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Hey everyone.

My name is Francoise and I have been teaching for about 10 years in Foundation Stage although this is my first post here, so hello all! I was on maternity leave when the EYFS was introduced and although I've read it cover to cover, I've not had any training in it. I've just joined a new school (part time because of bambino) and unfortunately it's gone into special measures during a recent ofsted (due to sats results). I was taken on in September to help try and improve the FS. We are now going to get money thrown at us (apparently) and I have been given the task of coming up with a plan for a whole new reception classroom and outdoor area. Please could you have a look at my ideas below and tell me if you think these I'm on the right track and any further suggestions would be fantastic help. Thank you.

 

CLASSROOM

Use of natural wood everywhere

Worktops around edge of classroom and minimal tables

Adult sink and child level sink

Kitchen area (for baking and snack) - can you have a cooker in class????

Natural lighting

New unisex toilets - is this ok? and how many would we need?? (there are 45 children - 2 classes in large room)

Large stock cupboard for topic boxes

Early Excellence shelving units for all continuous provision areas

ARE THERE ANY RECENT CHANGES REGARDS CONT PROV AREAS / ANY NEW AREAS ETC???

 

OUTDOOR

Bumpy area of land for gross motor control (i.e. small hills)

Track for cars and bikes

Parking area for cars and bikes

Outdoor tap

Climbing area and slide (already have)

Willow Weave den

Porch and shelving for wellies etc

Builders area (e.g. workbench, tools, guttering, bricks, wheelbarrows, tyres, crates etc etc)

 

There's more I can add but you get the idea of the way I'm thinking. Sorry for long post. Hope you can help as I'm sure you all have great ideas. Thank you in advance!!! :o

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Sounds wonderful and just to add to the advice from Susan have you seen the document Communication Friendly Spaces from the Basic Skills Agency it is excellent! There is also a 30 minute video on this on Teacher's TV.

 

Also for the outdoor area look at Learning Outside the Classroom http://www.lotc.org.uk/ and also the Mindstretcher Catalogue has great resources for Forest School type activities that you can do in your own grounds.

 

Great project good luck!

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I don't know which part of the country you are in but if you are in reachable distance of Huddersfield paying a visit to Early Excellence would provide you with loads of ideas.

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I'd be wary of going with fixed worktops around the edge of the classroom. I once went to a school where the class teacher had thought it seemed like a great idea at the time, but then later on they became the bain of her life. She couldn't rearrange her classroom because they wouldn't move; she couldn't make any nice cosy corners or partition areas off for role play/construction sites etc because everything was around the edge, plus her floor would get completely covered in construction bricks/toys etc because the children were taking things and using them on the floor and inevitably they would spread over a large area. She was tearing her hair out because it was getting to the point she felt it was dangerous and it was difficult for the children to understand that if they were playing with construction it would be rather nice if they actually left some room on the floor for the other children to walk around the classroom or to play with the railway track or whatever, because there were no boundaries anywhere at all. Nice as no boundaries sounds for the children's learning I could see why it was driving her mad.

 

The other thing she disliked about it was the loss of a cosy group element to things like playing with plasticine. If they were out on the workbenches the children had to stand or sit in rows along them rather than gathering in a group with the resources placed in the centre of the table. Some workbenches are nice in a classroom but I'd think carefully about going so far in this direction that you have too few tables or space for nice cosy corners, plus tables can always be pushed around the edge and then moved at a later point if it isn't working or you want a change.

 

One thing I would recommend getting is a tent. My children absolutely love the tent in our classroom and although it started off as a reading area it becomes many different things on a daily basis. Also I'm not sure of the correct name, but some sort of walls for role play areas are nice, the sort that have a door and window and can become a house/shop/castle etc with just a few creative adjustments. They make the role play corner really feel more like a seperate part of the classroom.

 

With regards to the cooker I don't know for certain but I would assume not. Cookers get hot on the outside when they are switched on and it would be a health and safety nightmare. I have seen kitchen areas with cookers in some nursery classrooms before but they have always been fenced off with a child safety gate, possibly you could do this in your reception class?

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Thank you so much for all your ideas. Yes, you are right Kariana about the worktops. The cosy corners would become an issue and everything would be concentrated on around the edges of the room rather than throughout the room. I will def invest in the role play that can be changed. I've not even looked at the companies that sell furniture etc yet so I will look forward to spending the money that's not mine! I'll prob do a big plan and get told that I can only get the walls painted and a jigsaw! hope not though, I've been promised great things. Thanks again for all your help and if anyone else has any ideas i will keep checking here. :o

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Thanks for this topic. I'm moving my F1 children into a new room. The only rectangular one in school!! I was wondering about worktops and the replies on here have helped me to cement my thoughts about inflexibility. My current room has worktops in some places but it does make life awkward. I think I will go for some worktop around the carpet area (for my computer to go on and for big book stand for group stories) and I think some along where the children's competers will go, although I do have trollies so may keep these and then I can move the computers around. Don't have that option at the moment because of the networking cables, but now my new room is going to be networked so don't have that to worry about.

 

I love the idea of having a brand new untouched space to work with but it is daunting knowing what to do with it and how to arrange, especially as I am off work with a bad back at the moment and coz of builders / contractors I've so far only had about 20 minutes to spend in the space!

 

Does anyone know of any inspiring websites that have photos of rooms to inspire me, or are there any photos anywhere on here? Don't know where to look on this site!

 

Thanks

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I have recently had my classroom refurbished and have used units to seperate the different areas ie, role play, creativity, quiet area. Although, I have moved them a number of times, which is the best part of having furniture that is not fixed.

 

We have a cooker in our kitchen area. I had advise from our OFSTED advisor and she told me it was okay to have one in the classroom. The oven door doesn't get hot on the outside.

 

I'm sure it's on your list to have a thermostat on the childs sink, makes life so much simpler when they're washing up.

We have two sinks, one in the kitchen area and one in the creativity area so they are able to wash up their own paint brushes etc.

 

I have mostly wooden tables, chairs and furniture and small baskets on the shelving units containing equipment.

Decided on white with a hint of green for the decor with bamboo blinds.

 

As you can probably tell, I love my classroom. I spent loads of time choosing equipment and furniture but it was all worth it.

 

Jackie.

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