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I am searchiing fore some help / advice > We have a group - about 6 children all going to school in Sep 2009 who will all be 5 within weeks of starting school . They have all been with us since they were 2.5years and are all really ready for the next step - big school . We are finding that they are really needing , for want of another way to say it , an academic challenge. Our planning reflects their interests but I am wondering in light of EYFS how far can we go in providing them with more challenging activities - for instance they can all add , know their initial sounds and are all confident and ready for the next steps . I am not suggesting worksheets and formal lessons but there is definitely a need to adress their needs too - any views / ideas >???? How do you address this is your setting ?

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Hi

I'd definitely keep clear of worksheets / formal 'lessons' as these are not suppposed to be promoted in the eyfs and that includes the first year of ' big school'...its 'supposed' to be a seamless transition with no sudden cut in play opportunities and more sitting at tables ...play is still supposed to be the main means of promoting skills and knowledge.

 

I would look at the early learning goals themselves and see if they are consistently being met by these children and focus on any areas they are less confident on or plan to consolidate those skills they appear to have mastered...offer oppportunites to count and write and so on in real life situations and being it into everyday play and routines ratehr than stopping them to 'work'. :o

 

Maybe all they need are some 'new' resources and stimulus.....open ended stuff like crates, blocks, fabric etc...and perhaps planning additional visits / vistitors to stimulate them and develop more complexity on their play.

Challenge them to recall more, discuss more, think and problem solve...to help you and to share their expertise with the younger ones etc...dont get them sitting doing 'school' stuff...they'll have enough of that when they get to school even if they are lucky enough to have a truly eyfs principled reception year!.

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That's an excellent response trekker. I too was going to say lots of problem solving activities that develop their thinking skills. You've obviously done a fantastic job and I would just focus on ensuring they are ready for the next stage by making sure they are confident speakers and good listeners and are developing their self care skills. I had a child with me last year who was very advanced in certain areas but needed careful guidance in relating to others so this was my focus for the last term - certainly don't regret not wasting it on extending his counting skills or writing ability.

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Hi there,

I totally agree Trekker - that's brilliant advice. There must be some areas where the children could develop more within the EYFS guidelines and they will soar once they get to school. Helping the younger ones is especially good advice.

 

Lesley

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