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EYPSf guidelines

Introduction and House Rules

Many information sites for the Early Years Foundation Stage exist. But none focus so heavily on encouraging their users to gather together and share experiences, knowledge, opinions and other aspects of this most fascinating stage of education. We want you to come to this forum prepared to offer help, as well as receive it, to meet up with people you already know, as well as to make connections with new friends. We want you to use this online community as you would a club; to gain support when you need it, and to offer it when you see others struggling.

And to use the community in this way requires accepting responsibilities. In a physical gathering of friends and colleagues there will be disagreements and differing points of view. We expect this. But it is all to easy, when you're not in the same room as someone else, to become dismissive, abusive or sarcastic in your responses (a kind of online 'Road Rage'). Please try to avoid this, and follow the guidelines laid out below.

The best way to stifle a debate is to respond too heavily to someone who has ventured a cautious opinion. We're all involved and care deeply about the subject so let's respect differences of opinion. For the reasons being discussed here, this community is moderated (which just means that someone is responsible for regularly checking new messages and withdrawing any that are not felt to conform to the house rules. In our experience (five plus years with the Foundation Stage Forum), this happens vanishingly rarely - less than a dozen posts have been deleted - three of them from the same ex-member!

Should you feel any abuse of the Forum has occurred, please let us know, by email or PM, to any moderators or via this email link. We will quickly check the problem and respond to you.

There will be many visiting these pages who have not joined in an online discussion before.. If you are one of these people, please be welcome (and please introduce yourself in our introductions forum!). If you come across one of these new members, please welcome them - in a week's time, they may be offering you help with one of your issues!

You will already have subscribed and registered before reading these guidelines. If you have not already done so, it would be good if you can fill out some of your details in your personal profile. This is purely because it is easier to encourage relationships between regular users and contributors when you know a little about them. We will not use this information in any commercial way. Only other members are able to see any details from your profile. If you feel more comfortable using an abbreviated or 'pen' name, that's fine, although we do ask you to supply a correct email address. The email address is not visible either to visitors or members. The forum system allows you to maintain this privacy unless you decide to directly email another member.

Once you have begun, their may be specific aspects of posting, replying or configuring your own settings that you are unsure of. We have some tips and 'FAQs' here which may answer your questions. If not, contact us and we'll help and possibly add the answer to your query to the tips and faqs page.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and participate! If there are things important to you which aren't covered, start a new topic. If you think it deserves a new forum of its own, contact us. This is your community. Make it do what you want it to!