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Foundation Stage Unit In A Small School


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I am really keen to find out if anyone knows of or works in a foundation stage unit in a small school?

 

We are presently looking at ways of increasing the intake numbers and think this might be the way forward.

 

Cheers Verity

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What do you call a small school? We have set up a FSU in our setting- we have 28 reception and 20 am and 23 pm nursery. It's brilliant! The children are so happy. The staff are sharing the planning assssment etc. and are happy too. It's so successful we're considering including all of ks1! Definitely the year1's. Our LEA inspectors are all for extending it- excellence and enjoyment- lovely!!! :D

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That sounds like a real success story Lucy! I'd like to hear more about how it's organised and planned when you have time!

 

Unless I've missed any earlier posts you've made on the subject. Sometimes I lose track of who's said what! :o

 

I know you've read the recent FSU article Lucy, but in case Verity hasn't, you can find it here. :)

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Hi veritn

I woked in a unit in a small school (about 15-18 per year group except then nursery which was alwasy bigger). But you will need to lok at the reasons for your low numbers. In our case we had a very poor OFTSEd and despite the fact that our nursery was always popular (always oversubscribed) the children always went on to reception elsewhere. A new head and management structure soon started to turn the school a round but I think the formation of the unit did encourage parents to keep their children with us through reception, and then stay as the children were well settled by then. So our numbers went up year on year from reception upwards.

 

Sadly, the school is now set to close because of falling numbers, simply pupil mobility was so high and with so much building work taking place in the neighbourhood, families are being re-housed elsehwre. If there aren't any children, there really isnt anything you can do.

 

A number of smaller schools opt to take rising 3s to keep the numbers up but there are a lot of issues if you do this and it wouldn't be my preferred option.

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We are also thinking of amalgamating our Nursery and Reception classes. I work in a Private school and numbers tend to fluctuate. When I joined there were 22 Nursery and this has decreased to 6 (not all full time) with 7 in Reception. Our head and bursar have not taken heed of our advice for advertisement to up our numbers and our department head thinks that the FSU may be the way forward.

 

I'd like to know how people coped with planning, did you amalgamate existing medium term plans? or start from scratch?

I am trying to find out as much as I can as our department head is not Early Years trained and wants me to say "how it should be done!" (scary!) :o Though many of the previous posts on this section of the forum and the article on FSU have already been very helpful.

 

Rebecca

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I would just like to add that the children haven't left because I joined!! :D The large Nursery class have now all moved up and are in Yr1.

 

Rebecca

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In reply to susan. The reason i have such as small class is because the previous inspection put foundation stage as a serious weakness and the new head wanted to keep it seperate as we had OFSTED due anytime. I only started in september and was able to start from scratch and do things my way.

 

We have applied this year for a raise in the intake number to 20 whcih has been filled. But the problems are in the future as we have falling roles across the county and the new system of the LEA deciding who goes where is going to problamatic.

 

We just recieved an excellent OFSTED report with reception coming out as very good. So the reason for creating a unit is to increase the numbers in school.

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Well donr to you then, verityn. hope you are successful in your mission.

 

And welcome to Rebecca :D , as I can see you are a new poster if not exactly a new member! good luck with your quest and sorry I cant be of any help with the answers but if you have planning in place, can you not structure it to be a 2 year cycle and differentiate appropriately?

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