Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Mixed Age Range Classes


 Share

Recommended Posts

I work in a very small school and have recently been informed that due to poor intake numbers I will be taking a reception/year 1 and year 2 class together from September? Does anyone out there have any tips for me? I feel the planning and organisation will be incredibly challanging! Any helpful ideas very much appreciated!

:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ang and welcome.

 

I havent any experience of this but there are some mixed age planning resources out there on the wider web! Look at Lancs for literacy and Cumbria for Maths. Hamiltontrust may also help although you will need to pay a small subs to access all their materials. Sally Featherstone also wrote some books a few years back which you will find on the A&C Black website, if you are unfamiliar with her materials.

 

We do have at least one member here in a similar situation and lots of members teaching YrR/Yr1 mixes who may also be able to offer support.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just got a Reception/Y1 job to start in September. I taught Reception for several years and am now returning to teaching after a break at home with my children. A lot has changed since I last taught Reception, so I think teaching to both the EYFS and NC is going to be a real challenge! However, I am hoping to teach all the children through play based experiences. I will also need to re-organise the classroom (as it is set up in quite a formal way) and set up an outside area ( there is none - eek!). Any advice gratefully received!!

 

Kathryn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Susan! Thank you for welcoming me here. I am grateful for all the advice- I have already taken a look at Hamilton Trust which I'm sure will be useful. I'm an NQT so planning for 3 year groups is quite a challenge. I will plan by topic and differentiate according to ability, not age.

Thanks again :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Kathryn,

I have children too and have just entered teaching myself. sounds like you're much more experienced than me. I was qualified in KS1 and KS2 so it was a bit challenging to take on Early Years this year but I have loved it and the new curriculum is quite straight forward. I visited a couple of settings to make sure that I was operating under the right lines. We have a play based curriculum too although it's tough finding the balance between play and inputs/focused tasks. We set up our classroom into different areas- role play, ICT, creative, PSRN, CLL, KUW- construction etc. Our outdoor area was sorted out last year before I joined- I don't envy you with that task.

 

I think Hampshire guidelines are that year 1's should still have 40% play. My worry is that I have year 2's as well from September which need to be less play based. If I find/do any planning I'll share it - I have already thought about topics, although these are really just some initial thoughts- if anyone has any ideas about these specific topics or other topics that would be very useful :

Autumn 1: Homes and houses - linked to reception topic Ourselves

Autumn 2: Fire- to include the Fire of London and Guy Fawkes, light and dark, nocturnal animals. Loud and quiet- how sounds are made.

Spring 1: Transport- to include how transport has changed, include moon landings. Forces- pushes and pulls in science.

Spring 2: Famous people (How we can help others)- Florence Nightingale or Mary Seacole and a famous children's author i.e Beatrix Potter, Dick King Smith, Dahl.

Summer 1: Food and growth

Summer 2: Oceans and sea creatures.

All the best and thanks for replying!

Angie :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had the same thing in our school 3 years ago and we used what we call 'the Smarties Book' which I think is from Featherstone Education. It has a 3 year rolling programme of topics to cover the national curriculum requirements for KS1 and links to the old CGFS. We found it useful for quite a tricky situation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to say I have the same mix - have promised I won't spend too long on here tonight, but will message tomorrow with egs of planning etc. Only done it for a year, very "suck it and see", but have learnt quite a lot from mistakes I've made that might save you a bit of time!

Will be in touch,

Tracy :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be great to see your examples of planning etc. Tracy. I met up with my new Head yesterday and she seems happy for me to extend the EYFS for the Y1s and plan for the 6 areas of learning for the whole class. I am really excited about this, but not quite sure as to how it will work. I will be job sharing with a v established teacher and need to talk to her about she feels about this as well!! Went to observe an FS unit today that has just had an outstanding Ofsted - its was fantastic, all child-initiated, and v inspiring. Can't wait to get in there and get started!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi there,

Yes it is a challenge mixing year groups. I remembered that I saw some good ideas on the TES forum about this. (sorry to mention that one here!) There was good guidance by someone called welshy in March. they set up challenges linked to objectives but develop the ideas for the older ones. ie build a car, to build and label a car, to plan then build and write about a car, to design then build then evaluate your design. Anyway it sounded like great ideas and may be of help if you look it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that - i managed to find it and there were some great ideas. I think that having the class set up into areas with a totally play-based curriculum could really work. Having different challenges for the different year groups would differentiate it and I could also get the Y1s to write a 'plan' of what they are going to do. I am going to try and come up with some planning pro formas over the next few days so that I can show them to my head and also my job share teacher. Will let you know how I get on...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

could also get the Y1s to write a 'plan' of what they are going to do.

 

Have a look at the HighScope website if you're going down that route. If all your support staff are on board with its principles fully, it can be really good for the older ones. I've a cracking document somewhere that tracks all the literacy objectives to Plan do review. I'll try to route it out for you.

 

After a year of trial and error, I'm definitely going to stick with the idea of "bottom up" with our 3 year groups - ie. access to CP as much as possible, but with more direction and lots of extension challenges for Y1 and Y2, coupled with lots of short sharp focus groups. I have 30 in the class, 10 of each year group, and we also find that things like circle time work better by splitting into either year of family groups. Luckily, I have a little boy in Y1 with a full time statement, so there are always 3 members of staff in there. I've slowly but surely moved more and more of the tables out of the room, and the "Y1/2" area that I started the year with has now largely disappeared - CP areas have grown and we have a couple of quiet tables in class for children who choose to work in that way.

 

The biggest challenge for our school historically has been the sheer size of Year 2 compared to the receptions, especially by the end of the year. Some of the older Y2s can also tend to squash the fun out of some of the activities I would normally do with a single age reception class. (Watch out for vocal non-believers when Father Christmas or fairies visit, etc!) Next year should be easier as my current Y1s are a much younger, more innocent bunch.

 

This half term, I'm calling my Year 2s "Year 3s to be"s, and they have a transition project to do. Basically, it means lots of writing, ICT tasks, science investigations, topic work such as drawing maps, art work and maths problems. They are preparing a folder of their best work for the "junior" teachers. I've never seen a reaction like it. No more "Can we go out on the bikes now?" and the quality of work they're producing is fab. I think the fact that we let them take a step back and play alongside the younger children means they are now REALLY ready to work at that KS2 level. (And all our assessments show they are still achieving where I would want them to be, so the sats brigade are kept nice and quiet :D)

 

I set up tables in the hall each morning now, and one member of staff floats between that "quiet" area and our cloakroom area, which we have to use for group work due to space. Although I felt guilty about doing this, they absolutely love it, and feel all grown up now. Some Y1 children also opt into that area when they want to concentrate. I think the environment is absolutely key to making this work. Over the summer, I'm resiting the cloakroom area so that it's next to the outdoor area (hard to work with a focus group when children are climbing over us to get to their coats).

 

 

There are some benefits, though. Real experiences for Y1/2 are easier to fit in and plan for - it's already there!

It's really easy to pitch group work as your ability range is so wide - ie. upper Y1s can work alongside Y2s, those Y2s needing lots of support can work alongside the younger children - just beware of the temptation to lump all YR, all Y1 and all Y2 together - and also of the temptation to "teach" Y1/2, leaving your TA to work with YR all the time - it's easily done without lots of careful planning, and you can suddenly get to Friday and realise you've hardly worked with YR at all, especially at sats time approaches.

 

I've used abacus evolve mixed age Y1/2 planning as a basis for maths this year - not the be all and end all, but useful as a starting point. As the year went on, I've found more and more that I'm replacing suggested activities with my own. Quiet often, the lower Y1 activities could be adapted and turned into games that my more able YR group could access and enjoy, too. They're word docs so it's easy to add in extra columns for YR, and the support staff like it in that format.

 

Oh - and this year's reports were the easiest I've ever had to write, because I know the children better than ever before after working in this way. Long live the post-it!

 

Hope that's of some help.

Tracy :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LornaW

In my last school we used the High/Scope model throughout the school and eventually gained High/Scope accreditation for the whole school so if anyone is thinking of going down that route they are great people to work with!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou so much for your replies, they are so helpful. I will have a look on the Hiighscope website. Years ago I worked in a Highscope nursery (on teaching practice) and it was fantastic so I am really interested in going down this route. My head is also v open to new ideas so I think she will be interested in this. If you can find the document you mentioned I would love to see it. The classroom is being gutted during the summer and new flooring done, so this is the perfect opportunity to reorganise it. I am planning to try and visit a few settings this term to get some ideas about this. We are also having an outside area put in, so its all v exciting!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tracy, I'd be really interested to see your document too. Also do you have any planning formats that you could share please as I am finding the formats we have more restrictive than anything else?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Tracy,

Thanks for your reply. I'm glad I'm not alone- reception and year 2 children seem so different so I feel very challenged :o . I want to do the best job I can for each year group. I think I'm a real perfectionist so I'm going to find this year really hard. I would be very interested to hear about your 'mistakes' so I don't make the same ones and any examples of planning would be a literal God send.

Looking forward to hearing from you.... xD

Angie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Angie,

Sorry I took so long. Here's a few bits and bobs that might be of a little use.

The pdf file on Plan Do Review progression for reception was, I'm sure, one I found on here, so a massive apology to the person who uploaded it as I cna't remember for the life of me who it was. Can't take any credit for that one.

The Word doc is just a list of progression for written plans and reviews - I was trying to make an argument for not having to have a formal literacy hour every day a little while back, and decided to track the sentence level skills into PDR to see if they could be addressed in that way. I'm planning on trying to merge the 2 docs over the holidays to make one chart for convenience.

I'm also uploading some other bits - full mixed age unit summaries from the lancashire site - one each for fiction, non fiction and poetry, which might help get you started.

An example of the maths planning I use is also here to show you how I set it out - bear in mind reception children at the beginning of the year are not in for our maths input.Hope some of it is of use. The worse thing is being torn in 3 ways - my reception planning isn't as detailed as it would be if I didn't have Y1/2 to think about - that's my focus for the coming year. The Tom Sweep literacy plan is incomplete - I only plan the first few days in detail when I do a unit of literacy and pop in the outline into the rest, as it always needs changing as I go along. I've also attached a copy of one timetable I tried - but this will change in September - I usually spend all summer on that one! It's a spring one - I only work 4 days, but they pay me to do sats prep for Y2 and take them out on Friday mornings. I tend to start with either a Y2 or Y1 plan and then work around it, taking the level up/down accordingly. Our YRs tend to come in pretty high, and are usually able and willing to join the older children more often by the spring term. It's all about making what we do with Y1/2 worth opting into!

Tracy :)

Mixed_YR12_Fiction_Traditional_tales_Unit_summary.doc

Mixed_YR12_Non_Fiction_Information_book_unit_summary.doc

Mixed_YR12_Poetry_See__hear__feel_and_taste_unit_summary.doc

PDR_progress_over_yearfor_average_YR..pdf

Progression_of_skills_in_Y1_and_2_pdr.doc

Guided_Reading_Timetable.doc

maths_autumn_two_week_one.doc

TOM_SWEEP_plan.doc

class_timetable.doc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for putting all those documents on Tracy, really, really useful. I especially like the plan/do/review progression documents. Went to observe at a school the other day and they use the Highscope model really sucessfully - it is a Rec only class though! Wondered when you do these sessions. Is it all day, or do you have specific p/d/r sessions in the afternoons? Thanks, Kathryn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year we have been a member of staff down as we've had to put a TA 1:1 with a little boy who had behaviour issues. For Y1/2, it's been a case of Friday planning afternoon for Y1/2, which isn't really ideal as it can become a "finishing off" afternoon if you're not careful.

My aim for September is to get it back into the mornings slot, which is how we used to run it with a mixed Y2/3 class at a previous school. Realistically, with all the other pressures, it will probably be on Thursday and Friday mornings to start with, and I hope to get through my guided reading/guided writing groups in that time too if possible. I'd love to get to a point where YR and Y1 automatically come in and start planning at the start of the school day, but am still negotiating timetables.

As further extension, we often give a "teacher plan" that the older children must complete before moving on to their "own plans" - I like to make this a maths focus, reviewing whatever our objectives for the week have been, or a problem solving activity, or perhaps saying that they must drop into a teacher led maths game area.

Staff who can see the value in all the decision making and language development are vital, and a good quality review - again this can be extended for literacy purposes by encouraging children to "question" the person reviewing - so Jack might say "I built a model." The other children start to ask "What colour was your model?" and Jack will be encouraged to answer in a sentence, "My model was blue." etc. We use a question hand for that (attached). It's fabulous for EAL children.

I found this link on Amazon - might help a bit. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bringing-Approach-...g/dp/1843124319

Tracy :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for link, am going to order book as it looks v useful. I need to sit down with my job share teacher and work out timetables etc. Really like the idea of the children coming in and planning straight away if possible. Also like the idea of saying they have to a 'teacher planned' activity as this gives their own plans and the teachers equal status. Can't wait to get going with all this, will let you now how I get on!

Kathryn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Tracy- loads of extremely helpful info here! I appreciate everyones replies- fantastic help this forum- my first time on it too! Now I need to take heed of all that's been said and get down to the actual planning- I do want to enjoy some of the summer holidays!!

 

I'm hoping to visit a school in the next couple of weeks to see how a mixed R/1/2 class works in practice- anyone out there in Southampton/Salisbury/Basingstoke, Winchester region who wouldn't mind a visit?

 

Thank- you!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have started trying out ideas for timetable from September. Might be of use as a starting point to someone in a similar position - thanks so much to LornaW on another post as much of this is based on the information she provided there about the way she runs her day.

This is only a paper exercise at this point, not a proven system!

Tracy :)

sept_09_timetable.doc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi

I'm an NQT struggling with Receptipn/year 1 class, I was thinking of doing Fire after Half Terms so would really appreciate it if you could send me your plans I desparately need ideas.

 

Thanks

 

julescc272

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a medium term plan I've done for September for Rec/Y1 based round the topic of houses and homes ('Build it up!'). Numbers refer to NC programmes of study. I am working to the EYFS this term as children still need this, but thought I'd better put in National Curriculum links. I am new to this age mix, so this isn't tried and tested, but feel free to use it if its any help. Any comments also welcome! It is deliberately braod to enable me to follow where the children lead!

Build_it_up___medium_term_plan.docx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...
Hi Angie,

Sorry I took so long. Here's a few bits and bobs that might be of a little use.

The pdf file on Plan Do Review progression for reception was, I'm sure, one I found on here, so a massive apology to the person who uploaded it as I cna't remember for the life of me who it was. Can't take any credit for that one.

The Word doc is just a list of progression for written plans and reviews - I was trying to make an argument for not having to have a formal literacy hour every day a little while back, and decided to track the sentence level skills into PDR to see if they could be addressed in that way. I'm planning on trying to merge the 2 docs over the holidays to make one chart for convenience.

I'm also uploading some other bits - full mixed age unit summaries from the lancashire site - one each for fiction, non fiction and poetry, which might help get you started.

An example of the maths planning I use is also here to show you how I set it out - bear in mind reception children at the beginning of the year are not in for our maths input.Hope some of it is of use. The worse thing is being torn in 3 ways - my reception planning isn't as detailed as it would be if I didn't have Y1/2 to think about - that's my focus for the coming year. The Tom Sweep literacy plan is incomplete - I only plan the first few days in detail when I do a unit of literacy and pop in the outline into the rest, as it always needs changing as I go along. I've also attached a copy of one timetable I tried - but this will change in September - I usually spend all summer on that one! It's a spring one - I only work 4 days, but they pay me to do sats prep for Y2 and take them out on Friday mornings. I tend to start with either a Y2 or Y1 plan and then work around it, taking the level up/down accordingly. Our YRs tend to come in pretty high, and are usually able and willing to join the older children more often by the spring term. It's all about making what we do with Y1/2 worth opting into!

Tracy :)

 

 

Hi ,

Am in mixed year 1/2 class and am struggling to think of some good ideas for non- fiction topic- dinosaurs- well am on phase two and am just stuck- have yo done this topic- could you post some plans to have look at to see if am doing it right- so many thanks xxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)