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Going Back To Yr/y1/y2


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After 2 years teaching a mixed-age class, my village school went to 4 classes and I have just had a fantastic year teaching a YR class. The children made great progress compared to the previous 2 cohorts and I felt that being able to devote myself to EYFS really made the difference.

 

Sadly, due to falling numbers, next year we are reverting to 3 classes so I need to get my head around mixed-age teaching again. I'm finding it very hard to see how I can do my best for the reception children now I've seen how well it works when they're on their own.

 

Can any of you lovely people reassure me that things will be OK and give me some great suggestions for making the best of things?

 

Many thanks.

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Hi There

I have just finished my first year teaching R - Yr 2. It is a challenge but it is possible. I base my planning on the EYFS and extend up rather than pitching it in the middle and working up and down! I was really sorry when the Tories dumped the new primary curriculum because that would have made things much easier.

 

I pick my topics (Long Ago and Far Away, Dinosaurs and Mermaids and Pirates for next year) and do a good old fashioned topic web. So for Long ago ... I have started with Nursery Rhymes and Trad tales and thought of lots of good fun activities, thought about role play areas etc then looked at the various NC docs and highlighted the areas that we will cover with the fun things that I have thought of. I then look at any gaps and extend my ideas with less fun things (boo hoo). In long ago ... we are also covering Castles (there are enough trad tales with pricesses etc for this to hang together) which will cover the n-f bit of literacy and history. DT is being covered by The Elves and the Shoemakers (making shoes) the 3 bears (making porridge) and the Queen of Hearts (making jam tarts) I do a LOT of cooking - we willprobably sneak some gingerbread men in there too! Cooking covers so much of the KUW, PSRN formal bits, leave the cutters out with the play dough and lots of self-initiated tea parties, CLLD etc. The elves and the shoemakers will open up lots of opportunities for PSRN (measuring) CD (designing shoes) etc.

 

In Literacy we split the class for phonics. We have a daily session for phonics. I have the less experienced (last year Yr r and 1) and my TA has the more experienced. This year we will be less year reliant because the chort is different, we are also borrowing another TA for 15 mins each morning to have 3 phonics groups. The Year 1 & 2 children do guided reading twice a week and I still place a lot of emphasis on individual reading. I introduced my more able Reception children to Guided Reading in the Summer Term - which they loved - but won't start the others until we go back and they are Yr 1.

 

In Maths I tend to have a very Reception friendly intro - counting, songs etc (the singup website is fab here if you haven't come across it, there is a really good counting backwards song to which we add lots of actions) then the Reception children tootle off to do their own thing while I then do the input for the others.

 

Once a week I do a more formal Lit and Ma activity with the little ones - but still very play based. We do, as a class, Big Writing once a fortnight. The Yr Rs work in the library (ie behind a book shelf) and are less formal than the rest of us (ie not in silence) with either myself or my TA.

 

PE is my big bugbear. Next year I am going to try Yr R, a very late developing Yr 1 and a dyspraxic Yr 2 doing Write Dance while the rest of us do PE. As we have no hall we can only do PE if the weather is good so our PE is limited anyway!

 

It's not ideal and I'm still learning but by the end of the year I was starting to think that I was getting the hang of things! Good luck ... I'm sure that there will be lots of people with more experience of making this work along with much better help and support.

Emma

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PE is my big bugbear. Next year I am going to try Yr R, a very late developing Yr 1 and a dyspraxic Yr 2 doing Write Dance while the rest of us do PE. As we have no hall we can only do PE if the weather is good so our PE is limited anyway!

 

 

Goodness! I thought there was some sort of legal requirment for a certain amount of PE, or is it only a recommendation? Perhaps it only applies to secondary actually now I think about it. Still it must be really difficult not having a hall, I'm always taking my class in the hall whenever I want a bit more space for something.

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