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Foundation Stage Coordinator


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this is my first post - hope i get it right!!


i have recently applied for a new job as a reception teacher / foundation stage coordinator and by some miracle have recieved an interview date today!

as part of the interview i have to do a small presentation - without the use of visual aids - regarding ' .....is going to have two parellel foundation stage classrooms... the development of this area is seen as critical for the school.....what qualities would you bring, what steps might you take to help ensure this development was a success?


my mind is blank


is there anyone out there who has any advice or suggestions

also what type of questions will be asked.


im confident in my abilities but am not at all a confident person and this often comes across!


any help woould be really appreciated!!

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Welcome to the forum :D


Do you mean 2 parallel Reception classes? Is this a new development for the school? (ie is it a KS2 moving into being a through primary?)


Some of the issues will be indoor/outdoor provision, coordinating the curriculum, managing staff, transition to Y1 and from preschool...

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yes from september the school is going to have two reception classes rather than one due to a larger intake - but have been given no clue to how they want this to run - i think this is part of what they are looking for

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Hi Emmalou ... well done on the interview ! I think ASPK raises some interesting ideas to think about, and I think it might be inovative if you think about a radically different way to organise the space to build on the experiences the children have in their Nursery.


At my current school when I first came here we had 2 parallel Reception classes in quite small rooms and a fairly big corridor area. In our Nursery the children enjoy the benefit of free movement between 3 joined rooms and a large outdoor area. It seemed daft to me in Reception to both have book corners, sand areas etc. We have worked for about 3 years to develop a Reception unit. We couldn't really make a Foundation Stage unit as our Nursery and Reception are miles apart but we have tried to build on our Nursery way of working to ensure a smooth transition into Reception.


We have made each area into a distinct set of areas

1) Safari room... writing table, book corner, ICT, small world, games, puppets etc

2) The Bay ... Numeracy area, large construction

3) Rainforest room ... creative area, model making, role play, sand, water, science/investigation, playdough etc.

4) Outdoor

We team teach and the children move around the areas each day as do the adults. (So each day each adult will stay put and each group of children will come to them ) This means each adult works with approx. 15 children in an area, which is lovely and the children understand the type of activities they will do, adult led and child initiated in each area.


I think this is in the spirit of the Foundation Stage ... I think we can be really creative with how we use space, staff and resources to give the children the best possible experiences. Our LEA advisor loved what we had done so maybe it will give you some ideas ?!


Galleon :o

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Sorry me again ... I'm in a waffle mood tonight ... and I've just re-read what you had asked !!!

Questions :

I don't think they will want to catch you out just find out about your philosophy, experiences and how you work. In the past I've had questions like :

1) Describe your ideal classroom

2) Give 5 words to describe yourself

3) How would you support an NQT ?

4) Which curriculum strengths can you offer the school ?

5) How would you develop the speaking and listening skills of the Foundation Stage children ?

6) What is your leadership style ?


There is a really useful article on this site about interviews.

I always think it helps to read as much as you can about being a Foundation Stage Co-ordinator and think of possible questions you might hate to get and make notes on your possible answers. Your interview is your chance to sell yourself ... don't tell yourself you are not confident .. YOU ARE ! Your enthusiasm for the job will come across !


Good luck

Galleon :o

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Hi Emmalou and welcome! :D

I would definitely go for an approach like Galleon describes. You do not want to be in 2 classrooms with almost duplicate provision if you can possibly avoid it. You need to plan together as a team and decide how you will manage Profiles etc. I would be looking at soem sort of High Scope approach with the children with paln, do and review and allowing lots of child initiated activities with focused group times. I would also suggest that staff rotate through areas so that the whole space is shared and you could concentrate on focused activities that are supported by the room you are based in for that week.

Good luck with the interview. I hope it goes well. I cant really help with questions but i would imagine that they would talk about your presentation and why you would like to work in that way and about your FS experiences. team work and leading may also come up, how to cope if someone is resistant, perhaps and something about planning? Be yourself and remember if they dont like what they see you would not have been happy there anyway.

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If youve got time and can get hold of a copy, " The Foundation Stage Teacher in Action" by Margaret Edgington and published by Paul Chapman is very pertinent and might help you to think about the coordinators role.

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thanks so much for all the advice - its given me a lot to think about! :)


i already have experience of being involved in setting up a foundation stage unit and rotating in different rooms. where i am at the moment the children are freely allowed to move from room to room as they connect - is this how other people work or is it a case of take a group in a particular room for so long? it makes sense not to have two of the same areas - a piont i will definatley bring up!


any more thoughts or questions would still be appreciated!


thanks again :D

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Suggested at school the idea of using a three themed classroom approach. It was received with mixed feelings - more so with regards behaviour etc.


Another issue was raised that if we are to provide continuous basic provision all the time, how would we do this if we were moving the children around all the time? Another was that if Key Stage 2 classes were having problems because of the movement, why would we be benefiting the children by making them move from classroom to classroom? Another was that if children had made something and wanted to return to that later to complete it, how could they if they had moved to a different area? The list went on. We decided that this is something we may consider moing towards but that at the minute we needed to concentrate on the outside area and using the continuous provision better in our own rooms before we even thought about getting the chidren to move between them all.


Any answers to any of the questions posed?




D xxx

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Hi Gater,

I appreciate the themed approach is not for everyone, and some staff would find working that closely with others VERY difficult ! ... but I can honestly say it has had a wonderful effect on behaviour and once introduced works so efficiently.

Each child has their own tray for small items they want to return to, and in each area we have an ongoing work area, which they can come back to.

At the moment we have 49 children in Reception and outrageously 1 teacher and 2 TAs (But that is another matter!!!)

For most of the week we have three sessions a day and access outdoor which we use in 2 long slots a day with all of Reception (not ideal, but due to indirect access, this is how it works and it does work well!)


We have found that each area has developed a different feel and the children are aware of the type of activities they will do in each and we encourage them to do a bit of everything each day. I have found from previous experience in one room it is more of an issue to make sure some children tear themselves away from their favourite area, but this does encourage them to diversify.

We have two sessions in the morning and one in the afternoon. We have a system where we shake a shaker in each room for 5 minutes warning to tidy and then again for tidy (But this is a making it ready for the next group) This is quite a good experience for the children as they think about how to present particular activities e.g. equipment they would like to set out with the playdough etc.


Our children are in 3 teams (lions, parrots and giraffes) and we use these teams for our small circle times. We also have 2 afternoon sessions a week where the doors are open and children freely choose between them.


Not for everyone, but it is so lovely to have a large book corner, role play area, art rea etc. rather than trying to cram everyting into one room. With this way of working we have for most of the time 15 children working in each area which is great for nurturing positive behaviour and relationships. The moving is not an issue. The children know when their group moves they are moving to the next area (in a circle) and they will get a go of everything !


We love it but you have to make whatever you do work for you and obviously physical, staffing issues affect what you can do !


Best wishes

Galleon :o

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  • 2 weeks later...



found out on Friday that I didnt get the post. AH well theres always next time.


the interview was on Thursday - i thought it was a disaster!!! no confidence and sttreaming cold! but recieved a phone call that night to say that they could not decide between me and other person - could they ring Friday! unfortunatly Friday came and i didnt get the post but they said they were very impressed with me. :)


although not got the job it has boosted my confidence and feel able to apply for others! also my head asked to see me to speak about where i want to be going in my career and how my current school can help me get there!! :)


all is not lost

thanks so much for all the addvice from everyone :)

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Well done for getting such good feedback. I would now ask for specific feedback as to what it was that swung them to the other person. This can give you a working plan to develop your CV and make YOU the person they choose next time! So don't be too downhearted. It took me 3 goes to get the role I have now!!

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Sorry about the job emmalou but you've seemed to come out of your disappointment with a good positive attitude. Sometimes we all have knock backs but it's what we learn from these to use to our advantage next time which makes all the difference. Keep us up to date with what's happening. :)

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my head asked for a chat today and offered me the position of foundation stage coordinator in my school !!!!!!!

im so pleased just had to share this with you!!!!!!

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