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Setting Individual Targets For Reception Children


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HELP!!

As a school we are being 'advised' to set Literacy and Numeracy targets termly for each child and then to display them as 'must' 'should' 'could' with children's photos showing where they are working.

As a team in Reception we have said that we do not want to make a display as we have parents who will use the display as a 'weapon' against our professional judgement of their child!

We don't 'set targets' as Year 1 and 2 do, but can use our assessments to say what each child's next step in Literacy/Numeracy might be.

Does anyone set specific termly targets for each individual child in Reception?

If you do, how does it work in practise?

Thanks!

Debbie :o

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Hi Debbie

 

Welcome to the Forum (I don't think I've welcomed you before - have I?) :o

 

I just wanted to say that I heartily agree with your point about not making a display like this in your classroom - if you have to come up with such a document I think it should be held privately. Apart from anything else, I can well imagine parents using a display like this to make comparisons about what other children can/can't do and getting very stressed if they thought their child was 'behind'.

 

I'm in pre-school so I can't help you I'm afraid - but there will be lots of advice on offer, I'm sure!

 

Maz

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Hi Debbie,

 

I am currently in the third year of my degree so not in a setting (yet!) but I have been to a reception class before on placement that displayed targets for each individual child, this was done by creatinga pond scene and having a duck template for each child which had one numeracy and one literacy target written on it and their names on the bottom.

 

I'm not sure how this worked with regard to parents :o (most of the targets were the same) but thought it may be a useful idea if you do end up implementing it!

 

Essc

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Hi Debbie,

I work in a reception class and the way in which we set individual children's target is as follows:-

 

Each childs writing book has a sticker showing what the child can already do and then their next target/s is highlighted. These are attached to the page opposite where the child will be writing each time a piece of work is completed.

In this way it is possible to see progression and for the child to know what their next steps will be and to celebrate what they have already achieved.

Every child works on a 1:1 basis with a supporting adult whilst writing.

 

The books are shown to parents at parents evening and is a personal record of their own child's success.

 

Hope this is clear! our school still tends to write quite formally but we manage to achieve great sucess with writing.

 

Betty boo :o

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Guest Wolfie

Nothing new to add, just wanted to add my voice to the "anti-display" campaign! I have witnessed this approach and it caused so many problems with the parents - arguments, competitiveness, etc. etc. If targets are going to be set, they should be shared only with the parents of the child, not anyone else.

Edited by Wolfie
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Oh no no no your instincts are correct this is not for reception. Even those schools who have been involved in the target setting with the DCSF because their results are low are not being asked to display or indeed tell the children their targets in reception.

 

The targets are for the adults and as all 6 areas of the curriculum have equal weighting how will you decide on a target for each area?

 

take a look at his link

 

 

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/p...oving_outcomes/

 

Keep to your principles!

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Guest jane heald

Is your school in a category? If it is you may not get away with not displaying some form of learning journey. Instead of should could and must we displayed a learning journey. For example you can use trains with carriages, space rockets, bird boxes. I still don't like them but they are better than should could and must.

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Hi there,

Would just like to add a comment from personal experience. My school chose to go down the path of "must, should, could" with boards displayed in each classroom, and yes - Reception were expected to join in. I stated time and time again that this was not suitable for reception, but to no avail.

I refused to have photographs on the target board for exactly the same reasons already stated, so I had a compromise. Each child drew a little picture and it was this picture that was moved around.

The children had no concept whatsoever about what was going on - what a waste of time!!

At the end of the year the HT did a "wall walk" around the classrooms, asking the children about the target display in their room. She spoke to the children to ask if they knew where they were on the "must, should, could" display!!! Need I tell you what response she got??

After her visit the HT said that she didn't think that this was appropriate for Reception and that I could take the display down. :o

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Is your school in a category? If it is you may not get away with not displaying some form of learning journey. Instead of should could and must we displayed a learning journey. For example you can use trains with carriages, space rockets, bird boxes. I still don't like them but they are better than should could and must.

 

We're not 'in a category' but our last Ofsted was deemed to be 'just scraping satisfactory'! We have had LEA advisersby the shed load throwing stuff at us, but nobody has told us why!!!!???? We have toyed with the idea of a train, but still feel that 'targets in Reception are not the way to go!

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Hi there,

Would just like to add a comment from personal experience. My school chose to go down the path of "must, should, could" with boards displayed in each classroom, and yes - Reception were expected to join in. I stated time and time again that this was not suitable for reception, but to no avail.

I refused to have photographs on the target board for exactly the same reasons already stated, so I had a compromise. Each child drew a little picture and it was this picture that was moved around.

The children had no concept whatsoever about what was going on - what a waste of time!!

At the end of the year the HT did a "wall walk" around the classrooms, asking the children about the target display in their room. She spoke to the children to ask if they knew where they were on the "must, should, could" display!!! Need I tell you what response she got??

After her visit the HT said that she didn't think that this was appropriate for Reception and that I could take the display down. xD

 

 

My point exactly to the LEA advisor who was suggesting it!!! :o

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Oh no no no your instincts are correct this is not for reception. Even those schools who have been involved in the target setting with the DCSF because their results are low are not being asked to display or indeed tell the children their targets in reception.

 

The targets are for the adults and as all 6 areas of the curriculum have equal weighting how will you decide on a target for each area?

 

take a look at his link

 

 

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/p...oving_outcomes/

 

Keep to your principles!

 

 

Thanks- I was beginning to think I was losing the plot!!!!

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Just add ing my objection to the dispaly board too, as a parent and practitioner I think it opens a can of worms and could be too much of a deficit model for both children and parents visually. :o

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I am totally against displays of this nature as well.

 

I also question the whole area of target setting for this age of child, particularly in the context of being shared with them. I think as practitioners we are able to identify areas a child may struggle in and work at improving this - does the child need to be told this though? Do they need it pointed out that they are not very good at something that their peers can do? As children get older they begin to notice these things themselves, and working with them to develop a good positive attitude to improving is an important part of teaching. However, whilst they are blissfully unaware of their limitations, should we be pointing it out to them in such a stark way?

 

Of course, if the child has themselves identified an area they would like to get better in then that is a different matter.

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Thanks Beau!

You have made me feel that maybe I've not lost the plot! :o

We're not in the business of setting children up to fail! As you say, as practitioners we know from our assessments and observations where our children are and what they need to work on. For me. the thing we have to keep focussed on is the Foundation Stage is just that- laying the foundations to allow the 'whole' child to develop.

Thanks!

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Haven't been on for a while so missed this. I so agree with all of you and am also fighting the battle. The suggestion from one of the TLRs in my school was to have one individual target for each child displayed somewhere that could be to do with any area of the curriculum. Her thought was that would have a positive impact on transition in terms of preparing the ground for a more formalised lit/num target system when they get to year one. This sounded a bit less threatening so I'm still considering the idea, but again take the point of parent's seeing other children's targets and reacting to those. Can of worms! :o

 

AOB

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Hi I agree that a display of targets is not appropriate in a reception class. In my school all other classes do this and accept that we don't need to in reception. However, if you have too! maybe you could display each childs target but covered up i.e. behind a flap. I don't do individual targets but instead do cohort (group) targets for example in term 1 I had a few children who couldn't write their name so that was their target. I then review and do next steps. This seems to work for me. Good luck

Munch

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I don't have experience of working in a school but as a parent I wouldn't want my childs 'targets' up on display, for example my 9 yr old has SEN and is in a lower year group, this works really well for him. I know that if he had a written target on the wall he would obsess about it so much to the detriment of his other school work. ( He has GLD and short term memory and would 'stress' over remembering what was written and want it consistently repeated to him).

 

Who are these displays for, the child or the teacher, or the teachers moderators?

 

Maybe the school should develop a display board in the staff room, showing the should. could must derived from teachers appraisals, the teachers could all support each other in meeting their targets, would teachers and leaders like that, would it improve performance? :o

 

Peggy

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I don't have experience of working in a school but as a parent I wouldn't want my childs 'targets' up on display, for example my 9 yr old has SEN and is in a lower year group, this works really well for him. I know that if he had a written target on the wall he would obsess about it so much to the detriment of his other school work. ( He has GLD and short term memory and would 'stress' over remembering what was written and want it consistently repeated to him).

 

Who are these displays for, the child or the teacher, or the teachers moderators?

 

Maybe the school should develop a display board in the staff room, showing the should. could must derived from teachers appraisals, the teachers could all support each other in meeting their targets, would teachers and leaders like that, would it improve performance? :o

 

Peggy

 

I once received a letter through the post advising me that Richards footware (plain black trainers) was unsuitable for school and was reminded of the school dress code which was there in part to promote good behaviour. My reply was that I hadnt realised there was a dress code but would adhere to it when all the teachers did. The teacher who always wore doc martins and leggings no longer did so after that. I think a display of teachers shoulds and musts would be an excellent way for pupils to see that nobody is perfect! Not that I had a problem with her dress, but pointing out my sons imperfections was abit too much for me.

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Ah but does the colour of shoes, doing things only if everybody else follows, quote "but would adhere to it when all the teachers did.", fit in with the ethos of your signature Rea.? :oxD:(

 

Rules and models destroy genius and art.

William Hazlitt

 

Agree it is good for children to know we are not all perfect. :(

Although must add I meant 'learning' targets for teachers compared to 'behavioural' ones.

But then, children should also know, we don't know everything either :(

 

Peggy

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Probably wouldnt fit my signature Peggy, but in my defence I it was all I could think of responding at the time. And yes, learning targets are different to behaviour targets, but one feeds into the other doesnt it?

 

Schools who need children to wear a certain style of shoe and who object to hair being coloured or styled individually really get on my nerves. I have tried to live by the Toyah Wilcox lyrics 'So what if I dye my hair? I've still got a brain up there'. If we are happy with how we look, we'll feel happy on the inside and therefore be ready to learn. Allow it and there is less to rebel against.

 

Sorry for diverting the thread, I have to reply as Peggy has, from the point of view as a parent. I would hate my childrens work displayed with targets, even though for most of their school life they have been in top groups, it would have been inexcusable to have other parents knowing where they were and maybe using them as a model for their own children. Showing children they are failing in an area wont necessarliy make them better at it.

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Showing children they are failing in an area wont necessarliy make them better at it.

 

 

Dont disagree with you rea, but the theory is that you show children how to get better and improve their learning by displaying targets.

 

I have to admit Im struggling to make this work for me in my classroom and Im not being asked to display anything!

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Dear Debbie,

 

I also work in reception and we are suppose to display the 'Must, Could and Should' (Maths/Lit)targets, however we do not display where individual children are in regards to these targets.

 

They don't serve any useful purpose to the teaching staff,the parents have never commented on them and the management have not noticed that we haven't been putting them up on the wall the past six months.

 

We understand what the children should be working towards using the FS. Pity senior management doesn't!

I have been asked as part of my Proffessional Dev Review to have a target group in line with the school's Intensified Learning Programme but I have been able to implement this and will tell them so at my next review!

 

This is all about being seen to have targets and to know where pupils are in their learning. As professionals we do anyway.

Good luck.

Fountain

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My school uses the must should and could targets for all children . We display the targets but not as a must should and could on the parent inofrmation board to show what we are working on. I used different colours for each. We have decided as a school not to display where individual children are in terms of their targets teachers keep this information in their assessment folders and is only shared with individual parents and at ISP meetings.

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Hi, my school has gone down the 'must, should, could' route but i do not do it in reception. I feel that it goes against the principles of the foundation stage and places more emphasis on literacy and numeracy. The children don't have a clue either! I was in year 1 last year and even they had some difficultly remembering their targets even though they were displayed. Stick to you guns, don't do it!

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We've just had ofsted and had to put up our "targets" on display

Hardest job was finding where to put them. I've got far more important things to display to aid learning than the targets.

Talking to the children is much more useful and hopefully more memorable for them to act on it

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:o

Just wanted to say 'Thanx' for all the comments! It has restored my belief in my convictions! I have to say we have relented slightly on the displaying targets! We have taken three objectives from MD and displayed them in each classroom! The Lit advisor was in last week and didn't even notice!!!!!!!

I rest my case!!!!!

Debbie

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  • 3 months later...

Just one idea as a form of compromise that I've seen work quite well in some ISP schools - having some form of display eg. bees moving towards a flower, but instead of all the "musts" aiming for the outer edge, the "shoulds" for the petals and the "coulds" for the middle, each child can move their bee a step towards the middle when they take a step towards their own target. That way, all the children get the chance to show they have improved, and can reach the middle, but in their own way, and no one (parents etc) needs to know which children had a more/less challenging target unless you feel it is appropriate to share this information. This type of display went alongside a checklist in pictorial form, or in words supported by pictures later in the year, which showed the general age related progression, often including the year below and year above, but without reference to which step was the expectation for each age, a simple ladder that showed every child what came next once they could do something in the area of focus - that there was always a "next step" for everyone.

 

I agree displaying "I must use a capital letter" etc at this age is of questionable value in terms of what the children get from it, even though it can sharpen up our own ideas as to where the children should be and where they are to go next, but if you are in a position where your hands are tied, something like this might keep the powers-that-be happy?

 

If you are in a position where you have to display targets, by the way, this link might be of use:

http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/nationalstrateg...category_id=382

 

Tracylu :o

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:o

Just wanted to say 'Thanx' for all the comments! It has restored my belief in my convictions! I have to say we have relented slightly on the displaying targets! We have taken three objectives from MD and displayed them in each classroom! The Lit advisor was in last week and didn't even notice!!!!!!!

I rest my case!!!!!

Debbie

 

...and I remember once putting a display up upside down to see how long it took for anyone to notice - 2 days!

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Maybe the school should develop a display board in the staff room, showing the should. could must derived from teachers appraisals, the teachers could all support each other in meeting their targets, would teachers and leaders like that, would it improve performance

 

I'm afraid this has happened :o but its called the school development plan

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