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...
Me: What school do you go to:
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?
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: Yes...it’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. Activities...like 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?
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?
Me: Are you excited about going to reception next year?
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...