Looking Forwards and Backwards
18 August 2017
Reflections of the last Pre-School year a bit later this year. A lot has happened, nothing bad, but some changes. I have fortunately low staff turnover, but each year brings a few new members. This is good in both settings. Fresh thoughts, ambitious ideas and moulding new unqualified staff into best practice. Not indoctrinating however! We don't want to stifle enthusiasm! New ideas have led to new ideas in the garden, challenging our gender stereotypes and further developing a more impromptu planning structure.
What's the impact is always the key question? More learning opportunities for the children, and more asking the children what they want rather than ploughing into our own agenda. We are exploring Teh Whariki approach to learning stories and “What next” rather than next steps. This opens up the learning rather than channelling towards one result from a narrow next step…impact will show in progress made.
Gender challenge has come from a young member of staff. Interesting debates and discussions are ongoing, but it's interesting to see a BBC documentary looking at the exact same thing. I also had an interesting email conversation with Alistair Bryce Clegg (who I stalk from time, and he always inspires!) to talk about abolishing stereotypical dressing up after noticing a bit of an addiction to princess dresses, and many arguments over who was wearing which outfit, none of which had much to do with productive role play.
A huge thing is that after years of working with me, both my managers left! Aaaghhh you may think! But again all good. Although I will sorely miss my lovely managers I have two fabulous replacements. As always I have had great support from my most local EY consultant Laura Henry. Quick tip-Always surround yourself by supportive people. Quick plug for Laura's newest idea offering Early Years staff membership to support, useful documents and more at an extremely reasonable price! Keep an eye on her website.
So a great year, looking forward to the next as my new managers find their feet and we develop ideas we started last year, and develop fresh ideas for next.