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I am going to be moving from year six to start a foudnation stage unit in September. We currently have a nursery class and a reception class but due to falling roles will need to have one unit. I need any information anyone can offer on running a unit please; planning, assessing, grouping, differentiation etc.

 

All contributions will be accepted with greatful thanks. I have been a nursery nurse and have some ideas, but things have changed dramatically since then.

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Hi Charlie37

Just wanted to say welcome to the forum. Wow, what a change for you!! How are you feeling about it all-excited and nervous at the same time I bet!

I don't know if you have found any of the discussions already on the site but there are some ideas which you can find here.

Good luck with it all and let us know how you are getting on. And, of course, if you need to know anything just ask-I'm sure somebody will be able to come up with ideas for you.

Linda

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Hi Charlie 37 & welcome,

how exciting! but a big move for you so hope you don't suffer too much "culture shock".

 

Are you the deputy head too?

If you were NNEB trained I don't think you'll have too much trouble, it will all come back to you and I think the wheel is spinning full circle. So you may find you're coming back to where you went out depending on the time scale, of course.

 

Keep asking the questions! I'm not sure that there are actually many of us involved in FS units, but others are asking questions too. I quite fancy that challenge but its not the way forward here at the moment.

 

Good luck.

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I would: Find out who your early years advisory team are, and get in touch with them. Ask them if they have any schools they know of who are working well, not necessarily as a unit. Ask your head for time to visit, this is professional development support. Are you having a performance management meeting before the end of term? Maybe it could be within this.

Talk to the current staff about what works and what they would change if they had a magic wand. Have a brain storm about possible solutions. Nursery nurses and support staff are good to talk to because they often observe a lot about the organisational things. How things are organised on a micro class level could be expanded with some thinking onto a macro unit level. Consider: time for strategies with Reception, breaks/dinner times, staffing levels and ratios, differentiating for a 3-5 age range within the topic headings, how will the unit plan, assess and report to parents? Will you have a key worker system ?

Have a look at the SPEEL research and the EPPE research. They are the current major thinkings in research into EY's. Also have a look at "Excellence and Enjoyment" as foundation is now part of the primary strategy. This will arm you with back up when discussing how you want it to be with staff who don't really know about FS.

Get the FS documentation and have a good look at it.

Last but not least use your influence within KS1 and KS2 to demonstrate what a valuable and worthwhile key stage this is!!!! Good luck!

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Great advice there Catma.

Hi Charlie, Ill add my welcome to the others, sounds like an exciting time ahead for you. I have worked in a unit twice, but dont at the moment, but if there was any way I could return to this way of working in my current school, then I would.! The children gained so much from working in this way.

I hope you have found the previous discussions that Linda pointed you towards. When you have had time to peruse, pop back with some more questions. :o

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:D Thank you all for the welcome. I have been a member of an on-line forum before, and I can say the responses were not so quick, so many thanks. I will start to search through the sites you have recommended and also visit examples of good practice within my LEA.

 

I have got to do my first round of home visits next week for the first time in 12 years. I should know what to look for etc. but as you have pointed out above, yes I am nervous. I am sure that things will start to flood back, I have only been teaching 7 years and all of that time has been spent in KS2, but I know my NNEB and DPQS (advanced NNEB training) will stand me in good stead.

 

Again many thanks for all the advice and support.

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