Governor Blog Katrina Ralston Staff Governor

Date: 5th Apr 2022 @ 3:49pm

Hello! It is my pleasure to be writing this blog as a Staff Governor.  I have been part of Boughton Heath’s Governing Body for 3 years and I have been part of the team pushing the school forwards. 

My role in school is Early Years Lead, which to families translates to Reception teacher.  It is my job to deliver the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  As of September 2021, a revised framework came into force bringing about some changes for the Early Years. 

When we talk about the EYFS we include all children aged from Birth to 5 years. The framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children. 

As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework gives mums and dads confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.  At Boughton Heath we work closely with all pre-school settings to give children best transition and continuation of this framework. 

The changes have been made to bridge the gap between the EYFS and National Curriculum.  Below is guidance on the changes that have been made.  Most of the changes are regarding Learning and Development, with some minor adjustments to Safeguarding and Welfare. 

Changes to Safeguarding and Welfare

The changes to Safeguarding and Welfare are largely wording based. For example, “Local Safeguarding Children’s Board” has been changed to “Local Safeguarding Partners” to reflect some recent change in structure.  A requirement for promoting the good oral health of children has been added.  A specific requirement for promoting staff and children’s online safety has been added. This reflects the technological advances we have made since the EYFS was last reformed in 2012.

Changes to Learning and Development – Educational Programmes

There is an emphasis on improving children’s language and vocabulary through increasing opportunities for conversations, reading of a wide range of books and holding discussions around activities in other areas of learning.  Literacy and numeracy skills focused on in the EYFS have been adapted to better match up with the national curriculum that starts in year 1. There is no longer an exceeding judgement at the end of reception. Children will instead be challenged to have a greater depth and understanding of ideas.

The Educational Programmes give depth to learning and at the end of the year children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.  These are divided in to 7 areas of learning. The ‘Prime’ areas form the basis for all learning, and the ‘Specific’ areas build on those skills and broaden children’s understanding, experiences and knowledge

These changes and the removal of the requirement for a lot of evidence-based tracking means that we have made some adjustments to the way we observe, assess and plan for each and every child in our care. We work hard to ensure we know your children extremely well.  We observe their play, development and interests, we assess what they know and what we want them to learn and then we plan activities and provision which will extend their understanding.  All of these things are done by using our understanding of child development and our knowledge of your child as an individual person.

It has been such a lovely start to the year spending more time with the children, developing language and scaffolding learning.   I am in such a privileged position teaching Reception – Early Years paves the way for future success!

Katrina Ralston

Staff Governor

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Boughton Heath AcademyBeckett's Lane, Chester, CH3 5RW

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Cheshire Academies Trust.

Acting Executive Headteacher | Jon Lenton

Acting Head of School | Sally Sumnall

Chair of Governors | Kate Lee

SENDCO | Susan Gell