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Continuous provision in year 1


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Hi,

Would any kind people on here be able to briefly explain how they implement continuous provision and child-initiated play within a year 1 class. There are a few discussions going-on at the moment about how this can be done effectively but I've not had first-hand experience of the actual planning and implementing of it and wanted to just get a better idea of how it differs from how CP and CI play is implemented within Nursery and Reception. From what I can gather so far there should be more challenges? Would you still offer CI play in it's purest form or is there more direction/more limited choices as to where children play and what is available. Of course the big question is always how do you know which children have done what, and I have quite a few answers for that within this FS!, but wonder how this would be explained within the NC?

Thanks so much

Green Hippo x

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I can only comment on what I've seen on my placement teaching but there the teacher linked very closely her CP to the direct teaching by using themes which could be used in a cross curricular way. So for example, she was using the Lighthouse Keeper stories and also Grace Darling. Her CP reflected this with a construction challenge to build a lighthouse and boats, problem solving on transporting something from the land to the lighthouse, writing challenges linked to the direct literacy teaching and the stories they had used. She used to have 3 challenges per area, which were differentiated as bronze, silver and gold. Children knew they were all meant to have a go at the bronze challenges, and she then stretched them by suggesting they try the harder ones when they were showing good abilities in completing the first. I liked this in that she wasn't automatically setting a challenge for a pre-determined ability group, and it gave the children the opportunities to show their abilities in different areas where they might not have been expected to achieve well.

 

CP was generally used outside of direct teaching time and during guided reading when groups were not working directly with the teacher or TA. Again these were linked to the guided reading activities the class were doing.

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Thanks Holly35 - very helpful. So, were the children allowed any time to be completely child-initiated - as in, not told how, where, what to play with or were they always expected to complete a challenge in one of the areas?

Green Hippo x

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Sorry to be a while getting back to you - been a long day! The children were able to choose to complete the challenges or not on a day-to-day basis. The levelled challenges were changed about once a fortnight so they were meant to complete them but not every day. They could also choose where they played whenever they had CP time. So you might have a child who always went into the construction area for example (I'm sure all my examples are related to construction!) and some of that time was spent working on a challenge of building the lighthouse. The model might then be kept on display for a few days and then broken down, or the child might develop that model over the next few days. The same child might also spend several days using the Lego to build Star Wars space ships!

 

In terms of the daily routine it tended to be that direct teaching and group work connected to this that had to be completed, was carried out in the mornings, with CP and "topic" work in the afternoons. This was actually a Year 2 class although their abilities were on the low side of the average. The head of the school was early years trained and wanted to promote play, and learning through play and personal experiences as much as possible. I really liked the ethos as it linked very well to the needs of the children and built in experiences which they might not have been otherwise getting through home life. In fact I liked it so much I went for an interview there this week but sadly was pipped at the post :(

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Thanks for getting back to me!

Sorry that you didn't get the job but you will get one soon I'm sure. It's all good experiences (I'm sure everyone says that but it's true!)

CP in KS1 seems to be such a controversial 'love or hate' topic and it's seems one of the hardest things to have a decent discussion with someone about - I find people can be very closed minded about it and just don't want to understand how it could work.

Green Hippo x

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Thanks - yes it obviously wasn't meant to be. I do agree about the 'love/hate' attitude to CP in KS1. Some teachers I've spoken to just look aghast at you. Then others can't really imagine not using it. Hope you can find a way to work it out.

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I was in year 1 for 3 years and this is what I used to do...we were fortunate enough to have 2 classes, with a shared play area between us. A typical day would go like this.

carpet session for all children to introduce the activity - then instead of all children working at tables for the session, 2 groups with an adult and 2 groups independently, only half the class would do there adult led work whilst the other half were in CP. Either myself or LSA would be in the class 'work' area doing the adult led with half the class, and the other member of staff would be in the CP with the remaining half. We would then swap over. Therefore the whole class would get their literacy done before break but not all at the same time. I also made sure that i rotated who was in CP first etc, so that I was very careful about what messgaes I was giving out about which type of work was more important.

After break - the same format would follow, this time for instance it would be maths.

We would all stop before lunch to do phonics in ability groups.

After lunch, when i did not have an LSA, we would do art/topic work, either with the whole class or half at a time, depending on the activity.

 

This worked brilliantly and as the year went on the children became more independent at challenging themselves in the CP as adult input at the start of the year 'trained' them along this route.

 

I can never bear seeing all year 1 children working at the same time, when 2 groups are with staff and the other 2 are not, they may as well be learning in the CP, rather than sitting waiting for adult support!

 

Within the CP children had 'hot spot' challenges to complete and tick sheet that they had to cross their name off when they had done it. Each area of the CP had a challenge for them to do and over the week they had to do each challenge, some were differentiated and they had to choose a green, amber or red level and some were differentiated by the adult guidance given within the CP. They can play on their own agenda to but as long as they have done all jobs by the end of the week.

 

Hope that helps

 

Personally I love CP in Year 1 and most EYFS people do but often teachers coming from the other end of the school find it hard to manage. It certainly is hard work but i saw the benefits daily.

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It's really useful to read all of this. I've had a lovely year of YR on their own but will have a YR/1 mix again next year. I never felt that I got the mix right and am trying to have an early re-think ready for next year. I've been having challenges in CP since Easter which has worked well for some children and would like to continue this next year.

 

Rufus - can I ask a couple of questions?

 

Just to clarify did you have a challenge for each area of learning or each area of CP? Did you aim to link them to an overall theme or topic or was it just whatever you could think of at the time?

 

Did you manage to get everyone through the adult-led activity in the time allotted? I sometimes find that it can take an entire morning to do a task with everyone.

 

For those who have challenges; were there any consequences for children not completing them? I don't know which children I'll be keeping next year but I suspect it will be the ones who shy away from any kind of directed task!

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It's really useful to read all of this. I've had a lovely year of YR on their own but will have a YR/1 mix again next year. I never felt that I got the mix right and am trying to have an early re-think ready for next year. I've been having challenges in CP since Easter which has worked well for some children and would like to continue this next year.

 

Rufus - can I ask a couple of questions?

 

Just to clarify did you have a challenge for each area of learning or each area of CP? Did you aim to link them to an overall theme or topic or was it just whatever you could think of at the time?

 

Did you manage to get everyone through the adult-led activity in the time allotted? I sometimes find that it can take an entire morning to do a task with everyone.

 

For those who have challenges; were there any consequences for children not completing them? I don't know which children I'll be keeping next year but I suspect it will be the ones who shy away from any kind of directed task!

Hi Helen

I had a challenge in each area of CP and it was either linked to the topic, linked to the skills we were teaching that week or linked to the things that the children needed to work on, needed more practice in etc.

I usually managed to get all children through an adult led in the allotted time, as I would really force myself to plan an activity that addressed the objective. When I first started this I would find that I fell into the trap of...after the carpet session it is now literacy for the next 40 mins, therefore children whould be working for those 40 mins. Now I just think that I would rather have 20 mins of quality than conform to that way of working. Some children want to carry on and they are usually the ones that can after initial adult support, so they can continue whilst i start my next group but most children are done by 20 minutes! this changes towards the end of the year as we expect them to work for longer periods but then, due to the initial small group work they are more able to work independently. Sometimes, you have an activity that is going to take longer and I would just factor that in and make sure that there was plenty of maths CP if i was doing literacy most of the morning, and my LSA would direct them to it.

Consequences for not doing challenges is a tricky one! I never operated a golden time as I felt this was pointless since we did CP all the time but I know some schools find this works as an incentive. I have found that openly praising those that do them is an incentive that will encourage others, not always. I have tried taking all the children on the adventure playground on a Friday apart from those that have done their jobs, this worked really well as it also gave my LSA time to prep for the next week. I have also made children do their jobs whilst we have story times and they have to miss the whole class story sessions. It is difficult to keep on top of but if all staff are 'on it' and naming and shaming those that don't do their jobs, they do slowly realise that they have to.

Hope that helps

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