Thursday, 6 July 2017

Early Years Experts

I’ve read a few blog posts lately, some from secondary school teachers, arguing that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) should include more formal learning and a greater focus on teaching knowledge. Now, I’m no EYFS expert so I tend to refrain from telling my knowledgeable colleagues how they should go about teaching the children in their care. I am, however, very keen to learn more about Early Years, hence the reason I became a  primary school governor and why I engage so readily with thoughtful people on Twitter. That aside, as an early career researcher I thought it might be worth conducting a small-scale research project with two people who are best placed to comment on EY education; my own two children. Below you will find the full (unedited) transcripts of my interviews with Aneirin (Nye), aged 5 ½ and Osian (Osh), aged 3 ½...

Aneirin's turn:

Me: What school do you go to:

Nye: Oldfield

Me: Who's the head teacher?

I’m not saying anything about that. He supports Everton. They are the worst team ever.

Me: Fair enough. Which class are you in?

Nye: Reception.

Me: What do you like most about reception?

Eating lunch...playing with my friends...teachers.

Me: What do you least like about it?

Nothing. I love everyting. Except…ermm…nothing.

Me: What do you learn about in reception?

I learn about lots of writing words...why I like reception...I wish I could stay in reception forever but we’ll be big Years 1s soon.

Me: How do you learn?

You have to listen…you can’t just guess you need to figure it out.

Me: So, what's phonics all about?

It’s like when they teach you words.

Me: Such as? 

*Makes some strange sounds and even stranger facial expressions* 

Me: Do you like reading?

Nye:’s fun to read.

Me: Cool. So, what's ''busy time'?

It’s like when you play but no running around. You walk around and do stuff. Like the blocks, the Play D’oh. playing.

Me: What do you think would make reception better?

Nye: Nothing...I can’t describe anything to make reception better...It’s already the best class ever.

Me: Are you looking forward to Year 1?

Nye: No...I don’t want to leave reception.  

Me: Any other comments:

No. Can I have my pound now?

Osian's turn...

Me: Which class are you in?

Osh: Pre-school, poo! 

Me: What do you like about pre-school?

Osh: Pooey pie.  

Me: Is there anything you don't like about it? 

Hitting my face like this (hits face)

Me: What do you learn about?

Sit down on the carpet...stage..pooey pants.  

Me: What would you like to do more of in pre-school?

Osh: Toys.

Me: Are you excited about going to reception next year? 


Me: Why?

Osh: Play with cars. 

Me: Do you want to say anything else? 

Osh: Cake...Teapots...Spoon and milk...

So, after consulting the experts I can confidently say that the Early Years Foundation Stage involves a fixation with poo, a love of playing and reading and that Everton aren't worth supporting...

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