09 07:58:57


Don't forget that EYFS is what you are doing already - letting the children learn through play. You need to make sure they are safe and have some idea of activities to do with them (unless they want to do something completely different). Write down things that are exciting, new, different, worrying, etc and these will be yout observations. Try not to worry.

crace Tue 09-Jun-09 08:08:52

I just am a do-er not this type of person. I have no doubt in my mind that I am a good childminder/mother - I do these things for my own children. Not just doing projects/arts&crafts, but extensions on what they are learning i.e. standing to cruising to hand holding walking to walking to running etc etc but it's the writing it down bit I just don't get.

Thanks Katy the trip out plan/eval is fab thanks very much

LoveMyGirls Tue 09-Jun-09 08:20:45

Crace you sound very like me, I just do things that need to be done but give me a piece of paper to write down what when and how I'm going to do it all and my mind goes completely blank.

I have got some risk assesments.
I have got a folder with a daily sheet for each child, I put photos and statements in there when I get a chance.
Planning - I make sure we get out everyday to places that offer plenty of learning opportuinities (toddler groups/ garden/ farm/ museum/ soft play/ shops/ science places/ nature places/ parks etc) I make sure I rotate the toys/ buy or borrow toys they have a particular interest in at the time. Teach them to socialise with each other. But other than me writing about their day there is no forward planning in writing.

When OFSTED come and that's not good enough then honestly it's tough because it's all I have the time to do without losing my sanity and giving up sleep. Rather a happy relaxed childminder that wants to have fun with the dc's than a stressed overworked one imo.

crace Tue 09-Jun-09 08:31:09

LMG - yep, you've hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I do. Everything is a learning opportunity, and I am very much a see what today brings type gal. I rotate toys based on what I have "planned" in my head, books but everyday has an outing of some type and obviously we learn about road safety, talk about nature and things we see etc etc. I am much more comfortable with this type of teaching.

I may just have to do the minimum of keeping a folder on each child, daily diary and pictures, daily childminding sheet of what we did, risk assessments and my long term planning theme sheet may just have to do..

HSMM Tue 09-Jun-09 09:44:08

Littlepurpleprincess - I could just imagine the look on my husband's face if he came home and found a big planning sheet up on the wall! grin (he'd probably put one of his own up next to it - cleaning, cooking for family, making room in the fridge for family food, clearing out toys, emptying the garden, so he can get a lawnmower up and down, etc)

crace Tue 09-Jun-09 11:06:08

HSMM - me too, as it is I have all my things on pin boards that get put away nightly and brought back out.

southernbelle77 Tue 09-Jun-09 12:50:53

I really feel for you Crace. I am seriously thinking about jacking it all in when I go on maternity leave. I haven't got my head around any of the EYFS stuff and I really don't want to. I know that I do all the things I should be doing, but it's all the written rubbish I've not got my head around.

Good luck with it all and I'm sure the other wonderful cm's on here will help you out.

holdingittogether Tue 09-Jun-09 13:23:57

The only formal written planning I do is a weekly plan of ideas for activities for each day. So Monday might say toddlers in the morning and park after school. Tuesday, painting and jigsaw puzzles etc etc etc. I don't stick to it all the time it's just a starting point and to encourage me to think about what i'm doing and make sure I am not doing the same things everyday. My ofsted inspector was quite happy with that, infact i got a good. I do write ideas for future activities in the children's folders but don't say when I will do it. I personally think a "go with the flow" "child led" approach is best for children. The children each have a folder in which I put photos, obs and their pictures. I update them each month and sometimes I have lots to put in and other times not much. i try and do 1 or 2 obs per month.
I will admit I do the minimum when it comes to paperwork. I will admit I need to review my policies etc as it is over a year since I last did, it's just finding the time.....

looneytune Tue 09-Jun-09 14:36:56

Crace hunny, I sooooo know how you feel!! We had our babies around the same time right??? Well, this is how it went for me:

- heard all about EYFS launching whilst pregnant. Couldn't get my head round it, went to training etc, said to myself that I'd use my 12 weeks maternity leave to get up to scratch

- who was I kidding!!! Had one and half weeks before ds2 was born and you know what.....I was just too knackered to get my head round it. Read the pack but it wasn't sinking in. Told myself things would settle down and I still had about 10 weeks until I was due to start back at work.

- 1st September, EYFS launches. This is also my very first day back at work. Still no idea what I was doing but noting down on post its anything worth noting (x put own cardy on, y fastened shoes, z said xyz and so on) but that's as far as I got. I told myself I WOULD get my head round it SHORTLY

- kept trying to read the pack and get my head around it but ds2 was so young still and was waking every 2/3 hours for a feed and I was just worn out every evening. Was hard enough going back to work with a 10 wk old of my own and in total, 4 x under 18 month olds, a 4 yr old and a 5 yr old - obviously the little ones needed resettling etc. and I decided after that, I WOULD get time to work all this out.

- fast forward to today.......ds2 has his first birthday next week and guess what.....I've STILL not sorted it all out!!! I've had things emailed to me (thanks so much to these lovely ladies who sent me stuff!!) but I just can't get my head around it all, think I need to see proper examples and stuff. I'm now going to see HSMM later in the week to see what she does and see if once and for all I can get a system in place.

Having said all the above, I'm totally with LMGs, I DO want to sort this out and I DO get so stressed about it but I'm going to try and keep it as short and simple as possible as otherwise, I'll just want to quit (have thought this many times since coming back).

Sorry, that was a load of waffle but I just wanted to reassure you that you're not alone. I'd have found it hard enough anyway but with a young baby and working 7.30/8 - 6 Mon-Fri, I just don't seem to have the time or energy for it all right now. I seem to spend most of my weekends doing paperwork and work related stuff and my poor family are suffering enough without all this.

I'm really hoping, like I'm sure you are, that I can get a simple system in place which I feel comfortable with and then I can stop stressing so much. Will email you if I get there grin

Good luck hun but don't stress too much, it simply isn't worth it. All of my families would rather I carry on with their children as I always have, they don't feel they need EYFS to show I'm a good childminder, they know I do it all anyway, it's just not on paper as I'm rubbish at that side of things!!!!

crace Tue 09-Jun-09 15:20:05

Righto LT, when you get back from HSMM you send me an example too!

Yes, same timeframe - George was 1 on the 23rd May, was and still is a bad sleeper.

Thanks guys, I do feel a lot better about it.. much rather look after them properly than this stuff. But heyho. I do very much appreciate the support. x

looneytune Tue 09-Jun-09 16:23:18

Will do grin

I feel bad as that post was a bit me, me, me. It was meant to show you that I know how hard it is and that even all this time since being back, I've still not got the hang of it so not to worry TOO much

A belated Happy Birthday to George!! xx

atworknotworking Tue 09-Jun-09 16:48:53

Can I hijack a bit blush

I'm a bit hmm with this too changed my sheets 3 times since Sept and think I've finally found a way thats simple (ish). I do a lot of mine retrospectively as well and link it up with the mindees day books.

But can I just ask KatyMac (if you don't mind) can you tell me what the EYFS coding is please ? is it the Early Learning Goal's for example

PSED 1. continue to be interested, excited and motivated to learn

This is something that I've always been confused about, and can't seem to get an answer when I ask anyone, thisis what i link my obs too, so I'm really hoping it's right sad

CRACE sorry for hijacking your thread I'm really sorry that your'e feeling this way, I did a lot too, still not 100% what I'm doing is right and covers all the bits it should, but I do feel a bit better now that I've finally found a system that works for me, I was just overcomplicating it too much and my hed was just battered. There are some lovely people on here and I'm sure they will help you get sorted.

atworknotworking Tue 09-Jun-09 16:53:07

CRACE my DD is called Georgia (but we always call her George after her late GGdad) her birthday is 23 May too!

Littlepurpleprincess Wed 10-Jun-09 08:02:29

lol HSMM. We have a conservsatory that is only used for childminding (like a playroom) and I have a desk in the corner. The planning sheet is A3. It's not HUGE. And I definatly wouldn't have it in my living room!

I think I'm just a bit funny. I like to write everything down and make lists and label and colour code things. It helps me to sort things out in my head IYSWIM. But we are all different. The EYFS is open to interpretation so don't worry, you can do things your way.

KatyMac Wed 10-Jun-09 08:31:59

Sorry missed this

I have given each area of L&D a letter and each element n each card a number so when I link I just write 3 or 4 digits rather than a phrase eg

L&D Dispositions & attitudes is A
A Unique Child: Child Development:A Skilful Communicator:Make a Positive Contribution is 1.13

I'll email it to you - if you send me an email

HSMM Wed 10-Jun-09 09:46:08

Katymac - I thought about doing something like this, but when they change the system completely (again grin) my codes would make no sense, so I have written the areas as words instead. They make more sense to the parents when looking at the obs, but it does add to the repetitive strain on my hands writing it all!

KatyMac Wed 10-Jun-09 11:09:56

I just include a sheet in the child's folder

My parents really like it

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