A half term to reflect

As we all move finish our half term break, it is a good time to reflect on what is going well and we would still like to implement in line with the new EYFS and our updated curriculums.

These are the questions I have been asking myself and other members of staff about how they feel about the changes and how we are embedding the EYFS 2021.

What is working well?

I am loving the increased flexibility of the new EYFS. I feel like I have been given an opportunity to redesign the curriculum to make it immersive, engaging and adapted to my children and their needs. The reduction in paperwork- particularly in terms of assessment has allowed me to feel that I have gained more time to reflect on where I will take children and how I will scaffold their future learning, as opposed to “boxing” children in regards to their next steps.

Evidence

In terms of evidencing, this is still very much a work in progress… there are so many “partners” who are invested in what should be recorded and how often. Personally, as a teacher and an EYFS lead, I would like to go down a route that relied on an online journal for significant moments and supportive observations, alongside a learning journal style folder or book for children’s recording. However, this approach is not what has historically been done and SLT may find this difficult as it does not marry up to the rest of school. Parents are also a huge component in the evidencing process, they are key partners and we want to involve and engage them with their children’s learning, and particularly in light of the pandemic, it is vital that we find a straight forward way to support these interactions. How are you doing things in your setting?

I also think that we need to ensure that ALL staff are feeling confident in the new curriculum and however that looks in your setting. For me that involves cascading information and delivering training to teaching assistants and ensuring that SLT and subject leaders know and understand the focus of the EYFS and the curriculum developed. For others, I know this involves undertaking more training themselves and ensuring all their staff are feeling they understand the new curriculum and things will work in their setting.

Remember… it’s a marathon and not a sprint!

We cannot expect that all settings are going to be fully prepared and implementing the EYFS 2021, straight out of the gates in September, this is a marathon and not a sprint. We are all on a journey and at different stages. It is for us to set small goals and decide on our priorities, implementing small steps and altering our approach as we grow and reflect. 2020/2021 has been a tough couple of years for us all and these changes are an added pressure amongst a complex minefield of challenges- go easy on yourselves and take things a step at a time.

Ask for help and guidance as you need it

There are so many support networks you can be a part of… social media, internet groups, local authority hubs, etc. It can all be overwhelming, but hopefully you’ve been able to reflect on what has gone well and your next steps.

Supportive documents are always available in the “Learning Packs” and can now be searched using the new search tool. If you’re not sure what you need, or want some guidance- please pop me a message on the socials or via the contact page and I will do my best to help.

As always, you do you!

Emma x