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YR/1 observation - lesson was rubbish because 'no Learning intenti


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...for YR children!

 

Please help - I am so demoralised and miserable. I am an experienced teacher but I haven't been in EYFS for a few years, so I know things have changed but I was still under the impression that YR children only have a Learning Intention when they're doing an adult-led focus task (which happens in small groups 3x per week in Literacy and Maths in my new school) and that when they're accessing Continuous Provision, they might be learning lots of different (usually cross-curricular) things.

Surely, if children are taking part in child initiated activities, it is unreasonable to expect that every activity will be Literacy based when the input is Literacy and that if an inspector asks children to articulate what they are learning as they play, then they should be able to tell her their Learning Intention and that it should be Literacy based?

I need hard evidence of how EYFS should be run to show my Headteacher before she makes me write out a specific Learning Intention for EYFS and insist that no child plays with anything unless it is directly linked to the LI!!

Or am I wrong................(and should I just move on back to Y6?)

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ARRH!

Ive had this argument and I didnt win it....

Thats not a lot of help to you though. I think you can get round it by having learning intentions displayed around your continuous provision and encouraging the children to talk about what they are going to do and why or what they have done.

So, in the water for example LI is to explore floating and sinking. You resource appropriately but children may take this in a different direction. (I think)!

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Oh dear. I too have had this discussion and reached a compromise of sorts.

 

We have set periods of lit, followed by an adult-led activity relating directly to input, then again for maths followed by related group work.

Other resources are in areas and a TA briefly reminds the children each morning eg in this area there are pens and paper - we are learning to write here, and look, today we have some special spotty pencils because it's Pudsey day.

As we go through the year we begin to restrict choices in the morning, so that by the Summer 2nd half adult-led and resources available for choice are related to lit or maths as appropriate.

 

We do have specific learning intentions displayed in each area, and do read them to the children each day. Usually they are the first bit of kit to be on the floor (and, IMHO so thy should be!), We have tried using sound buttons for this, but they are not very reliable.

It doesn't sit very well with the cross-curricular exploration that we try to sneak in as often as we can, but it did satisfy my ofsted inspector head teacher.

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in my last school i was in reception but it was 8 years ago, so things have changed....... but......... i used do literacy monday and wednesday mornings, with whole class doing guided writing a group at a time over the 2 days with me. and TA had half the class and did a speaking and listening/phonics activity. we had literacy - ish resources out for free choice, e.g. ping pong balls with letters on, lettered flags in sand to put on sandcastles, roll and write letters, shaving foam to write in and lots of exciting bits on writing table, e.g. glittery gel pens etc and sometimes art related to text of week e.g making a gingerbread man and using to re-tell story. no adult was at these activities, so they could do whatever they wanted! but it kept SLT happy! and in between groups i'd do observations and model expectations and give out the odd sticker, and this worked well. tues and thurs was maths mornings with maths-y bits for free choice and 2 adult-led activities. friday was guided reading/PE and the children had free use of usual CP. every afternoon they could choose anything they wanted. this kept it all fresh as it was only available 6 sessions out of 10. bit of a compromise

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Oh dear! Firstly, thank you for making me feel that I'm not alone but I was really hoping you'd all say that my Head and the ex-Ofsted Inspector were wrong and that my lesson was probably ok!

We usually do a Maths and Literacy focus activity with small groups of YR children 3x per week so all of them have done one by the end of the week but I didn't want to have my TA doing that while I was working with Y1 because there might be chaos from the rest of the children (we do have some behaviour issues unless an adult is supervising/playing alongside at all times!)

I did have several 'Literacy' activities around the room as enhanced CP but I didn't realise that I was supposed to restrict the children to only doing those activities! One child chose to go to the writing table but she was drawing a picture so that 'wasn't Literacy' and some boys were building with Lego and that 'wasn't Literacy.'

Ah well, back to the drawing board! I've found some LIs for CP areas so I think I'll laminate them and put them around the room and see if that helps (the adults sitting in judgement, not the children) and I'll use some of the ideas you've kindly shared with me.

Got an EYFS Adviser observing in a few weeks - let's see what she has to say! What's the betting it'll be entirely different?

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There's nothing that says you have to be doing all the same thing at the same time but sometimes if that is what your HT wants then you have to

a) do that and not stress, or

b ) try and discuss with them how the learning worked/works to

c) demonstrate the effectiveness of your methods through your outcomes

The final option is d) look elsewhere really.

You never know, the EYFS adviser may be your ally - they may be able to broker an agreement of how best to move forward with your HT.

However, given that all continuous provision can link to literacy and numeracy at most times then you could be able to identify the linked learning without having to change your provision every 30 minutes which in my estimation is just a stupid waste of time and doesn't allow children the opportunity to apply their learning over time. Have you reflected on the educational programmes which define what children must be given experiences of to achieve the ELGs? They may turn out to be your best approach, as they are statutory.

Cx

Edited by catma
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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: had the EYFS adviser in today and things just got worse! Criticised everything and is insisting on coming back in the last week of term (is she mad? Post-Nativity/Pre-Christmas in YR/1??) so she can see that I have made the changes she is insisting on (and I disagree with).

I have had enough. Alternative career choices please.

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Oh dear, poor you!

What has she suggested?

I'm sure most of the people on here, including me, have felt like jumping ship especially when our understanding and beliefs are challenged.

From past experience, it is always worth trying what advisors have said, trying to do your 'take' on their ideas. Sometimes some things that seem 'wrong' do actually work and you can strike a balance in some way. If their ideas really don't work then you can explain why and work together to create something that does work.

I have worked at polar opposite settings through my career so far, including a formal Reception. Although, I can look back and see how the children in the formal reception class would have benefitted from continuous provision, I don't feel like I failed them. I still provided a range of stimulating and challenging activities and resources and they still left having made good progress. I think what they missed out more than anything is the social side and the characteristics of learning at times.

There is always an 'idealist' picture out there. I love Anna Ephgraves book and use ideas from it but it would take a LOT for some head teachers to allow their FS to get anywhere near that way of working. And for some settings it might not work. It's all about balance and providing the best you can in the situation you are in. But, when there are settings out there like that it's only natural to want to work towards that way of working.

Good Luck,

Keep going,

Green Hippo xxx

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How hard it all is - feels like that song 'You can't please all the people every single time' sometimes - and adjusting to a new school and a new year group is a challenge in itself.

As Green Hippo says, there are some amazing settings out there, and we are all working n our own way to give children the very best that we can - so make the adjustments, have the advisor back, cover them in glue and glitter and then have a good rest over the Christmas holiday.

In the New Year you can do the same as everyone else, take stock and make a resolution or two, and change things gradually.

I hope your performance goes well - will be thinking of you - and keep updating!

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Oh dear! Do remember though they are advisors. It might not work for you or your children and if you cant implement it in time make small adjustments and see how you go. If you feel able to post what has been recommended in more detail, there may be ways to help you more specifically.

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