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  1. #1
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    Default Bold beginnings - Ofsted's most unpopular...

    ... report to date!

    Here's a letter in today's Guardian signed by over 1700 influential early years professionals calling for Ofsted to withdraw it's 'flawed' 'Bold Beginnings' report -

    Ofsted’s Bold Beginnings report on reception class curriculum is flawed | Letters | Education | The Guardian

    Did you read it? Not good at all our poor children

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    It is so sad,

    I spent most of my early career fighting to get play acknowledged as a vital part of the way young children learn, the opening reviews on the school’s that are considered by Ofsted to be good, squash this in one page!

    To be fair, this type of summary has been coming for ages, especially since the renewed vigour for phonics ( that can be taught successfully through play).

    There has always been an issue around transition into year 1 and the two ways of assessing not lining up so schools can’t track from day 1 of reception. But this is suggesting we just pay lip service to EYFS and concentrate on getting them at a level in lit and maths that is equal to a year one achievement....not think about how it can align....all about assessment not about the child and how they learn. Where the rest of the world starts school in earnest at 6 we are bringing it to 4....it hints at changing compulsory school age too. The absolute focus on two areas only is scary.

    I know you can do both, EYFS play and discovery led and focus on reading and writing but it is not easy. The average reception class teacher would rather teach read write inc and sit down lessons because it is easier to plan than a play and discovery led curriculum where you have to plan creatively and constantly be on the ball as to who is progressing by your observations and interactions in activities. The paper does highlight the lack of skills and knowledge some reception teachers have.
    I had a LO who went on to a high achieving private school - the expectations were that she would be a year ahead of expected state school achievements and she was tested to check if she was clever enough. She was not my brightest child. I prepared her...through well planned play opportunities, she was a thinker, a discover through play child, she made rapid progress. She breezed into the school. I did not feel she was a year ahead, but she was enthusiastic to learn. She went to a private nurseryof another, not so high achieving private school - with a great creative curriculum on two days who introduced reading in a fun way and I continued this on my days, checking the focus phonics of the week and planning activities to revisit them with me through cross curricular areas.
    She will achieve in this hot house of learning she has gone too because her characteristics of learning were well established...not because she knew how to decipher words...because she didn’t at this stage. The test she did was problem solving led, through set up activities and the teacher questioning. They were looking for signs of innate intelligence, a thinking brain...
    On the same day that this letter was published I noted that it was also suggested that 5 year olds are also taught about the dangers of knife crime, where does that fit into bold beginnings.

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    I read the tweet from Ofsted

    Check out @HarfordSean’s Tweet: Twitter
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    By the simple two-word expedient of 'school readiness', we can now expect anything that Ofsted foists on reception classes to soon filter down to the pre-school Years.

    I wonder if those who insisted on CMs gaining the status of Ofsted Registration realised this would be their legacy within barely a decade. Excessive regulation, increased (unpaid) workload, higher costs, over-education, and now the beginning of the end for play. Why not just come right out and abolish childhood altogether?

 

 

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