Newsletter 1 July 2020
Dear Members of the Early Childhood Forum,
We are delighted to bring you the first of our regular newsletters. This is one of our new initiatives as we reflect and develop ways of communicating with ECF members post lockdown.
In our first online Zoom meeting, held on 9 June, Sue Palmer shared with us the work of Upstart in Scotland. We learned about the significant successes Upstart has had with the extension of early years up to the age of seven. Her experiences were particularly helpful as this is also the focus of the ECF campaign for this year. Please share the flyer we produced with your members.
ECF future meetings
Participants felt that the meeting was of good length, it started at the usual time of 11am and lasted for about an hour. As we do not anticipate the current situation will change significantly, and, as we appreciate that many of you may not be keen on travelling to London, we are proposing holding virtual meetings during the next academic year. Each meeting will present a specific theme which may be introduced by one or two invited guests.
We have made initial plans for the next three meetings; the exact dates and speakers will be finalised soon. We will try to stay with Tuesdays for our meeting days.
Our proposed themes are:
July (21July tbc)
The EYFS review and the new Development Matters – Speaker Nancy Stewart
September (preferably last week of the month)
Returning to Early Years Settings/school– sharing experiences of practitioners
November (provisional date 10th November tbc)
Babies’ and Mothers’ mental health – reporting on 1001 Days
We hope to bring you the finalised dates in our next newsletter; and we would also like to know if there are any topics or themes you would be keen to explore as we go forward into 2021.
The need to increase the membership fee was discussed in the March meeting, when the Steering Group made the recommendation for a significant increase. The reasons for this increase were explained during the meeting and therefore our 2020/21 membership fee will be £120. The invoices have already been sent. We would like to assure members that we have not taken this step lightly and have already started to reduce expenses relating to the Steering Group meetings by conducting them virtually. We are also actively searching for new members and we would welcome any suggestions you may have to extend the membership. The fact that we are not planning for face-to-face meetings during the next academic year should also contribute towards the general expenses for your organisation’s membership in the Forum.
Please notify George Solly, email address: - firstname.lastname@example.org our administrator whose support we very much appreciate, of any events or publications you would like to share with the members. You can also contribute to future newsletters by suggesting topics for discussion or links to information relevant to our group. In short, help us to make the newsletter interesting.
With our best wishes to you all as we gradually emerge out of lockdown and are able to connect with friends, colleagues and families.
Tricia Johnson and Barbara Isaacs
on behalf of the Steering Group
ECF meeting summary for KEYU:
General Meeting held in London 6 June 2019
Fiona Evans - School Programmes for the National Literacy Trust:
The NLT undertake the largest survey of children’s views on reading and writing.
They create and provide unique programmes of literacy. For example, in early years these include:
Early Worlds Together
Everyone Ready for School.
These are providing home learning and support for families to improve social mobility funded by the DfE and its partners who are charities, companies etc. They describe these as a “creative antidote” to government agendas.
Their Twitter account links to their regular newsletter and free research and down-loadables.
They are trying to reframe phonics as a ‘silver bullet’ resulting from the APPG on phonics with the help of Kate Nation, Jessie Ricketts and Jean Gross.
Working on upskilling teachers and practitioners as to language delay especially in impoverished areas of the country. The ‘word gap’ is now believe to be increasing by 60% of secondary teachers whilst others believe it is an experience gap.
NLS believe it will only improve when the following exists:
Jill Robinson More than a Score:
Linked with Save our Schools.
Helen Moylett- Cultural Capital:
Ali Jaffer-Social Mobility Commission: