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Mixed Ages 2 To 4 Years


SazzJ
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Hi

 

Sorry to post a few questions tonight

 

We are a pre-school and have children from 2 years until the leave to go to reception. Some can do 2 years with us depending on when they join and there birthdays.

 

Now initially the children were just split between key workers and usually ended up with the adults they were natuarlly drawn too.

 

However we were struggling more and more with small group time. For example in my group alone I have an autistic child, two 4 years olds, three 3 year olds and two 2 year olds - one with speech and language difficulties. Now trying to plan any activity for this group was very very difficult as although I would extend and support the variations were massive.

 

Now we are thinking of rearranging the groups - partly because we are also doing letters and sounds and the 2 year olds just aren't ready to even sit and listen to a story never mind take turns etc.

 

Can I ask if you are a mixed age group how to do you split your children into keyworker groups?

 

I am thinking

 

Pre-schoolers

Those that turned 3 september to now as one

And those not yet 3 another - this only gives the last member of staff 4 key children but for someone with 20 years experience the support she needs is unbelievable. So I'm thinking a smaller group would help support her development

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I arrange key children to when their key person sees them the most. As they all dont do 5 mornings

 

So they are in mixed groups but our key person plans individually for each child. we dont do group key person activities.

 

story groups (we have 3) are arranged in kind of age and ability. And the story (length) therefore is age approriate as is the letters and sounds we do. We do have a child who has no language and we often need to take him out of his story group and he has a 121 story with a spare member of staff

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hi,

 

we have communication groups, which are seperate from key worker, so that we can deliver appropriate small group activities, and the staff rotate, so they see all their key children just different days of the week.

 

hope this helps

 

Petunia

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Our children are split initially into the Key groups as you describe, based on which member of staff sees them most and who they have 'taken a shine to'. Once they are in their preschool year they 'move up' to me - I'm full time so it doesn't matter what their sessions are, but we say that we prefer mornings for this group if at all possible, so that children can get the most benefit out of group working and activities. I have an assistant who is doing her NVQ who helps, but doesn't have a key group of her own yet. Occasionally one of the younger children 'moves up' if it's felt that they need more 'stretching' with the older children, and it's hard for their key person to plan for too diverse an ability range.

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Ours are just allocated to keyworkers according to days they do, days staff do as not all do full time. and the amount of children keyworkers have leaving. Like you we often have children that are with us for two years, so keyworkers frequently have children with a two year age gap. However, we dont have keyworking time or do work in keyworker groups, really fo rthe reasons you are saying are causing you problems. If a keyworker has planned something for one or more of her group then she will nearly always include anyone else who wants to take part.

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We do not have keyworking groups either.

 

Keypersons have allocated children that take into account hours worked/days attending.

 

Each keyperson has a day when 'all' their children are in - and that day they may plan small activities for their children (not all at once though) These usually include other children that are interested etc.

 

Over the course of a week- all children would have had a least one 'formal' one-to-one session with keyperson, and the opportunity for many other activities.

 

I must say we are a very strong team- and because of this we are able to adapt easily to meet the needs, especially when we have children that attend all sessions, and those with low attendance due to low sessions and/or absenteeism.

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We too have mixed aged keyworker groups, but we don't have keyworker sessions.

We do have a separate group time just for the children who when they leave us in July will be going into Reception. The staff take it in turns to do this key 'age' group and they do an activity based on what their child in the group would benefit from.

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We are a small preschool and like you are in a mixed age environment.

 

As the nursery is open plan we tend to split the children up mornings and afternoons so that they can do small group work.

We have different children diffrerent days.

 

We allocate keyworkers but usually by age, the child starts off by doing their groupwork in a certian group for some weeks if the child is way ahead or far behind we will change them.

 

We dont notify parents immeadeatly of who the childs keyworker is for this reason.

 

We finf this helps in terms of school readiness and actually getting things taught.

 

Im a bit old school though and do have high expectations of my children

(shame i still cant spell)

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We have mixed age key groups and plan key group activities for 10 minutes each morning and afternoon but always have a 'floating' staff member who supports the little ones or those who choose not to join their key group. In reality most key group sessions attract children from other key groups and this is fine, from this flexible arrangement we have been able to find new interests for children as they are introduced to activities they had not tried before

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Same as others...keyworker assigned according to days in.

Dont do keyworker groups.

2 yr olds and 3 plus separate for first hour in the morning or afternoon for register, to settle young ones just joining and to do letters/sounds activity with older ones. After this its free flow to each room, outside, snack etc then tidy up and split again for story, singing, letters and sounds before home time.

 

Have tried recently to have a bit more focus on activity eg one staff member at maths table doing eg shape game, or at writing table doing activity. However have found its the same children that do it, the boys will not be persuaded to play and just want to dress up and role play. Supervisor very concerned that children are atually leaving without learning anything as they get too much free choice of what to do. Our PVI teacher was horrified when we tried the choosing children to do group work/activity first thing in the morning and told us to stop!! She said it should be up to the child if they want to acess the activity on offer.

 

Must admit that we have children that dont know the basics such as colours, simple shapes, counting and no matter what we try ie taking it to their activity, they dont seem to be getting it any better.

 

Some of our children go to the local nursery school after being with us in the morning and we get the impression that things there are more"structured" which we cant seem to understand as we are supposed to be doing the same thing?

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Some of our children go to the local nursery school after being with us in the morning and we get the impression that things there are more"structured" which we cant seem to understand as we are supposed to be doing the same thing?

 

We have this too Marley, we feed into about 5 different schools each school want something different from us, some are happy with the children being independent others want to know why we haven't taught them cursive handwriting!

Many parents won't stay at pre-school any more as the schools are telling them they will 'fall behind' if they don't attend the school nursery class, hows this if we have the same curriculum?

 

I wish that all children started school at the same time whether that's at 3 (nursery) or 4 (reception) to stop the pressure that seems to pushed onto parents and practitioners.....and breathe :o

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We have this too Marley, we feed into about 5 different schools each school want something different from us, some are happy with the children being independent others want to know why we haven't taught them cursive handwriting!

Many parents won't stay at pre-school any more as the schools are telling them they will 'fall behind' if they don't attend the school nursery class, hows this if we have the same curriculum?

 

I wish that all children started school at the same time whether that's at 3 (nursery) or 4 (reception) to stop the pressure that seems to pushed onto parents and practitioners.....and breathe :o

 

Oh, ours get told they won't get a space in the school's Reception class if they don't go to nursery! Oddly enough, I can't get any of the schools to put this in writing to any of my spies parents for me to pass onto county...

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We are a mixed age group nursery - our key workers collect evidence for childs profiles we have small group sessions at the end of each day 10minutes for the very young and upto 20 minutes for the older ones. I allocate to children to key workers working or attending the same days and focused on ages too.

 

The first part of the morning everyone works and plays together

 

eg and I allocate children to key people A works with 2s B works with 2.3s C works with 2.5 etc groups sizes depends on the age groups - the younger children work on a 3 ratio etc

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