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Keep calm and carry on!


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Help please!

We had an informal visitor in class yesterday who said that if she was conducting an ofsted inspection she would have failed us. The main issue seemed to be that the room felt a bit manic.

I agree with her. This cohort are everywhere and into everything. According to the existing staff (this is my first year in EYFS) these are the worst class in a while for looking after things. There were some great activities taking place, but I don't think she saw past the mess and noise. There are 34 children in the class plus we had three children and associated adults visiting from our autism unit.

How can introduce a calmer more productive environment?

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Can you make areas look more defined so that observers can see children have chosen or are being directed into specific areas to follow specific areas of learning

Free flow is great but I agree it can look a bit manic I guess but you know the group and you know which ones are just flitting from thing to thing and which ones are moving with purpose.

As for noise control that is something you can work on. A very simple one is for the staff to talk quietly and then the children tend to be quieter so they can hear....my sons reception teacher used this method to amazing effect except she did at parents evenings too I could never hear her if I was sat at the back of the classroom xD

I am sure some others will be along soon with other advice, oh and welcome and congrats on your first post :D

Sue

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Welcome to the Forum, hllmcnr!

I'm not a reception teacher, but there are lots of lovely, experienced teachers here who will be along with plenty of advice and support.

My first question is, who was the informal visitor and is she qualified to give advice about a potential Ofsted grading? Did she give you any advice or support as to what you need to change?

My suggestion might be to talk to the adults who were visiting from your autism unit - if the atmosphere is 'manic' as you fear, I'm sure they will also have noticed and may be able to offer you advice from their perspective. After all, they will be very used to providing a calm and supportive environment for children in their unit.

Finally, how are children operating within your environment? Are they learning, happy and confident? Or are there behavioural issues that you think might be being caused by the way the environment is currently organised? If children are operating independently in the classroom and you can see they are learning, then maybe you just need to engage in some positive role modelling about how to use (and tidy away) resources which will at least reduce the amount of mess.

As for the noise, is it the purposeful noise of very young, very active learners? Or is it something else? Does it ebb and flow throughout the day, or is it at ear-splitting levels from the minute they arrive until they leave?

Really close observation of classroom activity for a period might help to quantify what you're experiencing, and enable you to identify what needs to be changed, if anything.

Good luck - let us know how things go!

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Thank you for those responses. I've consided it a lot overnight and through the day.

The visitor is an EYFS specialist with ofsted training, she was doing our new head a favour by looking around - and us too, pre warned and all that.

This whole issue was something my job share partner and I had already started to consider, so it wasn't completely unexpected. We think the children have access to too much 'stuff' and get it out without thought before quickly moving on. We have started some close observations to see who is using what areas with a view to really targeting learning opportunities. There are some behaviour issues and we think it's time to start learning about what is acceptable in the school environment. Time to knuckle down. I also spent a lot of today clearing out and rearranging furniture (with massive amounts of support from our team) so that there is more space for the children to spread out.

Sometimes it does feel as though we are too busy dealing with behaviour to get involved in the play support and teaching. I think a focus on rules and routines in the short term will bring dividends in the longer view.

Thanks again.

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Thank you for those responses. I've consided it a lot overnight and through the day.

The visitor is an EYFS specialist with ofsted training, she was doing our new head a favour by looking around - and us too, pre warned and all that.

This whole issue was something my job share partner and I had already started to consider, so it wasn't completely unexpected. We think the children have access to too much 'stuff' and get it out without thought before quickly moving on. We have started some close observations to see who is using what areas with a view to really targeting learning opportunities. There are some behaviour issues and we think it's time to start learning about what is acceptable in the school environment. Time to knuckle down. I also spent a lot of today clearing out and rearranging furniture (with massive amounts of support from our team) so that there is more space for the children to spread out.

Sometimes it does feel as though we are too busy dealing with behaviour to get involved in the play support and teaching. I think a focus on rules and routines in the short term will bring dividends in the longer view.

Thanks again.

HI hllmcnr

 

We are in a very similiar situation. I am part of a job share ad have been teaching for quite a while. We have had a new head start in September and we have worked well. We had Ofsted a couple of years ago and got Good and with support from teh last head was still on track. OUr new head now thinks we are not adn got a EYFS lady in who now says we require improvement. Its really heart wrenching and we all work so hard. Our last class now in year 1 sound very much like yours now. They couldnt cope with choice or 'free play' well any play. They needed to be focused and told what to do, the behaviours were all over the place.

 

If you need to vent or even if you want to bounce some ideas off each other PM me xx Whatver my EYFS lady says can pass on

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