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New to Reception- Help please

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Hi Everyone,


Just looking for some advice please. In September I will be teaching Reception for the first time.I am really excited about this but don't really know where to start. I am Early Years trained but have spent previous years in KS1 and spent the last year on Mat leave.


I'm looking for ideas for setting up my classroom and ideas for different areas, planning, outdoor (how do you manage this), ideas for assessment/observations. Ideas for everything really , I haven't yet used the revised EYFS.


Thank you in advance.


Vic X

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Thank you both for your replies I will have a look at your links.


It is routines of the day , timetables and things like managing outdoor play, continuous provision and adult led tasks with only myself and a TA that I am unsure of.Also things like books for recording work.I was thinking of just having one book for all work instead of individual books and perhaps a writing book each that the children can take ownership of?What does everyone else use please?

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Our this is our basic layout for the day


Children in / self register / prayers / news



Focussed and Independent Learning time (+snack bar)




Focussed and Independent Learning time

Tidy up and Home


We have free flow to our outdoor environment

Phonics is carried out in two smaller mixed ability groups by myself and my TA - we deliver the same session and use smaller groups for maximum engagement. This year there will be 12/13 in a group.


I use A4 sized pink books, we use one side for literacy type activities and turn over and start from the other side for numeracy.

We have a manilla folder for each child to put in any additional adult led creations.


I have an A4 scrapbook for our learning journeys. I use white stickers (like address labels) for spontaneous obs rather than post its, because post its lose their stickyness and fall out. I start my learning journeys on day 1 (or sometimes visit days!), each piece that goes in has a number and the number corresponds to the relevant aspect in the curriculum. There is a chart at the front and I write the number on in each box wherever it fits.

I also have a pocket grid on the back of a cupboard door and I put obs etc in each childs individual pocket, then we update learning journeys once a week, pulling out key areas to address the following week on our feeding forward planning sheet.


I can't recommend www.abcdoes.typepad.com enough. If you do nothing else, you must visit this website! Alistair is amazingly inspirational. My planning is adapted from his.


Best advice is to enjoy yourself and go with the flow, you'll know whether it's working for you and your children. Good Luck!

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hi this year i had 2 books 1 for adult initiated and the other child initiated which included photos and obs. This year i'm changing again and am having a lever arch file for each child with sections and everything will go in there and then at the end of the year we will make the contents into a ring bound book. this is because there has been so much sticking in of paper onto paper this year which i think is so wasteful.


i have been teaching reception for 5 years now and the first few weeks i really focus on teaching them about the classroom. I'm afraid i don't let them loose for child initiated free flow play until we have taught them about the different areas of the classroom so the first week me and my ta have half each (we have 15 in each morning/afternoon session) and we talk them through the malleable area, the writing area, book corner, maths area, outside area, creative area and so on. we explain where to get things from and how to tidy away (have learnt from bitter experience of children not having a clue how to tidy away!)


all the routines like going to the toilet, getting their things ready for home, lining up all take so long to begin with. Planning wise i am trying more and more to go with the children's interests and i get them to plan for me about what they want to learn, we hold a weekly planning meeting and that along with obs of children create the planning for the following week. i know the objectives taken from development matters but can change them to suit whichever theme.


my daily timetable evolves to look like this usually by just after xmas


guided reading



storytelling/guided writing/PE


child initiated play/forest school



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