Holly Spring Infant and Nursery School
Specialism: Early Years Foundation Stage and Phonics
Support Phase: Early Years and Key Stage 1
I have been working in Foundation Stage for 6 years now and in that time I have seen many changes in the Early Years Foundation Stage and the expectations of children when they leave Early Years. These changes, I believe, have caused a lot of practitioners to return to more formal methods to ensure, in their minds, that children progress at an acceptable pace. Through my role as a moderator, for the Local Authority, I have met with Early Years teams that feel this way and I have tried to help them see that these new Early Learning Goals can still be achieved through following a true Early Years ethos. I believe that this can be done by promoting independent learning, developing child led planning, creating quality provisions and nurturing creativity and high levels of motivation. I would like to participate in system leadership as I would like to support schools and Early Years teams to recognise that they can support children and ensure they progress through the Early Learning Goals while maintaining a creative, fun and child led practice as I believe that it is only when we harness learning to the children’s interests that we truly see them flourish and develop to create a well-rounded learner.
I also believe that with these changes in the Early Years Profile, Early Years teams are feeling pressured to generate data and she progress in line with the systems that are used across the other Key Stages. This is predominately a pressure that is put on Early Years teams by Head teachers and assessment coordinators in schools who, themselves, do not understand the Profile completely and how it can be used to show progress and attainment for Ofsted and be used as a tool for creating a baseline in Year 1. I would like to support these leaders in understanding what it possible within Early Years so that they can support their teams rather than adding pressure.
Personally, I am interested in system leadership as I feel that a great way to develop ourselves is to support others. I have been a leader for some years now and I am looking at my next steps in my own professional journey and I feel that this experience would provide me with a wider knowledge and breadth of experience.