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Foundation Unit Scrapped!


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Hi,

I am hoping someone can give me some advice, after working with nursery for six months the school in which I have been based since sept, (I am NQT)has decided the results are not good enough so have scrapped our foundation unit and gone back to seperate RECEPTION AND NURSERY! :o

Myself and another NQT have been placed in charge of reception, the head has made it very clear we are to raise standards in literacy and numeracy. The head wants us to have discrete RML sessions and numeracy sessions, and bring reception back in line with the rest of school. I have no idea how to get the balance right between the heads requirements and the EYFS. We also have OFSTED looming and I don't think they will like such a formal environment!!!

HELP!!

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I suspect when OFSTED arrive they will be strongly recommending going back to the FS unit as this is definitely the direction they are looking at taking things in. It will be your head coming under fire for that, not you so don't worry on that score!

 

Unfortunately I don't really have much else useful to add, but I'm sure plenty of people here will be able to help.

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I would agree that the big O would prefer to see it working as a unit but hey! My opinion would be that 6 months is a ridiculously short amount of time to really give things a go. We work a reception unit as there is no nursery. We use RML or RWI as we call it. We have finished introducing the set 1 sounds and from January we will be splitting into groups to do our differentiated 45 min sessions. My group know 24+ sounds and can blend pretty well and we will be working on improving our blending and then starting on the ditties while revising the sounds, the other teacher will have children who know 10-15+ sounds who are just starting to blend and will be reintroducing a lot of the sounds while having a major emphasis on blending VC and CVC words so they are ready for ditties after half term. Our two TAs have got smaller groups. One has a group of 7 who have picked up 5 or less sounds, and the other has a mixture of those that know 5-10 sounds but can blend and those that know 10-15 sounds but can't blend - hopefully they'll rub off on each other. Through these sessions there will be a mixture of formal and more physical active type of activities. The two TA groups tend to have a story time at the end with some 'Fred' talk words incorporated.

 

As for numeracy we have a 15 minute session everyday with our own classes. Alongside that there will be at least 2 group activities. One tends to be game based and the other some form of recorded maths (obviously mainly pictorial at this stage).

 

I hope that is of some help!

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I suspect when OFSTED arrive they will be strongly recommending going back to the FS unit as this is definitely the direction they are looking at taking things in. It will be your head coming under fire for that, not you so don't worry on that score!

 

We had OFSTED about 4 weeks ago and are currently running 1 nursery and 1 reception class seperately despite having ridiculously low numbers (18 in nursery and 20 in YR) and OFSTED actually commented on this. They said that the numbers would imply that a unit would be appropriate but actually they felt we were providing a better standard of education in seperate classes. THey were pleased that we hadn't gone down this route becasue they felt it was better for the chn to be part of smaller group and that they have to develop relationships with less chn and adults. Thought that was v interesting! We came out with a GOOD grading.

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There's no right or wrong in this, we have outstanding settings who operate separate Reception and nursery classes so I wouldn't really be worrying about that. We also had a school that changed from a unit back to separate classes and their standards did indeed rise for their reception children so it may not be all bad. Ofsted will be perfectly happy either way if children are making progress.

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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HI Christina

just wanted to offer my sympathies - this time last year I was asked by a new head to revernt back to separate classes for standards reasons. Ofsted didn't comment on the FSU/separate classes issue - their prime concern was standards and in all my experiences of school Ofsteds they haven't seemed to be very in tune with what I would class as good eys practice and seem to like a slightly more formal approach. Is all very frustrating but I would say the best way to work towards the kind of eys practice you know is best is to prove you can raise standards first then start gradually changing the approaches.

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Thanks for all your thoughts and comments, some real food for thought here. I feel a little better today after getting some timetabling down and have been promised lots of help to change the physical spaces around.

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