Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Have I Got This All Wrong?


 Share

Recommended Posts

I run a Foundation unit for 3 to 5 year olds.

 

This week I have had a couple of 'discussions' with our year one teacher!

 

She is unhappy that the children who have just gone into her class from my Foundation class. Seems they can't spell, don't use a dictionary and can't sit still for more than ten minutes at a time. Apparently they can't write their numbers correctly either and basically are not up to the standard SHE wants them to be.

No, that's not exactly true. She wishes they were all like a couple of them.

She said she wished she'd had the top 4 (there are 8 of them) for the last half term of the summer term so she could push them on. I pointed out that that was hardly fair on the others but she said at least they'd know what was expected of them.

The group had spent some time in her class before the end of term, so it wasn't as if they don't know where things are, and as her class is only along the corridor transition really is an easy prosess.

I will just point out that they can all read, form their letters correctly, write simple sentences and are really good with practical number work.

The problem is that the oldest girl is now 6, and at the moment there is quite a big gap in abilities between her and the boy who is 6 next June. Somehow she seems to think they should all be at the same level. :o And on her advise, two of them had been using their own dictionary's in my class. Though not always that sucessfully.

When they'd read their books with me, I would always ask if they'd like to draw a picture of the story and write about it, and they'd always ask me if it mattered if it was wrong. I'd ask them to sound out the word and have a really good try, which they did and to be honest I'd always be delighted with their efforts, right or wrong, and make a hugh fuss. Oh I will just add that they'd all learnt the high frequency words, and because they are displayed around the classroom would always include these in their writing, and it got to the point where they were able to write many of them from memory.

We had been doing written number work, and recording our findings with no problems, and they were all able to write numbers correctly, but when I walked into her classroom on Friday she had one little chap writing a whole page of 2's because she said he couldn't do them, and there was honestly nothing wrong with them

 

I will just end by saying the year one teacher has been doing her job for over 20 years, myself only 8. Maybe she knows more than I do.

 

Sorry to have gone on, like lots on a Sunday morning, but my question is, am I really doing this so wrong? They are all great kids, are very happy, parents delighted with their achievements, but should I have had them sat down doing bl**** work sheets or something rather than having fun and playing with them?

 

I really would appreciate your comments as if I'm wrong I need to do something about it.

 

jackie.

 

As you can probably guess this has really got me down the last few days. xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow Jackie yours were doing more than mine at the end of the year!!! Mind you 17 out of my 25 were boys who just wanted to be running around outside.

 

I'd be really interested to know if the Year 1 teacher adapts her class and organisation to suit the FS at this time of the year?!

 

But honestly I think it sounds like you are doing a great job, you are right they should be learning through their play and no, work sheets is not the way forward. One here of there maybe but please don't build a relationship with the photocopier!!! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I run a Foundation unit for 3 to 5 year olds.

 

This week I have had a couple of 'discussions' with our year one teacher!

 

She is unhappy that the children who have just gone into her class from my Foundation class. Seems they can't spell, don't use a dictionary and can't sit still for more than ten minutes at a time. Apparently they can't write their numbers correctly either and basically are not up to the standard SHE wants them to be.

No, that's not exactly true. She wishes they were all like a couple of them.

She said she wished she'd had the top 4 (there are 8 of them) for the last half term of the summer term so she could push them on. I pointed out that that was hardly fair on the others but she said at least they'd know what was expected of them.

The group had spent some time in her class before the end of term, so it wasn't as if they don't know where things are, and as her class is only along the corridor transition really is an easy prosess.

I will just point out that they can all read, form their letters correctly, write simple sentences and are really good with practical number work.

The problem is that the oldest girl is now 6, and at the moment there is quite a big gap in abilities between her and the boy who is 6 next June. Somehow she seems to think they should all be at the same level. :o And on her advise, two of them had been using their own dictionary's in my class. Though not always that sucessfully.

When they'd read their books with me, I would always ask if they'd like to draw a picture of the story and write about it, and they'd always ask me if it mattered if it was wrong. I'd ask them to sound out the word and have a really good try, which they did and to be honest I'd always be delighted with their efforts, right or wrong, and make a hugh fuss. Oh I will just add that they'd all learnt the high frequency words, and because they are displayed around the classroom would always include these in their writing, and it got to the point where they were able to write many of them from memory.

We had been doing written number work, and recording our findings with no problems, and they were all able to write numbers correctly, but when I walked into her classroom on Friday she had one little chap writing a whole page of 2's because she said he couldn't do them, and there was honestly nothing wrong with them

 

I will just end by saying the year one teacher has been doing her job for over 20 years, myself only 8. Maybe she knows more than I do.

 

Sorry to have gone on, like lots on a Sunday morning, but my question is, am I really doing this so wrong? They are all great kids, are very happy, parents delighted with their achievements, but should I have had them sat down doing bl**** work sheets or something rather than having fun and playing with them?

 

I really would appreciate your comments as if I'm wrong I need to do something about it.

 

jackie.

 

As you can probably guess this has really got me down the last few days. xD

 

 

She needs to spend some time in Early Years! I don't think you should worry about her comments, she obviously needs a reality check. They are coming from FKS where they have a different timetable, the classroom layout is probably different and they are all different ages.

 

I used to teach Year one and children need at least the first half of Autumn term to adjust to life in KS1, they need to get used to routines whilst still having the opportunity to work and play outside, and be active. As for the dictionary, my year ones were not ready to use a dictionary until the Spring term.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest lesboyle

Hi Jackie

You definitely havent got it wrong!! The EYFS is clear about this and all the research is pointing towards the importance of learning through play in the early year (personally I feel that Wales have got it spot on where they extend their early years curriculum until 7!) In fact some researchers are saying that it actually causes problems emotionally later on where children are pushed into formal education before they are ready. It sounds to me as if your year one teacher needs some early years education training because she should be adapting her practice to incorporate more play in year one to ease the transition not the other way around! Sorry I cant give you any advice except to stick to your guns and if neccessary refer to the statutory requirements of learning and development in the EYFS. Ofsted are looking very carefully at transition practices and in particular the adaptation of the National Curriculum to allow children to enjoy and achieve. Try not to let it get you down, just remember that you are doing the right thing by the children. Have a good Sunday.

Regards,

Lesley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

not in reception but pre-school.. felt I just had to comment that to me it seems you are doing just what is required from EYFS, and the comment on how long she has been teaching possibly reflects her attitude ... things have changed dramatically over the past few years.. and reception class is a very different environment now with goals of its own, which is what you have been doing... seems she needs a bit of educating on EYFS etc.. but then will she want to listen ... these days many schools use play in year one for a while and gradually introduce them to 'formal learning' over the first term..

 

Keep up the good work, as you say a big difference in age between 5 and 6 , same as when they start reception at 4 & 5 so much learning during this time.. why rush them when they are not ready.. they need to feel positive about school and enjoy learning.. or they may switch off .

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with others comments, I think you are doing a fantastic job, you appear to have the right balance between 'working' towards the learning goals and ensuring the children remain motivated to learn.

 

You mention Quote "She said she wished she'd had the top 4 (there are 8 of them) for the last half term of the summer term so she could push them on" Maybe it would be best if SHE spent the last half term spending some time in YOUR class, observing the childrens 'successful' learning styles, to better enable her to make the transition into KS1 more child centrered.

 

My daughter (6 in Nov), when asked on her 3rd day of term about school, she said "We don't play anymore" :( , and "We did lots of work today", I've visited the new (to the school) teacher, and mentioned what my daughter said, I am happy with the teachers approach, which is not as severe as my daughter made it sound, BUT I take on board my daughters PERCEPTION of the difference between foundation and KS1. By the way my daughter still writes 2 as mirror image (she is left handed) and I spent some time with her yesterday, finding lots of examples of number 2 in the house (telephone, remote control, calender etc), and with a pad and pen she copied them down. :oxD

 

Not sure what the answer is to 'changing attitudes' a hard one there, but you should be assured you are doing a great job. :(

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isnt it horrible when people make you question yourself in a negative way?

Considering children dont have to start school until the term after their 5th birthday, how would she feel if they all arrived at her door having never attended another setting because that was the parents choice? She certainly wouldnt have children with the skills you have given them!

 

How sad Peggy that your daughter said 'we dont play anymore'.

I wish our children could just be children.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a similar problem with my year 1 teacher and she to has been teaching for over 20 years - originally trained as a junior teacher and does not show much understanding about early childhood development. Apparantly the children she has now cannot do anything, making me wonder what did i do last year! My biggest bug bear with her is that there are many exceptional readers who left me loving reading and doing really well but when I walked into her room last week I noticed that she had dropped them back atleast 5 levels so that they could do the comprehension book that accompanies the series! I couldn't believe my eyes and when I mentioned that they had already read the books and were far too easy for them her answer was well you didn't do the comprehension books so they don't know what the story is about - do children have to write answers down to develop their understanding - whats wrong with talking? I also get regular comments about the fact that the children cannot sit on the carpet or stay at activities for longer than 20 minutes and my answer is why are they sitting on the carpet for 20 minutes or more anyway - it is often the case that they are still sitting on the carpet 40minutes later being talked at. There are many things that I apparantly don't teach the children and they make absolutely no progress in year r and we don't teach them anything! But my biggest bug bear about Year 1 is that there is no continuous play and the children can go for weeks without being able to learn through play more often than not they have to sit and fill in worksheets and as for independent learning that is not allowed either in year 1 for a start there are 5 adults everymorning!! It gets me down but i know that i did an excellent job with the children last year and when I'm out on the playground at the end of the day it is me the children and parents come to talk to and not the year 1 teacher - i think that says quite alot. whilst this is not good practise for year 1 and something does need to be done quickly nationally it is good to know that I am not the only one in this position. Let us Year R teachers unite to fight the cause!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I run a Foundation unit for 3 to 5 year olds.

 

This week I have had a couple of 'discussions' with our year one teacher!

 

She is unhappy that the children who have just gone into her class from my Foundation class. Seems they can't spell, don't use a dictionary and can't sit still for more than ten minutes at a time. Apparently they can't write their numbers correctly either and basically are not up to the standard SHE wants them to be.

No, that's not exactly true. She wishes they were all like a couple of them.

She said she wished she'd had the top 4 (there are 8 of them) for the last half term of the summer term so she could push them on. I pointed out that that was hardly fair on the others but she said at least they'd know what was expected of them.

The group had spent some time in her class before the end of term, so it wasn't as if they don't know where things are, and as her class is only along the corridor transition really is an easy prosess.

I will just point out that they can all read, form their letters correctly, write simple sentences and are really good with practical number work.

The problem is that the oldest girl is now 6, and at the moment there is quite a big gap in abilities between her and the boy who is 6 next June. Somehow she seems to think they should all be at the same level. :o And on her advise, two of them had been using their own dictionary's in my class. Though not always that sucessfully.

When they'd read their books with me, I would always ask if they'd like to draw a picture of the story and write about it, and they'd always ask me if it mattered if it was wrong. I'd ask them to sound out the word and have a really good try, which they did and to be honest I'd always be delighted with their efforts, right or wrong, and make a hugh fuss. Oh I will just add that they'd all learnt the high frequency words, and because they are displayed around the classroom would always include these in their writing, and it got to the point where they were able to write many of them from memory.

We had been doing written number work, and recording our findings with no problems, and they were all able to write numbers correctly, but when I walked into her classroom on Friday she had one little chap writing a whole page of 2's because she said he couldn't do them, and there was honestly nothing wrong with them

 

I will just end by saying the year one teacher has been doing her job for over 20 years, myself only 8. Maybe she knows more than I do.

 

Sorry to have gone on, like lots on a Sunday morning, but my question is, am I really doing this so wrong? They are all great kids, are very happy, parents delighted with their achievements, but should I have had them sat down doing bl**** work sheets or something rather than having fun and playing with them?

 

I really would appreciate your comments as if I'm wrong I need to do something about it.

 

jackie.

 

As you can probably guess this has really got me down the last few days. xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd sign up to that one! I've only been in my class for a week, and am already convinced that the best way to manage my YR/1/2 mix is to run the whole class along the lines of the foundation stage. No mean task, but I felt completely justified when I heard the problem solving discussion going on in the construction area on Friday when 3 of my Y2s were trying to work out how to build a staircase for the role play area. I wouldn't have got that with a workbook and pictures of cubes.

 

Thank goodness the renewed frameworks for literacy and maths support this too. Maybe your Y1 teacher needs to have a closer look at them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou for all your replies, I shall go into school feeling much more positive tomorrow.

 

It's comforting to know that I am not alone, and to hear that what I am doing seems to be ok.

 

I find that at the end of the day the children, and their parents, still come into my classroom to say goodbye, and that really does make it all worth while, and at play time all the children come for a cuddle.

 

I've even had parents say they are so happy their children came into me first, and some asked if I could keep them until they were 7 :o

 

So can't be all bad eh? Even if they can't write an essay!

 

I'll let you know if she ever says anything possitive!! xD:(

 

jackie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sounds to me like you are doing a brilliant job and keep it up. may be its her that needs to review her teaching and see how she is catering for their individaul needs and how is making sure 'every child matters'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will just end by saying the year one teacher has been doing her job for over 20 years, myself only 8. Maybe she knows more than I do.

 

God she sounds like a right arrogant pain in the a**se.

 

Just because she's been a teacher for more years than you doesn't make her right!! You could equally argue you are closer to your training and therefore more up to date and current with pedagogy. I cannot abide teachers who act like such complete autocrats.

 

Your children are achieving the ELGs - your job is not "to get them ready" and I have heard it said that any year 1 teacher who is not working from children's FSP starting points is not fulfilling their professional duty.

 

Unfortunately we cannot rescue all children from the clutches of such Cruella De Villes so just smile blandly and do the rising above it thing - hard to do but she isn't going to change.

 

However if she keeps making undermining comments about your abilities and professionalism go and see somebody as she is being VERY unprofessional.

 

Cx

Edited by catma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)