On Friday 20th November I was lucky enough to attend the EYFS conference in Birmingham town. I treated myself to an extra 15 minutes in bed and then had to suffer, what I can only describe as a human smarties tube ride on the train to Birmingham.
When booking the course I had to choose three sessions to attend. I chose ‘Cognitive Development’, ‘Outstanding Leadership’ and ‘Closing the Achievement Gap’.
We had a brief introduction with Pam Mundy (an international EYFS consultant) who shed some light on the new EYFS OFSTED grading… EYFS teachers across the room were scribbling like crazy at this point. She then went on to speak about government and the current issues that are having impact on us. I became more enlightened on the Two Year old situation and then about the funding we will have for nursery children soon too.
Being an OFSTED inspector herself, Pam did a great job at putting us at ease. An open discussion took place on OFSTED and what we fear when we get the phone call. She identified that sometimes we do something because ‘it’s what OFSTED wants’ rather than’ it’s what our children need’.
By the end of her talk, I left the room feeling confident in what I do for my children and could justify why I do what I do and talk about the impact it has had on my phase and class.
We then moved onto our chosen sessions, my first was cognitive development. This session was my favourite of them all… It reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher, I love to see children learn!
We spoke about the processes that children go trough when they learn something, what chemical reactions take place when something new is learnt etc. It was truly inspiring! We were shown a series of photographs of children playing/taking part in an activity in an EYFS setting … The question given was ‘what is happening here?’. To the naked eye, it would seem the children were playing… WRONG… The children were all partaking and engaged in high level learning. It was just brilliant to see!
It left me wondering, are my lessons, activities and provisions (indoor and outdoor) stimulating my children like the children I saw on those photographs? ? Something for me to look out for Monday!