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Classroom?


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Hi, in our Preschool we used to take the children who were going to school that september up into a different room that we call a classroom. There they have older toys more age appropriate and sit on a carpet to read a story and do day, date, weather board. They then do a focus craft before playing. We used to do this to help prepare them for school, parents love it but OFSTED are not keen as it is not centered on free choice or child interests. When the children are in the classroom they are away from the main free play playroom with outdoor area so do not have access to this outdoor play for the time they are in the classroon (40 mins).

It is becoming a bit of an argument amongst staff for those that want to keep it going and those who want to scrap it. Last term it became a case of children being rushed upstairs to do classroom where they rushed through the craft and date board and didn't play up there just so we could say to parents they had been upstairs to the classroom!

Im beginning to think it should be scrapped but my boss who runs the classroom is all for it so I need some sound evidence if I'm going to challenge this but I can see the pros and cons to both arguments.

Any opinions anyone, it may help us sort this out??

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We do something similar, but we have never been criticised for it by Ofsted. That said we don't do it for as long, and we use some of the time to do letters and sounds activities which would not be appropriate for the younger children. We do base the activities in the room on the interests of the children in there at the time and sometimes on a topic or theme, but in this case it is always an activity which picks up on their particular interests. So for eg if we decide to introduce some topic work on Divali we would either use a story if the children at that time were very interested in stories or if they preferred making something we might make Diva lamps as the activity. Our children usually spend about 15 minutes in the room which is sufficient to do all this but we have small groups (max 8). On some days certain children don't want to stay for as long in the room and on other days we struggle to get them to leave the room! We try to be flexible with them and if they don't want to stay for long, encourage them to do some of the activities on offer before they leave. Our reflection later tends to then focus on why the child didn't want to stay and what we can do to make it more appealing for them. Could you find some kinds of compromises from this example of how we work it to see if they could be tried in your setting?

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