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:o Help!

I job share in a mixed reception year 1 class. It is a small class only 8rec and 11year 1 but am becoming increasingly depressed about work. The year 1's are the young year 1's all June, July Aug birthdays and reception all the Sep to Dec birthdays.The school has had lots of problems which are hopefully on the way to being resolved which I admit is an obvious contributing factor - it has been a very difficult and testing year so far. This is my first year in a mixed class though have been teaching for years previously in in Nursery and reception. I love foundation stage and early years and our unit got good from ofsted in last years inspection so must have been ok. However I feel that I am increasingly having to work in a way that I am not comfortable with - the children are now only objectives and targets and everything is 'planned' The year ones have to have inappropriate lined literacy books and to me there is no joy in teaching any more. My job share partner is not someone I would have chosen - we have nothing in common and she seems very happy to be told what to do and takes everything very literally. She has emailed me some plans and I am so depressed it is untrue - just after I had begun to feel more positive about things. I can't afford to give up work and there are absolutely no jobs to even apply for to get out.

Out literacy unit is the non fiction bit and she seems to think this means we can't have any fiction stories in the class! Our topic is growth so there are lovely stories that can be used along side the literacy unit and especially for the reception children.

I have started to try and plan numeracy - block d unit 2 and block E unit 2 and the literacy and now just feel sick.

I know I have help and support in school - the deputy is amazing and understands how a mixed class is difficult - I just don't know how to plan anymore. I want my 5 year olds to have a wonderful time learning and at the moment I don't know how to do it.

Can anyone give me some positive ways of approaching planning so I tick all the boxes ready for an Ofsted later this year and get my teaching mojo back. Have other mixed age class teachers found planning issues.

This forum has been fab in the past for sharing and giving me brilliant ideas so I hope you can get me back on track again. xD

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didn't want to read and run, just wanted to hope that someone will be along to help with experience of this.


you sound like you know the best way to be teaching - with enthusiasm and passion for the children. i can understand your thoughts about children becoming learning objectives and data, i have to stick in the mindset that if i know the children and what they need then i know they will make progress.


lucie x

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I have this same mix and feel exactly the same about it and have very few words of wisdom! I can only tell you what I do. My Y1s get more 'work' at least that's the way they see it!. Each day they will do a maths and an English focus activity in the morning, reception will do one or the other. All will sit together for a short input for maths and English. We also do a phonics session.


Whenever reception aren't working with an adult they have CI time. When the Y1s have 'finished' their tasks they access the CI provision too. In the afternoons We have a whole class input then reception are doing CI activities. Y1 have a focus task they have to do but as before once finished they go and 'choose'. I sometimes get the Y1s back together to tie up loose ends, extend their learning a little before a whole class story.


It's not ideal, I don't much like it but I am surviving. The planning feels monumental and very much like it is mostly aimed at the Y1s although the actual delivery of the whole class inputs is more balanced. I do plan for Block A unit 2 for maths etc. and one of the reception focus maths activities that week will be related to the objectives in that block but the other is more variable and could be about whatever they need to work on next.


I'm certain that won't be much help except to say you're not the only one! I am going on a 'working in a mixed EYFS/Y1 class' course in the next month or so so any words of wisdom I get from that I will share on here as it's something that crops up often and I've never yet met a teacher with this mix who feels they're doing it 'right'!

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Oh hec I have just typed a whole page and lost it!!!


OK let me try again.


1st don't give up talk to the DH and explain you really need to be planning from children's needs not the strategies ( they are not statutory!) and that if you plan according to the topic you will meet thoise needs more effectively.


2nd look at all the maths and lit you can get from the topic of growth and then highlight the units to show you are covering it and then work your planning to that.


3rd read Julie Fisher's book Moving on to Key Stage One it will give you all the ammunition you need to work your whole calss as a good EY class and differentiate according to need.


Keep your pecker up you sound like a great teacher who really cares! And do not give in keep at it and use the DH as your support to do so.


Good Luck



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Hi Julie

how awful for you to be feeling like this when were are on holiday. I don't know how much help i will be but i will try. I have taught a mixed aged YR and Y1 class now for the past 4 years and i agree its really tough, probably the most difficult and challenging age mix as we are always trying to be true to the FS and also NC. I have also job shared in the past too and know how difficult that can be, especially when you have different ways of teaching and approaching things. I am just going to give you some of the things that have worked for me, there may be something that you can take and adapt to try and make it a little easier for you.

How supportive are the senior leadership team? i really challenged them about the importance of the FS and ensured that my class was run like a FS unit. The Y1 children still have plenty of opportunities to play and i link their work as much as i can to play. The children record in as many different ways as possible -writing if they can, pictures, photos etc. I have stopped worrying about the amount produced in books and thought about how much the children are learning and the quality of what they do not the amount they do. Each area in the class - construction, writing table, sand etc has challenges linked to it that the children have to complete over the week, the challenges are differentiated. I use talking postcards stuck on the wall in each area to support the children. Sometimes the YR children will have a go at the Y1 challenge but i always let them have a go. It works a bit like the MUST SHOULD COULD layered targets, they must complete the one i have set them, but they can have a go at any of the other. I do this for each area and the challenges last a week. We discuss every couple of days how the challenges are going and to check children are doing them. It wasnt easy to set up, it took a long time to train the children and set up each area, but after 2 years we are finally there. We have recently had an OFSTED inspection and they really liked what we were doing for the children.

We do have targets for them for Literacy and Numeracy and we work on these during the adult focused activites. I know this has turned into a bit of a waffle, but i hope it helps. I really believe the best practice goes on in the FS and we need to encourage Y1 to look similar, especailly if the children are young as they are in your class.

With regards to your job share, is there any possibility of sharing the responsibilities so you are responsible for some areas of the curriculum and your partner other areas. When i job shared i took on responsiblity for the Numeracy and my collegue took on the literacy, but this was in a Y2 class, so it was a little different, but it might be something you could explore.

Try to keep positive, you are not on your own. I hope some of this waffle has been useful!! Try and enjoy what is left of half term x

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Julie, I know exactly how you feel and I am teaching year1!


Have you discovered the maths planning on the bedfordshire maths site. The year 1 planning is excellent and could help.


Purdypops, any chance of seeing some examples of you challenges please?

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A big thank you to everyone who replied, this is a wonderful forum full of amazing people. I feel a lot better knowing that I am not the only one who struggles with this mix of children and that planning and balnce is an issue not just for me but for lots of people. Have printed off the Bedfordshire maths stuff and it is really helpful so thank you Susan for that. Julie Fishers book arrived this morning so I have an afternoon of reading ahead.

Then it is planning day tomorrow - I feel a lot more positive again now so heopefully it won't be too traumatic! Have been reading the learning walls thread too so going to start that off on Monday as well.

Thanks again

Julie :o

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It is so nice to see support on here has helped and given you some positive ways to go fwd next term. My experiences of foundation is limited but my job share knowledge is good. Look to the positives...at least your job share is not full on insisting that things are done her way. She perhaps feels lost too if you are guiding her?? talk to her, perhaps she feels the same.

As for your children in our school our head want the Yr1 children to be learning in the same way as our reception children, at least for a good transition phase - if you have children that are poor and need that input then you have an excellent case to argue for this way of working.

Good luck next term and remember it's good to strive for perfection but when you get stressed you are probably least able to provide it!!

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