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3 Class Intake In Reception


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Hi All

Just wanted some advice.....

As of September we will have 3 reception classes. When all the children have settled and we have established current interests should each class follow the individual interests of their class or should we all have the same theme?

2 classes are in a shared area and will hopefully work well together, myself and an NQT. The 3rd class is in a separate part of the school with a teacher who prefers to do things her way and teach the same old topics year after year (Don't think I'm ever going to crack that problem!).

Our parents are quite competitive and not sure how they would react to different themes in different classes as they may be concerned that their child was missing out. However, i could be wrong and they may be fine with it.

What would you do in this situation?

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I am not a reception teacher, I work in nursery but it seems to me that you should not do what the other reception teacher ALWAYS does in case the parents think their child is missing out!!

 

As long as you and the person you are working with are committed and if you can justify what you do, I don't think the same old same old should be coming out because it will keep the peace.

 

Give the cildren what THEY need!

 

Every cohort will be different so its impossible to say that the exact same thing could be done effectively anyway... in my (HUMBLE) opinion.

 

Start as you mean to go on!!! :o

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It's hard, down the road from us is a three form entry school where each classroom is identical with same work titled in books and same displays on walls, with the reason given parents want to know their child isn't missing out regardless to which class their child is in!!!!!!

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We are in a similar situation, however we generally begin a similar theme, but soon goes down its own route. With children being individual you can never plan to 'be the same'.

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Why not have a very general theme to start off with (you'll have to introduce something at the beginning of the year presumably anyway as there will be no interests to plan from yet!) This general theme can then be taken in different directions by the classes as per the children's interests. On the other hand if you have two classes sharing an area you'll probably find that in general the classes are going down the same route anyway as each class will be able to access the same resources presumably and children often pick up interests from what they see other children doing.

Edited by Guest
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So....what I think your'e all agreeing is that it's fine if all 3 classes are doing different themes because it will reflect the interests of the children?

We should be able to justify this to parents because it's about teaching skills not topics.

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So....what I think your'e all agreeing is that it's fine if all 3 classes are doing different themes because it will reflect the interests of the children?

We should be able to justify this to parents because it's about teaching skills not topics.

 

 

Spot on, in my humble opinion.

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I'm in the same position Rufus - going from teaching reception in a one form entry school, able to decide everything by myself (and with the children!), following children's interests really closely - I have loved it. Now I'm leading the reception team of 5!!!! :o classes, and unsure quite how to bridge that gap. BUT enormously excited about my new school and role!

 

I was wondering whether to plan as a unit and move children about a bit according to their interests, but think that might be a bit unwieldy with such a large number of children. Maybe if it was 4 classes you could split into 2 sets of 2, or (controversial) you and the NQT could work as a team and be a bit fluid with the children from theme to theme? It could be seen as being supportive to your NQT and your third team member could be more independent? Not sure what I think of that as a team leader, probably a bit divisive... or it might encourage the 3rd teacher to opt in if she thought it was on an 'as and when' basis - when key interests crop up and overlap between classes?

 

Out of interest, what things do you think should be uniform across the team? For example, record keeping procedures? I'm not sure yet exactly what I feel strongly about that is personal to me, and what I feel strongly about that I should definitely disseminate across the team. I think the key probably is listening to one another and sharing good practice. I'm sure I'm going to learn loads from the other 4 teachers.

 

Is this a new job for you, Rufus, or an extra large intake of children? Or was it the same situation last year? Are you leading the team? I'd be really interested to hear all the ins and outs.

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I'm in the same position Rufus - going from teaching reception in a one form entry school, able to decide everything by myself (and with the children!), following children's interests really closely - I have loved it. Now I'm leading the reception team of 5!!!! :o classes, and unsure quite how to bridge that gap. BUT enormously excited about my new school and role!

 

I was wondering whether to plan as a unit and move children about a bit according to their interests, but think that might be a bit unwieldy with such a large number of children. Maybe if it was 4 classes you could split into 2 sets of 2, or (controversial) you and the NQT could work as a team and be a bit fluid with the children from theme to theme? It could be seen as being supportive to your NQT and your third team member could be more independent? Not sure what I think of that as a team leader, probably a bit divisive... or it might encourage the 3rd teacher to opt in if she thought it was on an 'as and when' basis - when key interests crop up and overlap between classes?

 

Out of interest, what things do you think should be uniform across the team? For example, record keeping procedures? I'm not sure yet exactly what I feel strongly about that is personal to me, and what I feel strongly about that I should definitely disseminate across the team. I think the key probably is listening to one another and sharing good practice. I'm sure I'm going to learn loads from the other 4 teachers.

 

Is this a new job for you, Rufus, or an extra large intake of children? Or was it the same situation last year? Are you leading the team? I'd be really interested to hear all the ins and outs.

 

Hi Emmajess

I am leading the team, yes. Last year we had one F1 class (me) and two F2 classes, so there wasn't any pressure to all teach the same thing, as we were different year groups. Therefore the teacher who prefers topics could do her thing with the NQT and I could do my thing. However, the NQT is clearly getting the wrong message of EYFS so the plan is to move them into a shared area with me and the 'stuck in her ways' teacher will be in her own classroom. Very tricky to get someone to change their ways, especially when they are on the run up to retiring.

 

In terms of what I think needs to be the same across the classes....

  • I think planning is very personal and each teacher should use a format that suits them.
  • i also think record keeping is a similar thing, as long as records are kept and inform next steps and planning, the format doesn't bother me.
  • I think reading needs to be consistent. For example how many times do they read each week? How many times do they change their book? etc

  • I think every class must adopt the facilitating adult role
  • I like learning journeys to be filled out in a similar way, noting the developmental months and next steps. I also like formal observation forms to be stuck in learning journeys and all classes use the same format for this.

 

In an ideal world I would also like all classes to follow children's interests, use the outdoors regularly and NOT have a table and chair for every child!!!! But I think there are some battles that I am going to have to admit defeat on.

 

I think you just have to do the best job you can, lead as well as you can but at the end of the day, you cannot make people change. You can only lead by example and hope!

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We are only 2 classes but plan separately. We used to plan together but even with 60 children found it hard to plan for 60 children's interests and it took hours! Now we do our own plan (but use the same format) I generally find that after one class has covered something it sparks an interest in the other class so we still benefit from having other ideas and resources to share. We also share our plans by email and it was very interesting to note how aspects of good practice from one class or another was used by the other teachers! We plan for the outdoors together still as this is a shared area and we also have joint rules, expectations in other shared areas.

 

S

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Hello Thought I'd add my good wishes for leading 5 classes.

I've been doing this for a while now and we plan around a loose topic together each few weeks - eg nursery rhymes will be on the agenda in September - but then each class decides how much weight to give to each planning item - I may spend a whole week looking at different kinds of spider while my colleague next door sings the nursery rhyme a couple of times and moves swiftly on to investingating how table tennis balls move down gutter pipes- same 'observing closely' and 'sorting' objectives covered, but differnt interests catered for.

Most issues centre on resourcing interesting 'fascination centres' or 'stimulus areas' for so many people, and on giving children peace and space to investigate for themselves. It feels rather like living in an ant-hill sometimes. I seem to have taken over any vaguely free ares of the school, simply to give the opportunity for tranquillity and uninterrupted thought.

5 is fun, definately never boring or static - enjoy it!

Mary :o

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