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Please Help!


TesTwinkles
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From next term, my class (YR) is merging with the Y1/2 class and I'm looking for some practical help with bringing FS ideas into the whole class while still challenging the Y1 and Y2 children.

 

Can anyone help please? The new Head is very supportive of the principle, but needs to be convinced (as do the parents) that the older children won't 'suffer' if I introduce CP for the whole class.

 

Many thanks

Twinkles

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Hi, my own children's school has a mixed YR/1/2 class so I might be able to help a little bit.

 

Firstly, I think the teacher has accepted that it is pretty much impossible to deliver the FS as it was originally intended in a class with this mix of age groups. She doesn't for instance have the option to free flow, simply because of it being impossible to supervise and organise. Also the classroom is small so areas for things like role play are of necessity limited.

 

What she does do is use a 'planning boards' system so that the younger children can have free choice, while the others do more focused activities.

 

However, it is clear to me that the YR children are having to fit into more of a traditional school day than they would in a pure reception class. It's not child initiated or CP in the true sense, but they don't seem to have been permanently damaged by the experience of having to slot in with the others :o

 

I know some will regard this as heresy(!!), but it is honestly not doing them any harm at all. They pick up reading really really quickly (my daughter is reading already after only 6 weeks at the school). She's also picked up on some much higher level maths concepts, such as multiplication, because of having shared carpet time with the older children.

 

The carpet time thing is probably the hardest to manage, because you need to deliver that one concept at 3 different levels, but their teacher is wonderful and manages it brilliantly.

 

I'm not sure how long you've been teaching, but when I first taught reception the kids did okay and were happy, and we didn't do all this free choice/child initiated stuff. I think it's worth questioning the principle and for you to be pushed to support the approach you'd like to use with an evidence based response rather than just with what 'feels' right.

 

Of course, if you are convinced that the way to go is to make Y1/2 more like YR rather than the other way around, then you would need to include focused activities to stretch the older children, alongside the CP. You're going to have to work very hard to differentiate activities, and to think along the lines of who is most able, rather than who is in what age group.

 

I know the Hamilton Trust does some useful resources for mixed age teaching.

 

The upsides for my children's teacher are that it is a small class and she has a full time TA. I hope that is the situation for you?

 

Sorry if that is all a bit waffly and not what you'd asked for but I hope it helps by giving you a feel for the perspective of a parent who was once a reception teacher and who now helps out with a preschool!

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Hi there, it sounds like you're going to have a tough job on your hands! I had R/Y1 last year and I ran the class on FS principles. The children were put into groups based on ability rather than age. In the mornings each group had 2 focussed Lit/Num activities each week (one with me and one with my TA). The rest of the time they were 'planning', but in some areas of the classroom there were particular challenges that the Y1s had a to complete. In the afternoons myself or my TA would work with groups on other areas of the curriculum whilst the rest of the children planned and the other adult supported their play. It worked well and the children made good progress, but I'm not sure how it would work with Y2 as well. If it helps I could attach my timetable/planning?

Kathryn

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Hi there, it sounds like you're going to have a tough job on your hands! I had R/Y1 last year and I ran the class on FS principles. The children were put into groups based on ability rather than age. In the mornings each group had 2 focussed Lit/Num activities each week (one with me and one with my TA). The rest of the time they were 'planning', but in some areas of the classroom there were particular challenges that the Y1s had a to complete. In the afternoons myself or my TA would work with groups on other areas of the curriculum whilst the rest of the children planned and the other adult supported their play. It worked well and the children made good progress, but I'm not sure how it would work with Y2 as well. If it helps I could attach my timetable/planning?

Kathryn

 

Thanks for the replies - Kathryn, sounds like that would be really useful, thanks!

 

I had a day with the 'whole' class today (and Parents Evening, coincidentally) and the main thing is that many of the Y1 children (12 boys, 2 girls) really struggle with the previous teacher making them sit at tables and 'work' when many of them still have very short attention spans and a need to do things practically/physically. We're doing 'instructions' at the moment, so we sequenced instructions for making a jam sandwich today and we're going to make it tomorrow. When I told the children they were amazed that they'd actually be making a real sandwich 'instead of just having to write about it'

 

I have some work to do, methinks!

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Sounds like your year 1s are going to be really benefit from the foundation stage ethos! I totally agree with Kathryn, I think that you could have differentiated challenges for the year 1 and 2 children to do whilst they access the CP. You could maybe get the year 2s to do extra independent adult led activities. I have never taught a mixed age class so prob not the best person to offer advise. I imagine carpet times are the toughest part, maybe you could get your TA to get either the year 2s or the reception sometimes so it can be more suited to their needs.

Lots of luck! x

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Hi I'm new to the forum and not even sure if I'm outting this message in the correct place!!!

 

I'm in a year 1 and am uncertain whether I'm doing things the best way. I started teaching more like foundation last year. I have a free flow policy- so the children can go out and in as they please.

For 1st half of autumn we do num in am, plus phonics before lunch and lit in the pm(linked to topic).

Then either at Oct half term/Christmas depending on children we change to Num, Lit + phonics in am and topic in pm. Does this make sense? My worry is that unless they are working with myself or the TA they are rather left to their own devices.

 

A typical day if it helps: (after half term/Christmas- no TA in pms)

9.9.20 Num input

9.20-10.30 free play + focus groups

Playtime

10.40-11.00 Lit input

11.00-11.50 free play + focus groups

11.50-12.10 Letters and Sounds

1.15-1.35 class input

1.35- 3.00 free play + focus groups

 

My question (poss questions).

I have read lots on the forum of diff ways of teaching Yr1.

I am interested in some who talked about challenges (Emilia and Marion- I think were 2). Do the challenges involve Lit and Num as well as topic areas?

Could i still get away with just a 'numeracy input' and manage to cover all literacy in topic?

Any advice would be great. (I trained in KS2 and have only had some KS1/Early Years training- budgets being what they are!!!!!)

Thanking everyone in advance for their replies/advice

Emmylu

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Hi I'm new to the forum and not even sure if I'm outting this message in the correct place!!!

 

I'm in a year 1 and am uncertain whether I'm doing things the best way. I started teaching more like foundation last year. I have a free flow policy- so the children can go out and in as they please.

For 1st half of autumn we do num in am, plus phonics before lunch and lit in the pm(linked to topic).

Then either at Oct half term/Christmas depending on children we change to Num, Lit + phonics in am and topic in pm. Does this make sense? My worry is that unless they are working with myself or the TA they are rather left to their own devices.

 

A typical day if it helps: (after half term/Christmas- no TA in pms)

9.9.20 Num input

9.20-10.30 free play + focus groups

Playtime

10.40-11.00 Lit input

11.00-11.50 free play + focus groups

11.50-12.10 Letters and Sounds

1.15-1.35 class input

1.35- 3.00 free play + focus groups

 

My question (poss questions).

I have read lots on the forum of diff ways of teaching Yr1.

I am interested in some who talked about challenges (Emilia and Marion- I think were 2). Do the challenges involve Lit and Num as well as topic areas?

Could i still get away with just a 'numeracy input' and manage to cover all literacy in topic?

Any advice would be great. (I trained in KS2 and have only had some KS1/Early Years training- budgets being what they are!!!!!)

Thanking everyone in advance for their replies/advice

Emmylu

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Have just seen your post.

 

The "best way" is the one that ensures that your children learn most effectively is what I would say. There is a lot of debate about y1. I am in y1 too and we have to do, right from Sept.,as we are told by SMT, a very structured lit and num hour, with topic in the afternoons!

 

Your approach sounds very EYFS based and I wonder if you are planning to continue with it all year or whether you will move to a more structured approach as the year progresses?

 

Last half-term was a nightmare as the children had been used to 2 years (n and r) of free-flow and then had suddenyl gone into 1 room all day and being very desk based.

 

If the SMT are happy with what you are doing and most importantly, trhe children are happy and learning, tyhen I really wouldn't worry about whether you are doing the "best" way or not. Good luck.

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Hi I'm new to the forum and not even sure if I'm outting this message in the correct place!!!

 

I'm in a year 1 and am uncertain whether I'm doing things the best way. I started teaching more like foundation last year. I have a free flow policy- so the children can go out and in as they please.

For 1st half of autumn we do num in am, plus phonics before lunch and lit in the pm(linked to topic).

Then either at Oct half term/Christmas depending on children we change to Num, Lit + phonics in am and topic in pm. Does this make sense? My worry is that unless they are working with myself or the TA they are rather left to their own devices.

 

A typical day if it helps: (after half term/Christmas- no TA in pms)

9.9.20 Num input

9.20-10.30 free play + focus groups

Playtime

10.40-11.00 Lit input

11.00-11.50 free play + focus groups

11.50-12.10 Letters and Sounds

1.15-1.35 class input

1.35- 3.00 free play + focus groups

 

My question (poss questions).

I have read lots on the forum of diff ways of teaching Yr1.

I am interested in some who talked about challenges (Emilia and Marion- I think were 2). Do the challenges involve Lit and Num as well as topic areas?

Could i still get away with just a 'numeracy input' and manage to cover all literacy in topic?

Any advice would be great. (I trained in KS2 and have only had some KS1/Early Years training- budgets being what they are!!!!!)

Thanking everyone in advance for their replies/advice

Emmylu

 

 

Hi Emmylu

I would really highly recommend the book Moving on to Key stage One it is anexcellent read and will give you some really great ideas and confidnece!

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moving-Key-Stage-T...n/dp/0335238467

 

Lorna

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