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Newbie asking very stupid question (probably!)


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Having never taught reception before, I'm not currently meeting their needs. I also have KS1 in my class (I have taught this age before but not for a little while). My KS1 children outnumber the reception and so far there has been a tendency to focus on the older children and just allow the reception to have "independent learning" time ie play with whatever they want. I know this is wrong, but don't know what to do to correct it. What are the musts for a reception classroom? I start phonics with them shortly and feel confident with that side... but continuous provision is causing me a few problems!


Thanks in advance (and apologies for the naivety!)

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No apologies are needed here, people have always answered my posts without making me feel silly!

I do feel for you. I too have a mixed fs and year 1 classroom and find it a constant struggle to do the best by both year groups. Certainly this year my year ones really could, for the first term, do with more of a FS approach but parents and management alike wouldn't allow this to happen. Shame because the children would thrive on it!

So you your questions. Really your priority ( for FS)at the moment is to welcome and settle them, start to introduce their surroundings, staff and routines. You need to be baselining your children now ( gaining a starting point for them assessment wise). How long you spend doing this is up to your Head/ FS manager. I once had a had that gave me two weeks to baseline my class - I hardly knew them so the data was always rubbish but then showed fantastic progress over the year. I am sure most people here might take between 4-6 weeks to do this. Might be worth finding out if you have a timescale you have to work on and if the are none perhaps opt for 6 weeks.

In this time I try and set up as many independent activities in the class as possible and then 'watch and learn'.

All this is of course completely challenged at the moment by the fact that I do child led learning and plan as per interest but I am give planning from a year 1 teacher which I have to deliver... Have to laugh about it or I might go mad!

Hope this helps in some way, sure there will be more wisdom on its way.

Good luck

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Thank you both for the replies!


JoJo - thanks so much for the information. I am starting my official teaching for KS1 next week and so hope to have a little more structure/organisation then. I will give them 20 minutes phonics each day and get them to join in with the oral/mental starter in maths, as well as providing an activity to match e.g. play dough mats. Does that sound ok in terms of English and maths input? I also need to get a role play area set up for the children to use - the one I had done wasn't right, so I'm starting again.


Rea - thank you! I was just trying to be honest... I am struggling!

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Couple of questions are oping into my mind abut your setting,...

Do you have any support from a TA?

How many FS and how many year 1 children do you have?

What is the rest of the school classes made up like? If the is more than one FS or year 1 class how have they been split? I have a group of year ones in my class simply because there is no room for them in the year 1/2 class and they were chosen as the ones needing more nurturing.


In the past my FS and year 1s have had literacy and maths each morning- all together for a warm up. TA or teacher led activities for groups of year 1s with a rota throughout the week for times when they Are at a task independently. While one adult is with the year 1s there is an adult supporting and extending the FS. when year ones are independently working then I have been ale to take a grip of FS Children.


The afternoons are easier and are much more pay bass and flexible, they are in FS class for a reason after all.


Phonics will be a challenge as you will have two very different groups from the word go. FS children on phase one and some on level 5..... Are there other classes that you may be able to group with?


Why didn't your role play work? This has happened to me on more than one occasion... Did you model the play in there to them? Perhaps it just wasn't what they needed?


Let me ow if I can be of any more help, feel free to message me.


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