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Does The Fstage Prepare Children For Ks1?


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Im am in the process of writing my dissertation and the ideas are running around my head like I dont know what.... :o

 

the main focus of my research will be the transition from foundation stage to KS 1 and the question being are children finding it a big step from play to formal teaching I know it is necessary at some point for children to make this change but are we preparing our children adequatly?

 

so to get the ball rolling, when should we be making children sit at desks and be taught? reception? year 1? never?

 

should children still be playing in year 1? is there too much play in reception?

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new policy that is being trailed and follwed in certain schols is to exptend the Fundation stage into KS1. so instead of getting them ready for KS1 the chidlren are being access to the foundation stage provision. I think this is particulalry true in Wales where the currciculum is being rewritten to incude KS1 into the Foundation stage with play- roleplay, sand and water all included in the dialy plan not just after they have finished theri 'work'.

The numeracy hour and literacy hour is also being diluted as it si not statutory.

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I know in our school the children find the transition to year 1 very hard, and we are working on making it smoother.

 

The year 1 teacher and nyself went on a course titled transition between year R and 1. They came up with lots of good ideas of how to make the transition smoother. A few of them that i can remember were:

 

ensure there is still some child-initiated play in year one

Include a role-play area

Introduce the children to year one classroom by swapping classes once a week in Summer term

Invite Reception into year 1 to hear stories etc.

Rec an year 1 teacher need to regularly meet to discuss children, what they are like, progess being made etc.

 

Have got a handout on this somewhere. Will dig it out of it's file and then add some more.

 

Hope this is a little help :o

 

Tiny

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It's such a tricky area isn't it? Some children will be ready for the challenge and actually be looking forward to Y1 and others are still needing that FS approach. Is it a question of "readiness"? In schools that still have Easter entrants I imagine it's entirely possible for a child to have 1 term FS and then off to Y1. I'm pleased that schools are beginning to see the need for a more sympathetic approach to Y1 age children but they are required to deliver the NC too, strategies or no strategies. (Effectively they are just a scheme of work like any other scheme of work and the entitlement of the children is to have access to the NC. however you do it.) Hopefully a more flexible (rather than Diluted I think) approach may help teachers here. Curiously though I have spoken to a couple of heads recently who independently of each other have said that their more recently trained teachers have problems with this "loosening up" of the structure of the curriculum as they only know about how to teach a three part subject focused lesson. Skills in cross curricular planning are needed!!. School policies also have an effect, FS can't work in a vacuum and whole school policies support the development of children through the whole school, so getting transition on the agenda at FS1 - FS2, FS2 - Y1, Y2 - Y3 and Y6 - Y7 is important.

 

Looking forward to more ideas to support transition in this thread. :o

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As I'm not a teacher, this is all very interesting to me. I work in a Day Nursery and am experiencing increasing concerns for some of our children who are attending our setting for part of the day, an LEA Nursery for the other, or who are having no time in the School which they will attend, as parent's are using the NEG as a way to offset fees.

We have one little boy who has returned to us FullTime as he couldn't settle in his Nursery for the half days. As a practitioner, I'm very concerned that this should have been allowed to happen with no dialogue or efforts to alleviate the situation, which will probably mean he has real problems a compulsory school age, but I can see where the boss is coming from.

I am working on developing links with local schools, but there are problems there, with the boss!

I know this isn't entirely relevant to the thread, but needed to say something.

 

Sue :D

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  Does the foundation stage prepare children fo KS1 ? - No

Are children finding it a big step up? - Yes

 

I agree completely mousebat, and there are always going to be those children that are never going to be prepares for year 1, no matter what preperation you give them.

 

I think the way Wales is moving is heartening...hopefully it will filter through reasonably quickly to enable the children to benefit from a curriculum to suit them and not opne designed for testing and to meet national targets.

 

We no longer have Y2 SATs - the LEA haven't for the last 2 years and last year our school took part in a pilot to get rid of the Y6 ones, all in favor of teacher assessment - it has made a remarkable difference this year - the staff are becoming much more flexible throughout the school and as a result the children seem to be enjoying their learning alot more! :D

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Hi annette

 

When I wrote that I didn't just mean the children. I meant me as well. :o For the summer term I'm a Reception Class teacher and the rest of the time I'm a TA. This year I'm TA for a Year1/2 class and it has been difficult for me to go from a play based environment to a sitting down one ( I'm also doing 1:1 and I have to stay close to one rather disturbed child.) Some of last years' reception children were completely shocked for the first three weeks of term and it was sad to see. They are a little happier but it is still very difficult for them. The teacher has been using me to 'teach' so that she has the Year 2 children and I have the Year 1 children but that only happens one day a week. She tried a play orientated afternoon and all the children loved it and they learned a lot.

 

mousebat

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I currently teach a mixed R/1 class, so obviously the problems of the transition between FS and KS1 is huge here! I try to teach in a more practical, hands-on, less formal way whilst still trying to cover the NC and FS curriculum as I beleive children learn more from these kinds of situations. HOWEVER,I have been told by those higher than me in school that my Y1 children need to do more written work in their books, as when ofsted come in next week they will look at the other Y1 children in school (in a mixed Y1/2 class) and look at mine and say why don't mine have as much writing in! Personally I think that's a load of rubbish. Many of my class are just not ready for that and I don't think writing in a book makes it any more valuable. How can I do what I think is right if school is telling me to do something else? Maybe I was wrong to take this post and I should have looked for somewhere who agrees with my way of thinking.

Anyone else with me?

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In answer to the original question posed, does the Foundationstage prepare children for KS1? The answer should of course be yes because without the skills and knowledge of FS the children would be at greater odds with KS1 NC.

 

It is the methodology of curriculum delivery that cause the problems and I believe that it is in KS1 that the transition to a more formal way of teaching should be encountered not in the latter part of FS2. Children in yr1, however long they have spent in FS classes, should still be learning through play predominantly. Even children in yr2 and above benefit from more practical activities.

 

It is the sudden change from an child centred approach to a content driven approach that is the problem. It is possible to deliver the content in a child friendly way but unfortunately in recent years we have not been encouraged to do so. The advent of the FS in 2000 went some way to addressing this as Reception classes were removed from the onus of delivering NC in an inappropriate way but that barrier or hurdle of KS1 still looms large. It can and should be broken down but it is in KS1 classrooms that the change must occur.

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Hi Guys,

 

Just found that handout from the course i went on. The ideas that suggested are just ideas and we are not meant to achieve all of them.

 

1. Yr R and 1 teachers unpicking the profile statements and relating them to the children's learning in Yr 1

2. Observation by Y1 team of YR team in summer term

3. Observation by YR team of Y1 team with follow up discussion in Autumn term

4. Review the location of Y1/R classrooms (they should be close together)

5. Provide opportunities for outdoor learning and role-play in Y1

6. Cross years topic...last 3 weeks of YR and first 3 weeks of Y1

7. Use of profile data to inform Y1 teachers of next learning steps

8. YR R staff involved in Y1 planning for September

9. Y1 teachers involved in YR Planning for Summer term

10. Yr 1 learning environment mirroring YR with appropriate challenge

11. Yr 1 environment and planning demonstrating 6 areas of learning

12. Yr 1 observing and discussing with YR the routines of structured play

13. Upping Y1 knowledge of the FSP

 

Hope this helps in some way. Some the ideas are unrealistic but others i thought were very good and certainly things our school will be considering for the future.

 

Tiny

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Guest Sycamore

Rather than reiterate what has already been much better said in the above replies I would also like to recommend the book called Smooth Transitions by Sally Featherstone (and somebody else?!). Very good and useful to both R and Y1 teachers.

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Nichola,

 

I am with you. I also teach a mixed R/1class. Like you I try to teach in a practical, hands on way, managing the NC and FC using topic based learning. I have Y1 focussed/more formal learning in the afternoon. As the year progresses the sessions lengthen until in the summer term they are similar to a literacy hour to prepare children for Y2/Y3 class.

 

Tassy.

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hi tassy and welcome. :D

You've been a silent member for quite a while now so hope you wont feel you need to revert to silence.I'm sure Nichola would appreciate to hear from someone in the same boat, so to speak! How long have you been teaching a mixed yr1/yr R class and how many children do you have?

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Hi everyone, interesting one this, I have just been asked to talk to the Y1/Y2 teachers to make sure that there is a link to Y1 from R. I have managed to get copies of a document which does the links for you, unfortunately I have left my bag in school today because we had a long staff meeting and knew my brain could'nt take any more so not working tonight. I will add it tomorrow night. Another unfortunate thing the document only cost £5 but you have to buy 5 at a time - a bit mean hey, My head bought copies so we could all have one.

Will post it tomorrow.

Abi

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Nichola,

 

I am with you. I also teach a mixed R/1class. Like you I try to teach in a practical, hands on way, managing the NC and FC using topic based learning. I have Y1 focussed/more formal learning in the afternoon. As the year progresses the sessions lengthen until in the summer term they are similar to a literacy hour to prepare children for Y2/Y3 class.

 

Tassy.

o0o0o another person in the same boat as me! Great to know I'm not the only one!

What mix have you got? I've got 20 Y1s and 10YRs with 10 hours TA support a week.

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theres some interesting points I wasnt sure if anyone would be interested in the issue of transition

 

it is clearly a big step moving from informal to formal teaching methods and the way the curriculum changes from 6 areas of development to standard subjects like numeracy and literacy

 

I am from a preschool back ground and so have no direct esperience of KS 1, but am I right in assuming the children do literacy and numeracy hour in Y1?

 

in a typical 5 hour school day that doesnt leave alot of time to to provide the other areas of development and encourage a balanced curriculum ?

 

I can see already that the my dissertation question is going to change... (just a little!)

 

rather than ask does the foundation stage prepare children for KS 1 it could be suggested that KS1 should be changed to be more like the foundation stage? or would this create problems for the child who is ready for more formal teaching, would they become board of a more play based curriculum?

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Hi Alison,

in theory yr1 teachers should be using the profile as a starting point for their planning but in practise it probably doesnt happen, at least not universally.

If the profile were used it would be possible to provide differentiated activites allowing children who have not acheived Goals to work towards their attainment in an appropriate way. Even for those children who have acheived Goals, it is not inappropriate to provide more informal learning opportunities and experiences- after all they are still only 5 at the beginning of this year.

 

For most children until recently yr1 heralded a very formal approach right from the start but in the recent past the move towards improving transition is tending to dely this start, if only for a few weeks. So yes, literacy and numeracy hours are in yr1! And this does indeed tend to influence the teaching emphasis.

 

Finally I do not think children are bored by play based teaching.

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Nichola,

 

You make me feel very privileged, I have 10 YR's and 10 Y1's and a full time, experienced TA.

 

 

Alison

 

In my situation with a mixed age range the profile will get used in Y1 as a starting point for planning. This is one of the plus points in this situation. This year I am hoping not to feel too pressurised by what is ahead for this years Y1's,when they join a Y2/Y3 class, but it will increasingly influence my teaching emphasis as the year progresses. However all children in the class have focussed literacy and maths time which are organised/formal(?) but there is still lots of play based learning. Within the Y1 group already, I have noticed that generally the children who have achieved more on their PSED profiles are independently adopting a more organised approach to their learning. I am lucky to have a small number of children and good TA support. I will be interested to read the replies you get from teachers in schools which teach single year groups.

 

Tassy

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does the foundation stage profile get used in by Y1 teachers as a starting point for planning? or does it get shelved?

in my experience - no they don't use it as a starting point for planning and yes - it does get shelved.

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