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Seperate Classes Or Foundation Unit?


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Just something that has been on my mind for a while now and wanting other peoples perspectives on it. I have only ever worked in foundation units, i did all my teacher training in one, and have worked in 2 since then both in very different areas. Recently I keep hearing about a number of units that are returning to seperate nursery and reception classes, still remaining very informal and playbased etc but many people are discussing that having such large numbers of children within a unit at any one time as well as high numbers of staff is proving to be difficult. What are others thoughts on this? I am absolutely passionate about teaching within the early years full stop but must admit I have wondered if the best thing for children may be to have seperate classes. Particularly so when you experience very young 3 year olds working alongside quite able 4 and 5 year olds, not sure that all childrens needs are being met all the time??

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We were a foundation unit where all children mixed together. Last March we decided to change back to Reception and Nursery and it is the best thing we ever did. The nursery and reception children still mix in the outside area but indoors we have a nursery room and a reception we feel it allows us to enhance the areas better as the ability range is smaller.

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We have a big Unit and we like it - I can see why people might prefer seperate year groups as Unit's are a lot of work in terms of staffing, logistics, upkeep but in terms of meeting the requirements of the EYFS they are perfect.

 

The Foundation Stage is the Foundation Stage, (if you know what I mean!), just because the children are of different ages doesn't mean their experiences should be different - and this is the main danger of seperate year groups.

 

In the six schools that I have worked in generally teachers and heads have felt that Reception are ready for more formal experiences 'to get them ready for Year 1' and have less time to play and investigate than Nursery. I've just moved from a school where Reception still did a Literacy and Numeracy Hour.

 

In my humble opinion - making Reception 'different' to Nursery is a load of nonsense and goes against effective child development.

 

So if R and N are going to do mainly similar things...why get rid of a Unit?

Edited by ChrisAR
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yep totally agree that nursery and reception should be along the same lines as each other, and the thought of doing lit and num hours in reception is absurd to me too, however in a school in an area where there is a massive amount of difference between some of the children within the unit then it is hard and not necessarily the right thing for the children

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I have worked as a unit for several years it is very difficult to manage and requires a great deal of good will from all staff but if the children have enough time in their groups in an area that they feel as their base the I think the learning should be good. :o

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