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We have 76 children in Reception split over 3 classes. We don't have 3 classrooms as such but 3 open plan areas and an outdoor area. Each area inside has a main focus eg literacy, Maths, creative/UW but any area if learning happens in each area with plenty and varied continuous provision and play opportunities. My problem is that the outdoor area isn't used enough as it doesn't lend it's self to free flow due to the layout of the building. The classes move around the areas inside each day but the outdoors is only used as and when. We seem to spend so much time lining up children for the the toilet before snack time and playtime, as well as putting coats in etc for a 20 minute mad run around in the outdoor playground along with bumps and other accidents( separate to the outdoor area) and waste so much time. I put it to my staff today about dropping playtimes apart from lunchtime, 3 days per week. This had mixed reviews. My point was to create time, plan for sessions in our outdoor area and to slow down the pace of the day as we seem to be rushing about soo much. If it's that busy for the adults I dread to think what the kids think. Am I being unreasonable? Staff tell me that they will be more tired but I said I was trying to slow everything down and that most Reception classes don't have formal playtimes anymore? is this right forum readers?I told staff that we could still have a drink with the kids during snack time and I wasn't denying people the chance to have a quick break. Any response much appreciated.

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I am a reception teacher and my kids can decide if they go out at playtime! We have continuous access to the outside area throughout the morning (it is also ks1playground)! Some of mine find it too busy and like to come in others enjoy meeting siblings etc! My staff have breaks but I opt not to and so I am always the adult inside during playtime. When my staff are on break duty they miss breaks etc! I think it's hard to introduce but if you are a large setting could you not do a break rota, that's how we sorted it in my previous school (3rec classes)!

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I'm also planning to drop at least one of my formal playtimes in reception. This is mostly because the children are getting interrupted far too often to have any time that is sustained for learning. I've discussed it with SMT and thy are onboard but have yet to see what TAs think although I'm offering to cover the break times myself.

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Hi, I started giving my reception class the option to join KS1 at playtimes a year ago. Our small garden area has direct access into their playground so this is easy. My TA was fine to give up her break, we're not allowed hot drinks anywhere in school except the staff room so we carry water bottles which is a really good example to the children anyway. I do send them all out on a Friday morning as this is our one chance to mix with the rest of the school. This is necessary as we are fairly isolated from the rest of the school as we are in the old school kitchens at the other end of the school hall from the rest of the school. I find the amount of children going out vary greatly from day to day depending on what they are busy doing. the weather, who from KS1 is calling to them over the fence etc. A quiter time is ideal to have some special one to one with someone who is in, to observre the play (especially those out on the playground) and how it changes as the room or garden is less busy. I also cut 2 assemblies at the same time (these are at 10am) and this gives me a lot more flexibility with the timetable. I would recommend both for continuity.

 

Good luck

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Our reception classes don't go out to play at play time with the rest of the school. They stay in the reception areas.....outside and inside as they wish. We find this much better. Less interruption to ci activities, more time for staff to interact, less time wasted lining up, etc e tc. They go out at lunch time, so they do spend some stile with ks1, but I would definitely knock play time on the head. Reception don't need it. What do they gain? Ours have a better time in the eyfs play areas.

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My class go out to play with the rest of the school in the morning and with KS1 at the end of the day, I think it is important to give yourself (as well as your support staff) a break. My TAs are not paid for play time so when I tried having no set play time I was on my own, trying to watch inside and outside, a nightmare!

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We don't have any formal playtimes, we have a very small outside area - but we don't go out in the morning as it interupts the morning too much - my staff either choose to have a break and go at an appropriate time, take a hot drink in a covered flask thing in the classroom or don't have one - most don't have one, but it took them a while to break the habit (But they know the option is always there to have one or pop out for a toilet break whenever).

I make the decision if needed to take them out for a run about if particularly needed for those that want or need it, but most children don't choose to come!

They have to go outside for lunch time play with the whole school and then in the afternoon they have a choice of joining KS1 for play - my LA takes those that want to go and I stay in the classroom with those who don't.

Hope that helps.

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