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Year 1 Children Held Back In Reception


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i currently work in a pre school setting and use this site to help me in my work place and with my studying .

but today i need help on a personnel matter . my son has been in reception since jan 2010 due to 2 intakes from school.

on the 26th of may i was informed as he is in a reception class of 33 (due to 6 appeals being accepted by the local area education office).

only 30 children would be going up into year 1 .the youngest 3 of which my son is one off, will remain in reception for a further year and then go into year 1 next year then rejoin his original class in year 3 missing out year 2. alarm bells are ringing for me for so many reasons.

please can any reception/ year 1 teachers give me advice on this . any support would be great.

thank you aston k

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Nope - don't think they can do this if the additional children have got the places on appeal then the infant class size regulations don't apply as far as I know to that group.

 

He is entitled to a year 1 curriculum and to be educated with his peers irrespective of his DoB- this is not acceptable in my book.

 

I'm not entirely certain what would be the best course of action, maybe contacting the LA admissions section to clarify the legality of the arrangement and then you would have to take it through the schools complaints procedure.

 

Cx

 

Just checked and it would appear that the exceeding number is only for the academic year - after that schools need to ensure 30 again - hence the "plan". Still don't think they should do this though. They would need an extra teacher however.

Edited by catma
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This might actually be quite nice for him in terms of the learning experience he's going to get at school. There is lots of reasons why children would benefit from getting reception style learning for a longer period of time, hence why there's so much discussion on here of how to make year one less formal. (Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm in no way suggesting he isn't ready for year one it just reception style teaching and learning really is a better style of learning, even for exceptionally bright children!)

 

The difficulty of course is that he's going to end up being taken from the peer group he knows now, placed with another peer group, only to go back to the original peer group at some time in the furture, which isn't so good. Also he might miss out on things from year 2 and when he's moved back up in year 3 would be behind the others.

 

I'm not sure what I would suggest to do for the best, although in all ways it is going to be better for him to be with a smaller class size. Staying with next years reception class permenently might be a solution, but then of course he has the whole thing of being 'held back' a year for the rest of his life.

 

To be honest this situation is a surprise to me, I thought there was no appeals procedure after the 30 children limit except in the final term of year 2. I thought 30 was the limit and that was final, but perhaps I was being a bit naive and expecting the system to actually be sensible. Hopefully other people will have some good advice!

 

Edit: I see Catma has already got in there with some more sensible advice than I can offer!

Edited by Guest
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sorry not a teacher so can't help just wanted to say this is due to money only because the school would have to employ another teacher to cover numbers. not fair on your son what happens about his friendship groups? really not on and i'm sure you could refuse as there is no reason for keeping down. i wonder what the lea is saying about this?

good luck :o

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Personally I think this is crazy. We have a full Reception class with 3 children on the waiting list, and we wouldn't dream of offering any of them a place unless we had a child leave. Class maximum should be 30 as a general rule, right?? Catma is right - contact the LA over this one.

 

Your son is part of that class and it's not fair to leave him in Reception because he's the youngest. Quite often it doesn't matter how old you are - the younger children aren't necessarilly the weaker in terms of learning.

 

But then to rejoin the class having missed Year 2. YEAR 2! That's crazy! Every Year is important but Year 2 is crucial in terms of reporting end of KS1 Attainment. And surely the transition between KS1 and KS2 will be impacted by the children being out of Year2.

 

Sorry but I think it's wrong to do that to the children. I really hope you manage to find some answers that you are happy with. Let us know what happens, won't you?

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I'm not a Reception Teacher, I'm a Mum. Our local Primary school had only 60 children when my daughter was there and Reception, year 1 and 2 were together, year 3 & 4 together and year 5 & 6. Now my daughter's year group was unusually large, so when she should have been going into year 2 (bust staying in the same physical classroom) there was another big intake so there would have been too many children for the teacher, so my daughter and 5 others moved into the next classroom with the 3's and 4's where they were differentiated for by that class teacher. The other 5 remained and did their year 2 in the 'Infants' as normal. Now when the next year came round, they moved into the Juniors with my daughter's group and carried on and the group carried on up the school as a unit after that, they didn't get split again. By year 6 there wasn't much to tell between them, to be honest - and I was working in that class at that time as a support assistant - it was actually hard to remember who had stayed 'back' and who had moved 'up'.

I wouldn't worry unduly - it may be good for his confidence as he'll 'know the ropes' and be much more able than the new intake. It could always be changed at a later date, children may move away or whatever? He'll still see his current classmates in the playground etc.

 

If you ARE concerned, I would suggest that you ask how the split was defined? was it alphabetical? ability? first come first served? But don't be anxious for him

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we have had a meeting with head teacher who says this is a management decission (end off)

we are now in process of following schools complaints procedure

you comments are much appreciated .

thank you

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Children admitted over the infant class size limit (30) are only exceptions for the remainder of that school year. So for a class of 33 the school would either have to employ another teacher or have mixed age classes.

I'm guessing there will be 30 children in Y2 next year and 33 Y1 plus 27 reception? which would comply with infant class size regulations.

If the school intend to admit 30 reception and keep back 3 children then they would be in breach of class size.

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6 years ago at my school, we had to split Year 1. We are a small school. PAN is now 15 (was 13 at the time - sensible given that LA always seems to ignore this with the million appeals that get in!!) Anyway, Y2 would be 18 (as you can see, 5(!!) over PAN at the time they started), and Year 1 would be 16, meaning there would be 34. It was decided that I would have the 4 'weakest' (who were also the youngest that year, but isn't necessarily so) as Year 1s. The plan was that the following year, they would rejoin their year group as Y2s.

 

This worked really well. Children got to have learning experiences that were right for them (in style/approach and slotted in well with brighter YRs anyway). It also meant they were in a smaller class. Yes, they were still 'behind' the norm going into Y2, but they would have been anyway as they were the weakest of their year group (probably behind even more so had they been in the Y1/2 class as would have been too formal for them, and (rightly or wrongly) expectations too high for them.

 

They mainly worked at EYFS level, moving on to Year 1 stuff when they were ready for it. They were taught exactly as the YRs were - some adult led, some child led, with increasing independence in the summer term. Activities, etc, were extended/changed for the more able YRs anyway (some of whom were more able than these Y1s), so the Y1s were able to acces these too when appropriate to them.

 

During Y2, all these chn achieved level 2 in their SATs, mainly 2b's I think, a couple of 2c's in a couple of subject areas. During Y3 and Y4, they were working well and within their expected levels.

 

The children have LOVED being in my class for an extra year, and slotted back in with no social issues in Y2.

 

We did the same thing for the next few years - hasn't by any means been 'the youngest' - I really don't think you can differentiate in this way - I have a late July birthday this year who is 2nd youngest and one of the most able, yet I have had several early autumns as my Y1s. One year, we didn't 'need' to for numbers reasons, but did anyway as it was best for the 3 children concerned. Another year, the YRs were firmly split - an average group and a very able group - so all went up as numbers allowed and it would have been tricky to split them.

 

Parents are informed (the head speaks to them in person usually), but are told (if they query it) that it is a school decision and not a voluntary thing - however, she does explain how it all works and why it is the best for the children concerned.

 

So, if you haven't died or fallen asleep reading this, in my experience, it can work well, but the school needs to be flexible and go with the needs of the children - not age - that is just silly in my opinion! Parents, I feel, have the right to understand the rationale behind the children who will be remaining with the YRs, and why it is right for their child - rather than it being 'just numbers'. Oh and, we try not to use the term 'staying behind in Reception' - we use 'staying in Class 1' but make a point of labelling them as Year 1s not Reception (if this is needed, though most parents/children don't seem to have the need for this to be emphasised)

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Guest eck1975

Are you sure that your son will be missing Y2? Is it not that he will be doing Y1 in a YR/1 class and doing Y2 in a Y1/2 class?

 

I work in a smallish school and in my first year (NQT year) I had 31 in my class, which was mixed Reception (24 children) and Year One (6 children), plus a Year 2 with severe special needs.

 

The Year Ones in my class were the youngest, the others were in a mixed Y1/2 class. This was the first year of this arrangement and understandably met with much resistance from some of the parents. There was no way my school could afford another teacher though. Some parents saw it as the children 'being kept down' or repeating Reception, however I worked very hard to promote the class as a mixed YR/1. I made sure that work and activities were planned for the Y1 children based on Y1 objectives. Sometimes this meant myself or the TA taking this group out. I do really feel that they benefitted from being within EYFS system for longer, particularly being the younger children. It made my heart lurch and sink every time I walked past the Y1/2 classroom to see the children sat behind desks all day long, every day - no sand, no water, no role-play area.

 

I had regular contact with the Y1/2 teacher and we did some of the same topics, to ensure that all of the Y1s were having the same opportunities as far as possible, and we worked it so that we could mix Y1s from both classes on some projects (e.g. a collaborative art/sculpture project and 2 science topics). We also (as a school) kept PSHE/Circle Time to single year groups, so that the children did keep regular contact with their peers. We also arranged a trip, which was for Y1 & 2, so the Y1 from my class went with the others. The Y1/2 teacher and I also collaborated on activities/tasks when it was assessment time/Star Weeks, so that they were assessed in the same way, and data for the whole year group was collected and reviewed, not just per class.

 

It's not an ideal situation and only having three Year 1s in the class will be difficult, so I do sympathise, but don't lose heart and don't feel they are being held back or repeating Reception. I am sure that the teachers of both classes and the management team will work hard to make sure these children are not left behind in any way. It is certainly worth finding out if there are going to be any opportunities for the Y1 children to work together, e.g. in Circle Time, or on any collaborative/creative projects.

 

I had a mixed class again last year, but it was a more even balance - 16 YR & 10 Y1, plus the child with SEN (then Y3). Because the mixed class had been a success the previous year, none of the Y1 parents were overly concerned. Again, these were the youngest children and did really benefit from still having access to CI learning. Again, the other Y1 children were in a mixed Y1/2 class - sat behind desks all the time. Obviously all children are different, but most of the Y1s that stayed with me absolutely flew. I am biased - but Y2 have just done their SATs and a number of the children who remained with me in Y1 have achieved level 3s, so please don't feel that your son will be held back if this does go ahead.

 

I totally understand why you would be appealing, but as has been mentioned above the class size probably has been limited to 30, despite having agreed 33 previously. Our numbers have gone up, so we are taking the gamble and an additional teacher is starting in September, so we are going to be able to go single form from YN - Y3, only Y5 will be split, as we'll have Y4/5 & Y5/6. If numbers continue to go up at your son's school it may right itself anyway before he gets to Y3, as they would (in theory) be able to get another teacher.

 

I don't know if any of that will have been any help to you, but I hope you manage to get it sorted out x

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Just a thought - are they keeping him in reception as in he will be doing the EYFS curriculum, because if that is the case they would not be doing his EYFSP until he is officially in Yr1. Or as eck1975 says is it going to be a reception /Yr1 class with delivery of both EYFS and national curriculum so he is being given the same education as his peers???

 

Cx

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Guest tinkerbell

I have taught a mixed aged class for many years R/yr1 22 and the next class has yr1/yr2 26

 

we split the year one because the class 2 would be over 30 with all yr1/yr2 and even if we had 30 in class 2 it would be unfair for me to have 15 reception and theyhave 30 yr1/yr2

 

The 5 year 1 children I keep make really good progress and there confidence is built up during the year as I give them special jobs and they help with the R organising phonic games etc There are times in the week where the year 1 get back together eg lunch time ,when yr2 have ICT the year1 are taught as a cohort for an hour.I have the yr1 back in with us one afternoon a week when we go on the school field ...

 

You need to ask the school how they will ensure your son will keep in contact with his friends and how they will be organising the curriculum .

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letter given states my son will be taught in a mixed reception/year 1 class

 

when we querryed this

class planning will be covering eyfs/key stage 1

plus additional

4 mornings a week with a ta in the libary

 

hardly a mixed group 27 reception 3 year 1

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It is the fact that only 3 Y1 children will remain in reception (and possibly stay apart from their peer group for all of KS1 if I'm reading correctly) that would concern me. I've taught mixed reception/Y1 classes and both my children were taught in mixed age classes and they can and do work very well.

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Marion I have the same concern. I've taught mixed year 3/4, and mixed year 4/5 it can work well. But it worries me that these children are the only 3 being kept in Reception and that they won't be reunited with their friends untill Year 3. What happens if before then one child from the class leaves and place becomes available? How would the school choose which of the 3 children could take the place?? I thin the school need to give you more information about their plans as it seems quite simplistic at the moment.

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I don't understand why they would need to stay with the YR children for Y2 as well as Y1 - surely after they have done Y1 in that class, they should move up to Y2 and rejoin their original cohort. If numbers are still an issue, then yes, a split would be needed for a second year, but those children should be Y1 children not the Y2s.

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I don't understand why they would need to stay with the YR children for Y2 as well as Y1 - surely after they have done Y1 in that class, they should move up to Y2 and rejoin their original cohort. If numbers are still an issue, then yes, a split would be needed for a second year, but those children should be Y1 children not the Y2s.

 

 

Unless children leave there will always be 33 children in that year group so until infant class size no longer applies that will be the year group that will need to be split

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I've just been reading through this again and whilst I can completely understand why you and the other parents are getting worried, particularly with it being such a small number of chilldren, I really think that the idea that they are being 'held back' is not a helpful one and probably not what the school intends at all. The class size rule is there to keep class sizes down, imagine if they got rid of it? Surely it would be more of a concern that a 5 year old was being taught in a class with so many children? 30 is already far too high in my opinion!

 

In the end the only thing the school can really do is change to a R/Y1 class, they don't have much option since I doubt they have the budget or the space to hire another teacher and create a new class. It works in many schools and I'm sure it will work in this one. The only concern now should be why the three children have been chosen. Age is a common factor in this for most schools, it takes the challenge of the school having to say "actually your child is one of the low achievers and would benefit from being in the more reception style environment" (because of course they know parents are going to see it as their child being 'held back'.) If they split by age rather than ability it takes some of that away. It takes a strong head to stick their neck out and actually approach it from an ability point of view.

 

Either way, whether your son is bright or struggling, he probably will benefit from the reception environment simply because I think all children would benefit from being in this environment for longer, although I would say the teacher should be differentiating for him and the others in class rather than sending him off with the TA. If the teacher is good at his/her job then I can't see him being disadvantaged by this and when he does get to year three you might find yourself fighting to let him stay in his new class (which will be mixed Y2/Y3 by then) with the friends he will have made there rather than jumping back ahead!

 

Ultimately I think you have to look at your son and think of his needs. Is it really that urgent that he moves on to what everyone is seeing as the 'year one' class? Of course I don't know him or what his ability is like, or what he shines at or struggles with, but from his point of view is it better that he stays in the play based environment? What is the year one environment like at the school? Will he have to spend 5 hours a day sitting at a table or on the carpet doing formal activities? Would this benefit him? On the other hand are the school going to take every pain to ensure that the new class is known as the 'reception and year one class'? The last thing he probably needs is them slipping up and treating it like a pure reception class, thus making everyone, including him, feel like he's been 'held back'.

 

I think you need to seek more reassurances from the school regarding things like him being sent to assemblies and play times (if reception don't attend these) and also about him being including in events that are KS1 based (sports clubs/after school events, the year one trips where possible, sitting with them at lunch time etc).

 

With it only being 3 children it does seem an unfortunate situation but short of choosing three different children there doesn't really seem to be much the school can do about it! Unfortunately with lack of funding there are always going to be these sorts of problems :o

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Just wondered if you've been able to speak to the person who'll be your child's teacher next year? I'd ask for clarification on how they plan on teaching the two curriculums and how they will ensure your child's needs will be met. Mixed year groups can work and aren't usually viewed as children being held back but as it says a mixed year group. I personally would be querying the time in the library with the ta (no offence to any ta's on here) but who'll be planning these sessions and how can the child access a full, curriculum from a library, especially when doing practical hands on activities?

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firstly i would like to say a big thank you to for your views on this matter.

i have sent in my letter of complaint .

i will be requesting lots more information,taken from your comments .

i have used this forum for so much of my research ,i just felt swamped by this situation ,

i feel i have a better understanding and confidence to challenge the school and hopefully get the best outcome for my son .

i will let you know the outcome

thank you all

astonk

 

my sons teacher is unable to comment on this so again thank you

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