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Organising The Reception Day


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Hi all, I know there has been posts on here before about this and I really thought I had cracked it but now I am more confused than ever! How can I organise the day for reception without it seeming to decend into total chaos? At the moment I do phonics whole class, with the exception of a small group who work with the LSA, first thing and then do some input on whatever the focus is with all of them. This often takes us to about 9.40 am. I then try to have 2 adult led focused tasks and give the other children free choice from the continuous provision and other activities which I might suggest they do. One of the problems is that these children just don't know how to play and take care of equipment so I am constantly inturrupted by fights and arguements. At 10.30 they have playtime in the main school playgroup which combines snack time. This is organised by the LSA and the children are meant to come back in at 10.45. Since this is the start of my PPA and I am not around, they generally drift in around 10.55 when she then takes them off to whole school assembly for 15 minutes. At 11.15 they come back and so do I. As they have been sitting in the hall I usually carry straight on with what we were doing before playtime until they go to lunch at 12.20. Of course we have to stop and get readdy for lunch, which as there are 27 of them and the LSA goes at 12.00, you can imagine it takes ages, especially as there are only 2 toilets and 2 sinks.

They come back from lunch at 1.30 when I do another whol;e class input which by the time we have done the register, sorted out squabbles from lunch time and spoke to the MDA about any issues, it is 2pm. We then have to do rolling snack and any focussed tasks must stop by2.45 so they can tidy and hopefully have a story ready to leave at 3.10. Sometimes I have an LSA in the afternoon as well as a one to one lsa for a statemented child. I also have 2 children on EYFS school action plus and 2 other children with behaviour issues. I just totally overwhelmed by everything. I feel there is no any time to do focused observations or to extend the children's play effectively.

I took over the class in January as an NQT and don't really feel like they are 'my children' plus I have my LSA has also changed so I now have someone who doesn't know the children, or any of my systems and doesn't seem to understand the things I ask her to do.

Has anyone got any ideas as I am going into panic mode now we are getting near the end of the year. I just don't know where to start!

Thank you

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Hi kathyscitt reading your routine for the day my first reaction is that there is just too much adult input. When do you have child initiated time? We have a good 1.5 hours in the morning and in the afternoon and during this time it is completly up to the children what they play.

 

Also if the children don't know how to play and tidy and respect then perhaps you should go back to basics and your adult input sessions revolve round valuaing each other, the envrinment and modelling how to play.

 

There are examples on here of routines of the day and there is a link here to the Kent website with example of morning and afternoon routines.

 

http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/ask8/ask8_e...s_resources.cfm

 

I just feel you are trying to do too much!

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yes I totally agree with you but there is such pressure from the school because last year their results were so bad. We constantly have advisors in school, monitoring and modelling and 'advising' what we should be doing. Plus I have tried saying these children shouldn't be going to assembly every day but I get fobbed off. It is a nightmare and I am totally stressed out about it. There is also an expectation that children should record all they do so we have literacy books and maths books where we have to write the obejective and highlight it when the children have achieved it plus put the next steps....all with each child. I have to say I avoid doing work in their books as much as possible but it's hard with someone looking over your shoulder all the time.

I will take a look at the link you sent. Thank you.

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Kathy, do you mean you get half an hour PPA every morning? When is your 10% NQT time. If some of this time could be blocked, it would be more beneficial to you as it would give you a more meaningful time to concentrate on the things you need to do and some time to go out and about and look at other settings.

Alot of your problems sound as if they are because you are not being adequately supported either by the LSA or the school. What suggestions does your mentor have? Do you have a parallel class, how do they work? A FS leader who can help? And if the school is being regularly visited by advisors , what does the Early years advisor say?

 

Keep talking and good luck.

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I know where you are coming from in terms of monitoring and supervision of the curriculum and standards and the need to cram in as much as possible! However, I do think there are issues not being properly addressed by your school. You are a NQT with what seems to be not enough LSA help/support. Who is the FS co-ordinator, ask them for their input on routines, as well as your Early Years advisory teacher. Go back to input on routines and taking care of things, our children need this from time to time too, esp when a new child joins mid term! If they trash stuff then remove it asap and keep doing so until there isn't much left out - they have a visual consequence of there actions - without you having to repeat your self over and over - quick and effective!

Don't beat yourself up - be a reflective practitioner but don't over do the self criticism! Jenni

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kathyscitt jennim is so right do not beat yourself up about this - the fault lies with your school. Go back to the Statutory document of the EYFS and look at the statutory duty of the school. Try to discuss this with your FS Co-ordinator.

 

Does your LA run courses for EYFS if so maybe you can get on a course with your LSA and FS co-ordinator and then you could all hear the same thing at the same time and come up with a school ethos for EYFS.

 

Also I think you will find that half an hour PPA per day goes against the Workforce reform guidance so it may be a good idea to ask your union for advice.

 

When we had NQTs they get half a day for PPA and half a day for NQT so they usually get one day a week non contact and this is all in one chunk. they can then either work in school, attend training, visit other schools or work in other year groups.

 

As regards standards there is a wealth or evidence that quality play with adults scaffolding the learning will raise standards it is not the written work that will do this!

 

good luck and keep your spirits up!

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It must be really difficult for you Kathy when you are being pushed to do things that are not what you know you should be doing. Having inappropriate expectations of the children will be something contributing to the type of behaviours you describe, and to your stress, as you are being torn two ways. I would say that your school is not providing an 'enabling environment' for you, and therefore you can't provide one for the children. I expect if the school is having a lot of input to improve standards, everyone will be anxious and it is very hard for those not experienced in EY's to understand how a good play-based curriculum does actually get the desired result. I don't think in your position you can tackle this one on your own. Can you involve your Early Years Advisory teacher, putting your request to your HT in such as way, as you could do with their advice and support. As others have said, what about your NQT mentor and also your NQT time? Is your Mentor Early Years experienced? You need someone to support you. I don't think your PPA should be in these short blocks as it is not useful at all. You are not getting the right kind of support and you need to find a way of tackling this.

In the meantime if you have to use number and writing books then why not glue in examples from their play activities, focused work and pictures, etc as if they were the children's learning journeys. Why not drop your focused activities down to one in a session, so that you free up an adult to support the children playing, and put that in your planning as engaging in sustained, shared, thinking. The advisors should like that :o

On a cautionary note, I would keep a brief dated diary of the schools requests, and your requests for support, and the outcomes for you.

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Another thought: I think if you are spending the first part of the afternoon session sorting out lunchtime issues then everyone is getting off on the wrong foot. What happens at lunchtime should stay there, and be dealt with by whoever is with them. That kind of thing can turn into tale-telling by Mid-day staff and you having to discipline children for something you weren't involved in. This is something you can discuss with your school mentor as s/he will know if this goes on in each classroom, and if not, how staff have stopped this happening without upsetting the lunchtime staff. If it does go on everywhere then it is a whole-school issue and needs tackling, with standards being set, and training for the lunchtime staff to introduce positive behaviour management. That is of course difficult for you to influence. I would try hard to find a way to put a stop to this if you can. It might be worth you going back a few minutes early and having a quick word with your mid-day without the children, and telling her you'll deal with it later.

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If the children don't know how to play how about focusing some time when either you or the LSA can play alongside them modeling effective play. As I think you know from your message this is key in their overall development. If they can't be creative in their play this has a knock on effect when it comes to writing stories later on. If they can't be co-operative when they are playing they won't be able to work effectively together later on in their schooling. Everyone is right though, as an NQT you should not only be getting an extra 10% non-contact time on top of your 10% PPA time but you should be being supported by your mentor. We have changed how we do things this year in terms of less adult input etc... but I wouldn't say it is effecting our standards at all and behaviour wise they are fantastic (of course that could be a fluke!). We have very few arguments during the day, partly because they know that they have so much opportunity to play that they don't tend to get greedy over things and lash out. In your NQT time you could ask to visit another school and see how they run things as this is so helpful. Good luck :o

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