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Reception Staffing Query - Please Help


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Hi,

I am new to the forum and new to reception. I did not train in Early Years, so am learning as I go. I work in a team that consists of a variety of experience. As a teacher in Key stages 1 and 2, we had always been told to plan for our support staff. However, it seems a bit different in the team I am in now. My nursery nurse worked in a nursery before and was used to planning for herself. I don't want to tread on her toes by planning for her, but don't know how much to reasonebly expect her to do. I have read some threads where nursery nurses say they are responsible for an area of the curriculum and completely plan and resource all learning opportunities in this area - is that normal/ok? I also work with LSA's who are not used to planning their own activties. Do I give them more planning to do - work as a nursery nurse would, or continue to plan for my nursery nurse - which I think is taking away from her job satisfaction?

Please help if you can, as I just want everyone to be happy - as it is bound to impact positively on the children.

Thanks

 

new2reception

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As a Reception teacher I would not expect a T.A to plan by her/ him self; after all you are the one held ultimately held accountable for the children's progression. However, I think it is great practice and highly benefical if a T.A is able to join in and contribute to planning meetings as they willl be delivering some of the curriculum too. I am always aware of T.A's contracted time and the little they get paid for the amount they do (you alos might like to check the job description of your T.A to see if it includes planing).

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BUT a Nursery Nurse, if she has that qualification and training or equivalent will have been taught in a different way and should and could be taking some responsibility for the planning, hopefully as a team member so that you have oversight of it with your responsibility as the teacher but maybe for an area of the curriculum that she plans alone if you and she feel comfortable with this. I would certainly not be expecting her to opt out completely that is why she is employed and not a TA/LSA.

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BUT a Nursery Nurse, if she has that qualification and training or equivalent will have been taught in a different way and should and could be taking some responsibility for the planning, hopefully as a team member so that you have oversight of it with your responsibility as the teacher but maybe for an area of the curriculum that she plans alone if you and she feel comfortable with this. I would certainly not be expecting her to opt out completely that is why she is employed and not a TA/LSA.

 

How would you recommend to strike up a fair balance? The Nursery Nurse has expressed that she would like more responsibility in order to continue getting job satisfaction. I can't ask/expect her to plan activities but do all the work for my LSA can I? Is there a central place to find out about job descriptions of various staff, or does it depend on your school? Also, do you know where SEN assistants fit into the mix. Should they be planning for the child they support, or delivering pre-planned support? Thanks

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Thanks. I will do! I don't want to give additional work to my LSA, but I also want my nursery nurse to feel her ability and qualification is valued. Do you know if generally their job descriptions are the same?

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Thanks. I will do! I don't want to give additional work to my LSA, but I also want my nursery nurse to feel her ability and qualification is valued. Do you know if generally their job descriptions are the same?

 

Where I work we have Nursery and Reception in the same class space and we have an LSA for Reception, NN for AM Nursery and LSA for PM Nursery. All staff are actively involved in planning sessons but have very different job descriptions. The NN is key worker for half the AM children, neither LSA'a are key workers although they do contribute to obs etc. We plan what skills we are going to teach and talk about different ideas and ways to teach the skills to the children but then the NN goes away and plans her activities and the LSA's are given plans to follow.

NN's pay, terms and conditions include non contact time whereas LSA's are generally just paid for their time in school so NN's should be doing more then LSA's and this may include taking on additional responsibilities.

 

Why can't they do different things or you do different things for them? They are different jobs with different descriptions, responsibilities and expectations. You will need to speak to your admin person to get a job description as this varies from school to school. As for the SEN LSA I would find out how much experience they have and how long they have worked with the child and to start with I would plan alongside them, asking for their ideas and next steps and insights into the child and their needs. Their answers would affect whether how much planning and direction I would do/ give.

 

I would speak to the NN and find out what she wants to do and is happy to take on for her to enjoy her job. And do the same with the LSA, the LSA I work with has been working in Reception for 20 years and she has loads of good ideas so I give her less support and direction then I would a less experienced LSA. We talk about planned activities and I tell her what I want the outcome to be and she decides how to do it. She does also have specific phonic groups she works with while I'm in assembly etc and she plans what to do with them each week.

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You could give the LSA responsibility for maintaing the 'supplies' in different aspects of your continuous provision, for instance the writing table, creative area, and ask the NN to plan for enhancements to certain areas in response to the children's current needs and interests. That way she hasthat element of ownership over an element of the planning.

It also depends on how confident you are in your NNs ability to plan for activities. As the class teacher you do have that responsibility in ensuring activities and teaching are well matched to the children's current levels of development, so you need to feel confident that if your NN is doing planning for an area of learning / specific group of children then that planning addresses the needs of the children.

Have you spoken to the FS coordinator about the different roles, and what the expectations on the LSAs and NNs is in terms of plannng? Also Non-contact time for NNs was mentioned earlier, this doesn't happen in my school and so would it be fair to expect someone to take on planning if they don't get non-contact time, like a teacher does?

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