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I need some advice.I've been teaching a reception class part-time for five months with no previous experience.I've been slightly disillusioned in that the expectations of the Senior management team and those of the Foundation stage stepping stones seem to be at odds.Teachers are chastised if they don't hear the children read individually three times a week, children are meant to complete a piece of handwriting practice every day.A piece of Breakthrough work has to be done in some form or other every day.We are not allowed to give the children snack indoors as teachers have been told "It's a waste of teaching time."We have book scrutinies every eight weeks so there is more of an emphasis on recording Maths and English.(We even got pulled up on not providing more written work in R.E. last time).There is no outside play area (we share the Nursery's outside play area ) which is out of sight and means we're relying on the Nursery staff to put out equipment.We assess the children's knowledge of sounds and words plus mathematical knowledge every half-term in addition to completeing the Profile.

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First of all Beaker, welcome on board, and thansk for making yourself known to us.

 

Goodness me, when do your children get to play?

You will find many members here who share your difficluties, so you are definately not alone. But your school really does seem to be from the dark ages. Breakthrough-didnt realise that was still going, I rememeber using that about 20 yeasr ago!!

Do you have an adviser that you can call upon to help you?. Sometimes they are very good at putting Heads in the picture (my guess is that you Head has been doing it for years?). Do you have a phase manager who can fight your corner for you? have you tried fighting the corner yourself? Wave the curriculum document under her/his nose, maybe she/he hasnt seen it?

If all these things fail, you have to consider your position and your sanity. Either, go ahead and do things your way, and risk getting the 'chastetisemenet' for it; or go along with what they want; or look for another job. Only you can know which is the better option for you.

do keep coming back, we are very good here at supporting each other and you will find it reassuring to hear other people in the same boat. :o

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Hello Beaker, you are certainly not alone in having the FS ignored. Our local primary is involving all children in Sports reliefe but the sponser forms only refer to key stage groups even though reception are taking part. It's about time the goverment moved on this and started to give the FS the headlines it deserves. Good luck in any decisions you take, I feel you may need it! :o

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH xD:(:(:(

 

Last year my nursery chidlren took part in the key stage 1 sports day. :wacko: Ablostely so acknowledgement of the nursery at all. I had a real tantrum and made sure everyone knew about my displeasure.

I was told 'it's only a heading for the sports day. Let it go. The reception teacher does not mind' But the reception teacher herself WAS the PE and Sports day co-ordinator but did not see herslef as Early Years or Foundation stage but as KS1 !!!!! xD

If youv'e read my contributions to the forum you'll know that i can be real bolshie so it will come as no great :o that this year we are having an EARLY YEARS sports day!!!!!

 

So you must find it really hard to implement the principles of the FS curriculum. My advice would be to get the Early Years advisors in from the LEA.

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HI Beaker and welcome aboard :D

I'm really pleased you've found us!

 

I feel like screaming with frustration for you though as, as you point out Reception really shouldn't look that anymore. Those poor children. Poor you!

This is quite a burden even for year1. Aren't your children climbing the walls, if they aren't then you can feel ressaured that you must be doing something right for them.

When was the last Ofsted inspection? There are clear guidelines as to what the inspectors want to see but unfortunately the latest publication is not very user friendly online and very expensive to purchase. However, even the guidelines in the previous book are more FS friendly that the environmrnt you describe.

 

If the school is set in these ways I think I would be looking for away out.

Are you the only Reception teacher. You indicate this is fairly new to you what/ where have you taught before? Are you temporary or permanent? You also say you're part itme so what does the other teacher think? Together I suppose you might be able to make some waves?!

 

Good luck.

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hi beaker

 

you have my sympathy! I find it very disturbing and frustrating that many senior teachers seem to have little understanding of how young children learn! :o

is there an Early Years advisor/ co-ordinator in your LEA who is responsible for all the schools in the borough? perhaps they could help?

Also remember that the Curriculum for the Foundation Stage is statutory - or rather remind your colleagues of this!

good luck and as other people on the site have already said it is a very supportive and helpful forum.

good luck and don't lose sight of what you know to be right :)

 

Lizz x

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Thanks for all your sympathetic outrage.We do have a year group co-ordinator who is quite experienced but she has given up the fight and has got a job elsewhere.I must admit I've tried 'passive resistance' in that we don't always do Breakthrough or handwriting and they've even been allowed to choose activities in the afternoon!(How else are we going to hear thirty children read individually three times a week).I know Senior Management are also under pressure from the threat of Ofsted which will come probably next term but I don't see why the hoops they hold up for us, and those we hold up for our four year old children, need to be held up quite so high.

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Hi Beaker!

 

Well done for writing in, it does help to chat with the like minded here. I went through Ofsted in the Spring. We had an inspector who was an early years specialist. She very much wanted to see the children learning through play and having plenty of opportunity for self-initiated activities that would be supported by adults to move children's learning ahead. She commented that some school's didn't realise it was a statutory duty to give the children their entitlement to proper Foundation Stage Provision as outlined in the QCA documents. She did not expect to see vast quantities of formal work, or evidence of it being recorded. Also we have just been visited by the AIS locally to advise on transition to year one. Their message was much along the recent OFSTED advice lines saying that Year one needed to explore active ways of learning and be less rigid in their approach.

 

Hope that's helpful. I think Mundia's advice is spot on!.

 

Angela

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Hi Beaker,

 

We came out of 'Special Measures' in January, Hurray!!! xD:(

One of our Key Issues was teaching in the Reception Class - it was said to be far too formal, chn. were sitting at desks and writing etc. - they wanted to see child initiated play.

Thankfully things have now changed :) , but if Ofsted :( are just around the corner I would be careful. :o

 

Magenta

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Hi Beaker,

 

Welcome to the site. Its so sad to hear that some schools are still operating in this way. :o Hope you can manage to get through eventually and in the meantime you've found the perfect place to have a moan! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a death in the family so have only just logged on again.Have almost decided what my 'planning' should be after today's staff meeting.We were told not to put out books on open evening or send work home if it's "sub standard" i.e. less than perfect.I can't teach in this way and I'm leaving at the end of term.I had hoped my experience in reception would have been really positive and was looking forward to a new way of working but it wasn't to be.Over my career I've known three teachers have nervous breakdowns and I don't want to become one of them.Life is too short for all of us!

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You are doing the right thing for you, at this moment in time, Beaker. There will be a setting that is right for you, and it clearly isn't this one. Have a great summer break, and I hope things look better in the autumn when you can start thinking about looking for more rewarding job/setting/colleagues.

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HI Beaker, so sorry to hear your sad news. Hope you are feeling better.

 

It certainly won't help your stress levels and its sad that you feel you need to get out but if you're that unhappy you really can't do your best. I know that from personal experience. Don't give up on Reception though if you've a fancy for it you were on the right track!

 

Good luck.

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What a shame that it had to come to that. How on earth is your head still a head? Anyway, enjoy your summer and good luck with the job hunting - I am sure that you will find a great post....at least you know what to look out for!!

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Hi Beaker...I totally agree ..there will be a place for you to be, not all schools are like that but it's usual to have to fight the Early Years corner. I've had one great Head who really valued and understood the Early years. I only now realise quite how rare she was ! Pamper yourself rotten in the Summer and you'll know very clearly what you DON'T want in a new school in the new year.

 

All the best

Galleon

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Dear Breaker,

 

I had the same experience as an NQT 2 years ago. What I found very frustrating was the Head agreeing with the Early Years curriculum when the advisory teachers visited but then telling me that every child should be sitting down working at tables when they had left. Apparently this would be easier for me and behaviour issues minimalised. I had to follow a scheme of work and I also found it intensely stressful. I stuck it out and things have got much better as my confidence and competence have grown. However, I am still asked to complete the same end of year assessment sheets as the rest of the school in addition to the Foundation Stage Profiles. Other members of staff have no understanding of assessment in FS although I have to understand levelling and assessment in other year groups.

I can understand how people might have breakdowns, God knows I have cried enough myself, but I tell myself it is just a job. When under stress I go and tell the Head-the last thing they want is staff going sick. I suspect you are more put upon because you are not qualified which is very unfair. It really is the most demanding job in the world and well done to you for sticking it out as long as you did. I hope you have a more positive experience elsewhere.

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Fountain,

Welcome to the site and thanks for such a suppportive and positive post. :) Sorry to hear about your own troubles but glad you've found the strength to carry on regardless. You'll find lots of like minded people here if you ever feel stressed. :D

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HI Fountain & welcome. You sound as if you might be in quite a lonely position in your school, so glad you've found us! :D

 

Unfortunately the pressures from the top down do seem to mean that we in Reception have to understand and sometimes implement what goes on higher up but that they can disregard us! :o I don't think it hurts that we should have some knowledge of where the children are going but to blindly disregard FS as so many schools seem able to do, still, is very disheartening for us and criminal to the children. :(

 

Keeping little children pined to chairs at tables does not in my opinion eleviate behaviour problems rather it creates them. Having a well organised play based classroom will do that. xD

 

Keep up the good work!

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