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Enhanced Curriculum In Belfast


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hello everybody Iwonder if anyone can help me.I am EY coordinator in a Foundation Stage unit in the North East of England.Our unit is housed in an old building which has been adapted for the purpose and works really well.There are 3 teachers,3 nursery nurses and 2 SNsupport staff working with children aged 3-5.

We have a new Head who is very keen to extend the EY curriculum into year 1 because of the needs of our children.He is willing to invest time and money so it is important we get it right.

We have discovered that in the Shankhill district of Belfast they are working within an Enhanced curriculum up to Year 1 and we may even get the chance to visit.However upon reading their report I am beginning to wonder if Year 1 in Ireland is What we call The Reception year.If this is so Id like to hear from anyone in Year who is working within a foundation stage unit or curriculum who can help me with this.Sorry this post is so long But its really important to me

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Hi there Crestacat and welcome. I dont know about the School system in Ireland, perhaps we have other members that do, but I have some vague recollection that you are right about their year 1 being the same as England's year R.

I have worked in foundation units but I was not really sure what you wanted to know (must be having that end of half term feeling). We are plannning to extend the F.curriculum inot year 1, but are not really off the ground yet.

Do let us know what you would like help with, and Im sure that between us we can come up with some ideas :D

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hi mundia Thanks for replying so promptly.Sorry if message wasnt clear but it was early morning and i was half asleep.

I really wanted to know if anyone out there was in a school where year 1 classes were working within a foundation unit and following FS curriculum for those children who hadnt achieved the ELGs,Obviously the curriculum would be extended for those who have;

Its really the practical issues such as planning etc that im interested in,Our chidren need more of the foundation stage curriculum and less formal and our head is prepared to track progresss over at least three years to see if working in this way enables our children to achieve more and enhances their learning .We know that3-5 in our school are excited to come,motivated independent and eager to learn but sometimes this doesnt continue further up the school and as a staff we' d like find out why

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I understand the half asleep feeling- I seem to experience that a lot at the moment.

I think there are quite a few people here working with reception and year 1 and you will find those discussions in the dedicated reception/year1 forum, but I am not sure if anyone is doing this by choice. I think many people are in this situation because of class size or funding and would prefer not to be beacuse of the issues you mentioned with planning etc. (Please correct me if I have got this wrong anyone in this position?)

Im also not aware of anyone working with the whole range of nursery -year1 although I have previosly taught rec-yr2 in the same class but that was many moons ago in another life!! I would guess that this only happens in very small schools.

It sounds like what you want to do is really exciting. Are your intentions to mix year 1 and reception children together or just to provide a foundation style curriculum for year 1? Pop along to the dedicated R/yr 1 forum when you have a moment (if I smile nicely at Steve, he might even put in a link for you

:D:D:D )

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Hi! I am currently working in Reception/Year One. It is an unusual setting as I have the reception children (20) in a morning and then bolt on 10 year Ones in the afternoon for the rest of the curriculum (they have Literacy and Numeracy separately in the morning). After reading the latest research on Finland and Denmark versus UK I feel it is time that the Dfes made their minds up about the poor year ones - especially in a mixed Key Stage. My planning was always a strength of my teaching and learning, and this year it has gone to pot. I have plans for R/Y1 for the whole curriculum but am floundering with the current situation and feel that I am letting both sides down in the afternoon. xD I think that my Y1s deserve more play and try to incorporate this but don't really feel that I am succeeding as I am bound by the QCA schemes of work, which don't fit the foundation!!! I am going into work today to have another look at the rooms I am in (yes I field 2 in the afternoon) and see what I can do to improve the children's learning. I am also ploughing my way through redesigning long, medium and short term planning to see how I can improve on what I currently have - which I am no longer satisfied with (i.e. taking me too long to complete). If I can be of any assistance or you find anything which may help me, then please contact. Good Luck - MORE PLAY FOR YEAR ONES PLEASE MR BLAIR! :o

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Hi Soul Sister and welcome to the site :D

I apologise for not posting on your behalf (re our private message) ; I'm just surfacing from a nasty virus which my son generously donated, and am only just getting back into the real world. I'm really glad you've joined and posted, and hope you gain much from the site. :)

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hi again thanks for reply.Ill try and outline briefly what we would like to do [if we can get funding].We would like to build a unit which would house our nursery ,2 reception classes and 2 year 1 classes plus the teachers working in these year groups at the moment.Within this unit there will be classrooms for each year group which open onto a central area.We would have the option to open or close doors as and when necessary so that all children from 3-6 woul spend time working on planned differentiated ,hands on activities together.Staff will plan together and literacy and numeracy times would still take place ,but appropriate to the childrens levels of development

This is our dream.

It is a long term plan with ,probably many hurrdles to overcme ,but all staff are committed and so is the head teacher .Ill keep you informed .Bye for now now :

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