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Organising A Timetable?


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I recently wrote about having a new group of nursery children in my Reception class which I have been somewhat panicing about and now I've come to the time to plan for them!

 

Just wondered if anyone has either had this experience or has any advice on the following:

 

Bearing in mind my nursery children are only in from 9-11.30 and the receptions obviously in all day, I really don't know where to start in setting out my timetable so that:

 

a. the nursery experience all the areas of learning over the course of their mornings

 

b. do the correct number of 'adult led' activities in these areas.

 

c. the reception still get their 'time' in numeracy/ literacy/ other group activities.

 

I've had no nursery experience before (so am rather nervous of making a hash of it in front of some nursery TA's I've never worked with before) and am totally clueless about how many carpet sessions they should have and how many activities they should do as 'adult led' activities and in which areas! In the last 2 terms, I've been doing literacy and numeracy in the mornings and more topic based stuff in the afternoon with my receptions but surely if I do this they will only get lit/ num input and not much else! BUT... am I right (probably wrong!) in thinking that they should have at least a bit of phonics and numeracy input each day? But if this is the case, where on earth do I fit anything else?!

 

My sessions are as follows:

Register/ early morning carpet settling activities 8.45am til 9am

9 til 10.15 session 1

10.15 til 10.30 fruit

10.50 til 11.30 session 2 and nursery to go home with receptions staying til 12 and afternoons too.

 

When I look at it, the time the nursery group will have is VERY short and I know I run the risk of trying to do too much and then I'll feel like I'm failing them.

 

I have to admit, I'm totally lucky in that I will have 2 TA's with me but that in itself I find hard to arrange as a timetable so everyone knows which group of children they are with or what they are focusing on.

 

Does ANYONE have any advice on how I can manage this successfully, I'm REALLY worried about getting it wrong and not teaching anyone properly because of fitting in various inputs and groups! Even if I could see a timetable showing how someone else does it might help me get my tiny brain around it!

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Im working in preschool so probably no right comenting on this but could you not just let the little ones come in and play for their two and a half hour session. They can sit and share snack with the group and if they choose to they could join any adult led activity you've organised but with no expectation that they will, or if they do, that they will stick at it? Reception will still get their quota of activities / input ...your TA's could work with the ones that choose not to join in adult led times.

 

They will be in reception in september anyway I assume, so have plenty of time to settle into that routine once they do. They will be able to experience what happens in reception and get to know the environment but surely shouldnt have to conform to the reception expectations yet

I'd say keep it as flexible and playful as you can for them...EYFS advocates that all the way through to the end of reception so try not to bow to pressure to get them doing too many structured activities (including the reception ones!)

Try to incorporate the numeracy / literacy input through free play as much as possible - I'd say one group carpet session per day is fine..two at most.

Of course thats me with my preschool experience and thinking 'in an ideal world'...I know teachers have extra pressure from heads and year one..but try to resist for the childrens sake.

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Again I'm just in Reception so don't really know any more than you but didn't want to leave you struggling! As far as I am aware the nursery children don't have to do any adult led activities, but TAs should be supporting them and extending their learning through their play. They could join the carpet sessions if relevant but as you have more TAs, maybe the nursery children could have a separate circle/carpet time if you feel what you're teaching reception is too much for them. Have you thought about having rolling snack bar where the children can access their snack at any time during the morning? I did this this year and its working really well, takes a while to introduce, you may need an adult to begin with to ensure children are having their snack, but it gives more time to CI play. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

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Ive been thinking about this one all day!

 

I think you need to be asking for some more guidance in school. The school expectations should give you some indication as to what you can/ should do.

Why are these children being moved into reception now?What have they been doing in nursery and how has their day been structured up to now?

 

If my presumption is that they are the oldest of the next year group, then you can afford to use this term as a settling term and concentrate on the elements of PSE that you can develop to aid their learning and attainment next year. They may be able to join in some reception sessions but may also benefit from their own carpet times, maybe at the same time as your reception children or maybe at a different time. I would think one group / carpet time a day with some focused teaching would work well with lots of interaction with the environment and activities with appropriate differentiation. There will be a lot of difference between what they can do and what your reception children are doing.

 

If, on the other hand they are the youngest children of the current cohort who are still only having half a day in school and who will be yr1 in September, then you are talking a whole different ball game and you need to be thinking much more of integration within your class although I would still be arguing for a PSE focus to enable them to develop those learning skills that they will need. But, you will also need to offer something more directed in terms of the other curriculum areas.

 

Also dont forget about the needs of your current class. What will be demanded of them in yr1? It can alter the group dynamics quite considerably taking in a new group.

 

Good luck. This sounds like lots of hard work. Let us know how it goes.

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Thank's everyone for your comments and advice. They are joining my class purely so that more children can enter the nursery (money!) and they ARE still nursery entering reception in September. I think I'm just worried as I've never had this age group before and have come from a Year 2, then 1 and now Reception background so my expectations might just be too high?

 

I suppose I'm just concerned I don't just 'leave them to it' but want to give them what they are entitled to yet not really knowing what that is or should be.

 

Thank's again, will have a think!

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Oh, my! What a position for you, the children and the TA's! Indeed, it is an unfair situation for all of you and I agree some continuation of their (N) program could be followed.

 

What about if you did shorter carpet activities for Numeracy and Literacy and then divide into 3 rotating groups

 

or you then stay with the R children for small group work, while the 2 TA's continue interacting with the Nursery children.

 

They could concentrate playing in 2 different play areas per day, giving them the chance of playing in 10 of these during the week. Or if you want, rotating both TA's and groups into 5 play areas per week.

 

I don't know... it is just an idea that came in my mind, but I have never been in this situation. I hope things work out good for all of you. Best wishes and just sit with the TA's to ask some suggestions as well. By the way, do you also have TA's for your Reception children and how many children will there be in both R and N?

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It strikes me that the school is being very unfair on both you and the nursery children as it is a far from ideal situation. Could I ask how many nursery and reception children you will have in your class?

 

Will have 22 reception and 8 nursery so taking it to a full class which to be fair, most teachers have to deal with as have I in the past. (Been lovely having 22 though)

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Hi,

Sounds like a tricky situation and an unfair one! I think what I would do is make the Nursery TA the key person for the 8 Nursery children, so she could do the adult-led activities with the Nursery children based on their next steps. These adult-led activities could be done either with the nursery group or with individual children. I would, like others have said, allow them to play for the majority of the time, with a short-time for the adult-led activities. Would it be possible for you to change your reception timetable around a bit so that either Literacy or Numeracy was done in the afternoon? I was advised to try to do either a literacy OR numeracy focused activity each day, with a short carpet session of each everyday, but I know that this is not always supported by heads! The nursery children should have 'daily planned opportunities' for phonics but this does not necessarily mean a separate activity - it can be done through the environment/part of story-time etc.

Good luck,

Hope you find a way that works for you.

Green Hippo x

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Do you know why these 8 children have been chosen? Are they the eldest /most able/most confident?

 

How much adult led time do they receive in nursery because I would imagine you will need to provide these children with the same even though they are now part of your class. I would perhaps liaise with the nursery teacher and try to plan the same adult led activity for both sets of children over a week.

 

Good Luck

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Do you know why these 8 children have been chosen? Are they the eldest /most able/most confident?

 

How much adult led time do they receive in nursery because I would imagine you will need to provide these children with the same even though they are now part of your class. I would perhaps liaise with the nursery teacher and try to plan the same adult led activity for both sets of children over a week.

 

Good Luck

 

They are the eldest 8 from the nursery- had them today for the first time and they seem (early days!) ok but suddenly there seem SOOOO many children to see! The morning session went SO quickly- it feels like I'll be able to do less than I thought! Some are apparently quite able though I've not managed to be alongside all of them yet to judge.

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