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One Point Of Entry To Reception


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I teach in Suffolk and from next September we will be finally pulled into the 21st Century by having our reception children start in September for hopefully one point of entry. Our busy town school will most likely be three classes so I am looking for any ideas on organising our new classes. I am in favour of three mixed aged classes . I am in nursery at present so will know at least two thirds of the children.

I would like to hear from teachers out there who already have three classes and welcome any ideas about induction in the early weeks and how the youngest children cope with fulltime school.

I love the balance of CIL learning/ responsive planning and adult supported activities. As I am new to the forum I hope this reaches the wider community and not just Suffolk.

Thanks

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Hi, I am in Bury St Edmunds and I can't wait! I know it will mean September will be busier and our Christmas performance will need 60 parts (we usually have around 24 children spread between two classes in the old system) but I do believe my workload will be cut (less induction meetings, transition meetings, induction days, re organising the class, planning, groups and staffing...and thats without thinking about it too hard). Also I find having the class dynamics changing 3 times a year is so unsettling for all concerned.

 

I look forward to hearing how those in other parts of the country find it. Especially in Nursery as our nursery will now be taking children much younger.

 

S

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Hi can't help with the 3 class thing as I am from a 1 form entry school but in my county we have only a september intake and in my particular school all children are full time by week 4. If there are children who struggle to cope with this then we negotiate with parents that they have a couple of afternoons off a week but they all seem to cope! We have a very close relationship with the local playgroup which mostly feeds us and we start transition activities the year before thay start school so that we/our ways and the school are very familiar. Having always had a single intake, I cannot imagine having 3 intakes over the year as I feel the whole class bonds as a unit quite early on in September and I couldn't imagine an influx of new children after Christmas.

When they start school in September they start in 2 groups of 15 and then we have 1 group in the morning for a week and the other in the afternoon. The following week they swap. Week 3 they come in all morning and stay for lunch then go home at 1.20 and then week 4 all in full time unless it has been negotiated otherwise.

Deb

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  • 1 month later...
Guest thebirdistheword

Hi, we are a foundation unit of 76 reception children (+ 4 classes of nursery children). We are three classes and we all start together from Spetember with no problem at all. Last year we staggered the first two weeks by splitting the children into morning and afternoon sessions. Although this allowed staff to get to know the children better (picking out one whose name you don't know yet from a group of 12 is easier than picking out one from 25) I felt that it wasn't as good for the children who, come week 3 when they had just about settled, had a new group of 12 children to meet that sit in their carpet space/play with their cars. It was a lot better starting them all off together. One of my brightest children doesn't have his birthday until August 28th, it is amazing to me to think that he could've been at home all this time and not learning so I'm really glad they all started at once.

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, it is amazing to me to think that he could've been at home all this time and not learning

 

sorry thebirdstheword but i have to take umbridge at this comment ...please do not think that children who have not been attending a pre/school nursery are always at a disadvantage (especially as he is showing that he is intelligent) he must have gained this learning from somewhere....presumably his main carers ...neither of my children attended full time at pre-school before entering school and most of their learning was done at home, they were certainly quite able when they started and had had a wide range of experiences that pre-school and school were unable to offer them. I think that we must keep in mind that parents are the main educators of their children .

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We went to 1 point of entry a year ago and all the teachers I have spoken to were really pleased at the progress children made....in that they feel summer born children in particular have made better progress looking at their data compared to last year. They felt that the older children's learning was not disrupted whilst they settled newer ones in January and that they could really get on with things in the spring term rather than losing ground because of a new intake. We're hoping to see an impact in the LA overall data this year.

 

Lots of the schools were anxious in the Summer term before hand but in fact later in the Autumn term they were all quite pleased with the way it had gone. The main things they considered were:

 

Key persons at transitional times of the day such as dinner time/play times; were there always the same adults and did they know they were being a key person.

 

Getting records from previous settings where possible.

 

Aligning their provision and initial expectations with the children rather than aligning the children with the expectations....e.g. they did look quite closely at things like whole group times etc to be flexible

 

We reminded schools that ratios are a minimum and would expect there to be additional support wherever practical to meet the needs of the younger/more vulnerable children.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Cx

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Guest thebirdistheword
sorry thebirdstheword but i have to take umbridge at this comment ...please do not think that children who have not been attending a pre/school nursery are always at a disadvantage (especially as he is showing that he is intelligent) he must have gained this learning from somewhere....presumably his main carers ...neither of my children attended full time at pre-school before entering school and most of their learning was done at home, they were certainly quite able when they started and had had a wide range of experiences that pre-school and school were unable to offer them. I think that we must keep in mind that parents are the main educators of their children .

 

 

Hi, apologies if my statement was sweeping, it wasn't meant at general population - I'm new to writing on here and forget that you don't know what I'm picturing when I talk. It was more an observation of my school's parents. I work at a very poor school and the majority of the children are 'yelled at' rather than 'spoken to', 'told' rather than 'asked' or simply not spoken to at all. The average developmental age for language of our nursery children when starting school is 0-8 months. The attendance is shocking and the stories that they can tell me about what goes on at home are enough to make me weep. I simply meant that the children I work with more often than not are at a disadvantage for not being in school. I certainly didn't mean it as a generalisation. I personally didn't attend nursery or pre-school either (might be a few years ago now but I think I was the only one) I'm an only child with a very young mum who apparently "loved me too much to let me go yet" hahah bless her. Anyway I turned out well rounded just fine. When I started school I could read and count and all the things that you'd love to think all parents are teaching their children at home. As you rightly say the parents are the main educators, sadly in the case where I work, that is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Sorry again for my statement, it was not meant as a generalisation or dig at anybody's choices at all, in fact I'm pretty sure that if I can afford the time off, when I eventually have a child they won't be going to preschool or nursery either haha!

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Perhaps we should remind ourselves that we all come from different backgrounds, as do our children. Those of us who have worked in inner city schools, in areas where child poverty is rife and accompanying social problems are enormous, understand how important it is for those children affected to have good early years provision in a happy and safe place, with all their needs being addressed, which was the aim of the Surestart and Children's Centre initiatives.

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I would definitely recommend having mixed age classes. For the last 7 years, since I started working in the city I'm in now, we have always had a single point of entry and as such we have always balanced the classes with as equal a mix of autumn, spring and summer born children as we can.

 

I have just sorted the new F2 class lists for next year and have tried to ensure this. I also look at factors such as SEN, EAL, children with speech and language problems, gender and general ability and try to ensure that both classes have a balance. It make for a well-rounded class!

 

I have never had any problems with the youngest children that have stood out as being significant. A couple have fallen asleep, but we've always just made them comfy and let them rest.

 

As for the transition period in, I can't believe how long some of you have said that you spread it over. The school I used to work at, it was all 30 children in full-time from day 1! When I took over as coordinator I managed to negotiate to have 15 children in all day on day 1, then the other 15 in all day on day 2 and then from the Monday (day 3 of term) all 30 were in all day...and when I say negotiate, I mean it. It was a battle.

 

The system I inherited when I moved this year was: day 1 - all children in till 12pm and day 2 - all children in till after lunch, then day 3 all children and all day. This seemed to go well so am not planning on changing it at all for next academic year.

 

My old head's argument was that the children are entitled to be in full-time school, and so why should the parents be expected to make alternative arrangements, especially when they work. There are obvious exceptions to this and this would be dependent on the needs of the child but also taking into account the parents views.

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