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I am sorry I am posting this post for the 3rd time... but I am not sure where to do so xD since it covers different age levels. I hope you excuse me. Okak? :o


I wanted to know your opinion based on your personal experiences.


In our school the idea of working as a 'unit' from BTTM to Reception seems to be coming, not completely as a real physical unit.. but in the planning. There is the idea of using the same topic for 3 years in a row... not only on special holidays like Welcome Back to School, Harvest, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day or Father's Day... but also in themes like: Bears, Minibeasts, The Zoo, The Sea/Under the Sea, and the seasons.


My worry is the following: If the topics are used 3 years in a row... have you experienced that when they get to Reception they get tired of the topic? I have thought that, if we do work with the same topic for 3 years, that at least we should sit down together and see that the activities are different so that they don't repeat and loose interest at the end of the Foundation Stage/Reception. Would you use even the same books? Let's say: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dear Zoo, The Rainbow Fish, several of the books of Eric Carle?


Thanks in advance,

a worried Reception/FS 2 Teacher

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Hi SmileyPR

We tried something similar at my school 5 or6 years ago when we had the same topics for Rec, Y1 and Y2 classes throughout the year. We abondoned this planning after one year because we found it so hard to differentiate successfuly for each year group - to maintain interest and show progression. I suspect you may have the same problem teaching the same topic to the same children for 3 years in succession.

If you do go ahead then yes, I think that you will need to make sure you are all covering different learning objectives and doing it through different activities.

Hope this helps.

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I know of a school where they do this just for Y1 and Y2, but they have two topic cycles (each cycle lasts a year) so the children never revisit the same topic. I think it must be hideously boring for the children to have the same topics for three years, even if it is revisited at a "higher" level in successive years! :o

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Since Nursery and Reception work with the FS Curriculum, I had shared with the Nursery teacher (who is in her 1st year and did not know the FS... it is not a British school) the topics I would be working with this year and that I had found were around the interest of the children of my age group throughout these past 4 years. I have eliminated some and added others, getting to know better their interests. Sure enough, one has to keep doing that update with each group. I suggested her other topic that seemed of interest to her age group. I shared with her that I felt it was best to not repeat the topics year after year since then they loose enthusiasm. Things seemed to work okay, but now the school wants to unite the BTTM (2-3 year olds programme) with the FS (3-5). The BTTM teacher felt the need of more 'teaching' challenge.

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The real "challenge" of teaching is "from the child".


The PLA have a new publication called "Making their day" : Linking effective Practice - Providing for two year olds in preschools and mixed age settings.


Quote " This new interactive publication will assist practitioners working across the age range of two to five years to bridge the Birth to Three Matters framework and the Curriculum Guidance to the Foundation Stage successfully.


Available May 2005 £11.15 members & £13.95 non-members

ref no: AO82

orderline 0870 603 0062



I haven't personally read this publication but it may prove useful. They have many other publications on both BTTM and FSC.



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