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Am I a sloppy mother for not giving a stuff about EYFS and OFSTED nonsense?

(15 Posts)
nancerama Sat 27-Apr-13 12:27:10

So, the hunt for a preschool has begun, and my brain is totally addled already. All the settings seem eager to impress with displays of spider diagrams and PowerPoint slides showing how well they apply the EYFS and how much planning and reporting they do, and how impressed OFSTED are with their enormous papertrail.

I just want to leave DS somewhere where he will be safe and happy, where he will learn to socialise with adults and children, where he will learn when it's time to be quiet and listen and when it's fine to storm about like a mad thing, how to share and turn take and have a sense of community before going onto big school. How and did all this form filling and box ticking come to take over all the good stuff? Do other parents really care about it (the fact that some babies go on the waiting list when they are still in the womb, suggests they do).

The world of work is full of target setting, appraisals, planning and documentation. It just feels too soon to be slapping those measurements onto a 3 year old.

wonderingagain Sat 27-Apr-13 12:32:54

You don't really have to care about these measures and appraisals, but bear in mind that they are only there because some childcare for early years in the past was fairly rubbish. It's just a way to assess how the children and the settings are getting on.

I would recommend going with the setting where you will get on with the other families there, those with the best outside space and preferably state run nurseries where staff are usually better trained than in private settings. I have tried both and the state run settings took learning through play very seriously and were more able to adapt to childrens different needs and styles (ie not constantly nagging the boisterous ones and letting them go outside at will, not pushing anxious children into situations they couldn't handle).

The more play the better, the more free time the better.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 27-Apr-13 12:35:40

they will still do the good stuff, they don't make the children tick boxes and make spider charts

nancerama Sat 27-Apr-13 12:44:58

I think what made me sad was this OFSTED outstanding place had 3 massive boards dedicated to explaining EYFS and how they were applying it to the children's learning. Small A boards on every table detailing how each activity fitted into the EYFS and what the children learn from each activity, but not a single piece of artwork on display that the children themselves had done. It seemed rather odd, like everything was set up for the benefit of impressing the parents rather than for the benefit of the children.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 12:54:55

No IMO you are not a sloppy mother . I speak as an ex EY teacher\nanny\CM and mum of 3. IMO and E the most important aspect of EY is how caring the teacher\assistant is.The only way you can find out is by staying for a whole session in your preferred nursery. Paperwork does not make an environment happy or fruitful.

I've been in too many schools where the teachers and assistants are mean and unpleasant. Even to lovely little responsive 3 yr olds and it makes my heart break actually.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 13:01:52

I'll never forget doing supply in a yr.1 class where the 'art' lesson was looking at pix by Van Gogh of sunflowers and effing copying them into a small book of plain paper shock

ExRatty Sat 27-Apr-13 13:10:10

i think letting them muck about is the way to go

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 13:50:35

Precisely exratty

wonderingagain Sat 27-Apr-13 22:12:27

You should ask them why there is nothing on the walls - there may be a valid reason.

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 09:50:21

Maybe there is nothing on the wall because the children are too busy, you know, playing?
Not every creative experience is captured on paper.

TiggyD Sat 04-May-13 11:43:32

Sounds like a chain I did supply for. There were a few small boards for children's work. Instead of the large boards you get at most nurseries they had massive (4 foot square) photos of children doing things and looking happy.
Just say no. Ofsted grades don't mean much. Go by the ethos of the nursery. Find a child centred one with staff that are happy and like children and show a bit of passion about childcare.

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:47:14

* Find a child centred one with staff that are happy and like children and show a bit of passion about childcare.*

Sounds so simple. But, funnily enough, not always that easy to find.

TiggyD Sat 04-May-13 11:53:26

I know. Doing supply I've worked in about 20 in the last year and a bit. Half are crap with unhappy staff doing endless paperwork. Most of the rest are a bit 'meh' and only a couple I would send my own children to. (If I had any)

MortifiedAdams Sat 04-May-13 11:58:59

meh, they want your dc to go there so they get the funding. Its a business at the end of the day.

My most important factor when choosing primary is which secondary it feeds into so.if they dont get into a chosen one, they at least go to a decebt feeder.

lborolass Sat 04-May-13 12:14:27

That's really cynical Mortified - IME admittedly of only 3 different EY settings I'm certain that none of them had the funding as their main reason for being there.

Would you leave your child in a primary school that wasn't right for them for 7 years just so they could go to a particular secondary school? I've never come across that as a reason before (disclaimer, I live in a county where nearly all the secondary schools are pretty good so I may be naive about that).

OP - I also wouldn't worry to much about the box ticking as long as your child seems happy, you can get on with the staff and there are no other red flags.

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