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Mixed Foundation/year One Class


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Hi

 

I'm looking for a bit of advice. At the moment I have 22 children in my class which is fine. We hve two days of PSRN and two days literacy based. We have a 15 minute carpet session followed by group activites. During this time one group works with an adult on a focussed activity and one group works on a sustained activity (usually a play based activity but the children have to stay on it for 15 minutes). The other two groups choose off the board. Each of these groups have four play activites to choose from each. Over the course of the two days the groups get rotated so that all children have equal access. Then later in the morning we have 20 minute phonic session. During the afternoon the children have free choice of all the activites and extra activities linked to K&U etc. We try to have continuous access to outdoors and are keeping learning journey folders, observing children and keeping photo albums for all the children.

 

In January it all changes. Due to a lack of space and an oversubscribed school ten of my children move onto a mixed F/1 class and the rest are split equally between myself and a new teacher who joins. The the new teacher has to share my classroom and use an extra small offshoot room. As I said space is of a premium but we mange the best we can and although the room is busy it works well.

 

The thing I'm trying hard to get my head around is the new EYFS and the mixed F/1 class. The teacher in there has 20 Y1 children and will have 10 Foundation. She has to plan with the other Y1 teacher as we work in teams and if she didn't the Y1 teacher would be left out. She has a full time T.A. We are trying to work out how she can cover the National Curriculum for Y1 children..doing the required assessments etc and still cater for the needs of Foundation? Inevitably the YF children end up doing National Curriculum stuff. She uses the same system with two groups choosing but then finds it hard to keep up with the other Y1 children in parralell class. If the class is too informal the Y2 teachers find the children aren't ready to move on at end of year.

 

Does anyone else have this problem? The room isn't big enough for Foundation children to play whilst Y1 are doing Science,Geography etc as it would be too disruptive. Just don't want to have Foundation children on the carpet for too long!

 

Sorry to rabbit on....any suggestions would be welcome!

 

Vicki

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It does seem a bit disruptive for the reception children. Could they come back to the reception classroom with you for the afternoons so that the other teacher can focus on Y1 and the reception have a better transition and ativities that are suitable for their level of development?

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I have to struggle with this one myself, with YR/1/2 altogether in one class. The only way round it to spread yourself out as if they were just a class, and accept the fact that on some days and for some lessons the Y1/2 input has to be done by the TA. We've tried different ways of managing the timetable, and have just this week managed to persuade the head that different TAs coming and going for an hour here and there isn't working. I now have a full time TA, and another TA for mornings only - much needed with 30 in the class. There is another adult each morning but her time is taken 1:1 with the child she supports, and we can rarely put other children with her.

A handful of our YR are now just about ready to sit still long enough for bits and bobs of what the Y2s are doing, but I really can't stretch my upper Y2 fully if I'm making a carpet session accessible to my lower YR group. Similarly, it's a very long time for YR to concentrate, no matter how wizz bang pop I try to be and I hate to think they're missing out on all that play.

What has helped us a little is using Y1/2 carpet sessions as an opportunity for YR small group circle time/daily story/milk/fruit etc. This is often outside, as we're lucky enough to have a covered area off the classroom, but the breeze down from the Pennines is a bit fresh so we rotate who goes out there to keep everyone happy, and so that I can keep my eye on reception.On one day a week, YR are changing for a session in the hall while I do maths input with Y1/2 - my TA then takes over to support the Y1/2 indep maths work while I do a gym session with YR, then I pop back in for the maths plenary while the TA helps YR change back, etc. In our case, there is no getting away from the odd time spent sitting in the cloakroom with Y1/2, or having an "everyone outside" session for YR just to have that quiet moment. They have regular wellie walks, too. It's very difficult juggling it all, especially with the added pressure of KS1 sats. That said, it does have it's benefits for the more mature YRs who are ready to fly, and pick up on what the older children are doing. When given free choice, some choose to sit with Y1/2 and try to do their activities. It's also great for the lower ability Y1/2s who still need all that access to CP. I'm exhausted, but loving every minute. Not sure if I've been any help there, but at least you know I'm in the same boat!

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