OFSTED published their annual report today (13th December) which reiterates the conclusions from the 'Bold Beginings' review of teaching and learning in the reception year, published at the end of November, that the EYFS framework needs to be reviewed to put a greater emphasis on reading and mathematics.
This has drawn strong criticism from Neil Leitch, the Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, who believes that OFSTED should remember what its role is and what the role of early years education is.
Neil Leitch said
“It’s very positive to see the passion and quality of early years providers reflected in the continued improvement of Ofsted ratings with 94% of providers now rated good or outstanding – an increase of 20 per cent in five years.
“However, in the midst of these excellent results, it is incredibly disappointing that, even in light of the vast criticism of the recent Bold Beginnings report, Ofsted still sees fit to criticise EYFS as failing to prepare children for KS1.
Let's be clear: the purpose of the EYFS should never be about "preparing" children for formal schooling. It should be about fostering a love of learning through supporting the broad range of skills, such as physical development and personal, social and emotional development, that children need in order to flourish – both inside and outside of school.
“In recent years, Ofsted has been very clear that its role is one of an independent inspectorate focused on assessing the quality of education providers, not dictating the best way to teach and support learning. It is both confusing and concerning, therefore, to see such a sudden shift towards advocating alongside government for a radical move away from accepted best early years practice and towards the 'schoolifcation' of the early years - and one that Ofsted would be well-advised to reconsider."
Parents of children aged under 6 can also apply with effect from 24th November 2017.
On 24 November 2017, HMRC will open the service to parents whose youngest child is under 6 or who has their 6th birthday on that day. Parents can apply online through the childcare service which can be accessed via the Childcare Choices website.
HMRC is also advising that parents who want to utilise 30 free hours of childcare from the new year, that they should apply by the 30th November 2017.
The Ofsted Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, is set to tell a childcare conference today (Wednesday 8th November) that children are not memorising songs such as Jack And Jill or Mary Had A Little Lamb any more, according to a report published in the Sunday Times.
She believes that children are choosing to play iPad games based on cartoon characters instead, however she claims those children that have memorised nursery rhymes by the age of four years old are better at adapting to school.
“It’s a great shame. I imagine most of you could recite The Grand Old Duke Of York. But we can’t say this is the case for children today. Humpty Dumpty may seem old-fashioned, but children who can sing a song and know a story off by heart aged four are better prepared for school. Nursery rhymes provide a collective experience, and teach a little bit of social history to boot.”
Well here at Under5s we have lots of rhyme based resources, for example Fun with Fish based on the rhyme 'One, two, three, four, five,once I caught a fish alive.'. And we will be adding lots more rhymes over the next few weeks. So we are not sure that the Chief Inspector is correct, what do you think ?