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Bringing The Foundation Stage Into Year1


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Hi all

I'm looking into the thories and practicalities of running a year 1 class more like a reception one ie an activity based curriculum.


Has anyone got experience of this, do you still have a numeracy/literacy hour or just teach small groups of children etc etc


thanks everyone

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I don't have any help to offer but I know for sure that our current year ones would benefit from a play based curriculum.


The step from reception to the teaching in there has been MASSIVE and not in the children's favour at all.


Hence all the poblems.

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We have been doing this for some time now and it works very well with children settling into Y1 much better than they did before.


We run our day very similar to YR. We have the children come into class, self register and then we have lit type settling activities as once everyone is in and the day starts we go straight into guided groups. We have five groups. On ce group does guided reading with the teacher and one with the TA while three groups have Teacher initiated activities related to something we have laready covered and these are often very practical so the adults can work undisturbed. We then have child initiated time and in the beginning of Y1 this is very like YR so we can see where the childrens intersts are and build these into our planning but by now there are challenges all the children have to complete each week and this is time for them to work on these and the teacher takes a focus groups during this time.


We don't have a literacy and numeracy hour at we thread these through all of the curriculum.


We do have shared reading and writing as well as shared maths sessions.


It isn't easy and needs lots of preparation but it is much more interesting when you work in Y1.


We found the Sally Featherstone books More Challenge very useful and we also found the old Infant Project books very helpful. We have 6 very lose topics but at the beginning of a topic we brainstorm first with the children to see what they know, what they want to know etc along the TASC lines.


At a friends school they also have the YR teacher moving with the children into Y1 while the Y1 teachers moves into YR and while she was reluctant at first, as she loves YR, it has worked and we are considering this.


Hope this helps I think you need to make it work for you!

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Thanks for the replies.


Do you still teach any 'lessons' ie science etc and how do you set learning objectives / targets - sorry loads of questions pop into my head!!

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We're haven't quite gone over to the more foundation stage based structure in year 1 yet but one of teachers has been giving things a go. From what I understand from her, she might do a whole class science input but any recording, experimentation etc... would be done through a guided group session while other children are either with TA, or involved in child or teacher initiated activity. We are looking at year 1 being a year of transition from a play based curriculum into a more formal style so that when they get to year 2 they are ready for the maths and english lessons which run along similar lines to literacy and numeracy hour.


I was out for a day on Wednesday at a nursery and we were saying that the transition from nursery/pre-school into school is about right, and our head is happy with how things are when they get to year 2 but we need to look at the transition from end of year r to beginning of year 2.


One thought we had was that the Autumn term should be structured pretty much as the summer term in year R. Then the spring term could bring in more teacher initiated activities with the expectation to work independently, with continued CI activities and guided group sessions. Then in the summer it will become more like how things are structured in year 2. Not sure how it will work but we may give it a go net year.


As for LOs they can be set in whole class sessions or when working with each guided group. Similarly with targets, it depends on the activity and groups of children you're with I guess.


I hope this helps and isn't too rambling!

Edited by SP61HJ
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Any other good books people have read?

My biggest problem has been the QCA mindset which as a school we are trying to drop and I think in year 1 we are just about there but as I hadnt worked with the NC for a long time, I wasnt up to speed with expectations. Also my space is very small and doesnt lend itself to numerous activities.

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We found this publication useful




and of course Continuing the Learning Journey which came into schools in 2005




and Smooth Transitions




SP61HJ we do inputs in a similar way. Autumn term is very like YR and the two teachers YR/Y1 plan together ready for the first couple of weeks of Y1 and the Y1 teacher teaches some parts of the time in YR to get to know the children. We also do a big input to parents going through the day and letting them see just how much the children have learnt by the end of Y1 and they are amazed at what the children can learn by what looks like playing!!!!


We found that by giving the chlidren challenge time then the adults can really work on focussed activities with small groups and really meet there needs. We don't do targets as we are working so cross curricular it wouldn't be appropriate but we do talk about how children could improve their learning becasue we are working in such small groups!

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Thanks I'll look at those books.


If it's not too cheeky could you post a timetable (if you use one) and a bit of planning?


Also is there any research to back up this method yet?

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There was a thread on here a couple of weeks ago, I think, where I said I'd planned like this in year 1 and people had asked for more detail. I've been so busy that I've not been able to get my head together to reply properly - but it's nearly the Easter holidays (hurrah!!!) so i'll post something then about how we made it work in Year 1.


Like Emilia said, it's hard work but much more fun and interesting for the children and the adults! I'll be back the week after next to chat about this a bit more! Sorry to have kept people waiting :o

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I am attaching an example of a weekly timetable that may help you to see how we fit everything in. You will see set time for word level work and number and this is to get in those aspects of these curriculum areas that do not easily lent themselves to cross curricular teaching so we teach it discreetly but otherwise our links are cross curricular and our topics broad and we use the TASC approach to a topic.


Also just found this link




Edited by Guest
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