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Please give me advice


Between our 2 reception classes we have a really good creative and messy play area. We have resources there for sand, water, creative (painting), small world and construction and a small mini suite of computers. We are also really fortunate that we have a good team of staff now who have a variety of skills between them.


Well... last summer the head made the suggestion of opening up the area more, ie removing frieze boards, to allow children from both classes access to all the areas: (the creative/ wet area is outside thelong window in my clasroom), and having more of a free flow approach. Good idea I thought. Mmm.


As FS Co-ordinator I duly worked alongside other staff to organise. However, I don't feel that, due to staff illnesses etc that this has really got off the ground properly. One member of staff suggested a rota for each class but I really feel this would go against my beliefs that we need to offer a variety of activities to all the children, that we should be encouraging the children from each class to work alongside each other and as we are doing the same activities surely it's more time effective to set up the activities once for all to use. But I now feel vibes that some are trying to push me into the rota idea.


Should I stick to my guns and take leadership of this as FS Co-ordinator. I have asked to speak to the head as I think I need their support to go on with this with some staff.


Sorry this is such a long post but I just need advice and probably reassurance at the moment that I actually do know what I'm talking about when it comes to the FS and Early Years.


Thank you for your patience if you've got this far in the post.


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Hi melc. What an interesting position! I would say YES stick to your guns, if only because you haven't given the system a proper chance yet. It sounds as if the SMT will back you, esp since the Head initiated the idea!

It's always difficult setting up new systems, isn't it?

Good luck :D

Fox xx

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Stick with it, mel.


I tried to make a freeflow of 3 classrooms and 90 children which unfortunately I was forced to abandon for a variety of reasons, but mainly we found the children didnt move away from their teachers, although teachers rotated through areas weekly. In hindsight some sort of highscope plan/ do /review system would have allowed children to access all provision.


I am sure that it is the way to operate and you need to have all your staff with you so perhaps a rota would work for the staff rather than the children with the children making informed choices?


We found that we did not need to stop for the traditional playtime and although staff found it difficult we were able to rota in breaks.

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I am really sticking my neck out here, as a non-teacher, but as a committed FS practitioner, my gut feeling is YOU ARE RIGHT! - please forgive caps :)


Too often people get railroaded, but these are children, not products. We are the professionals that really know what works, so should be allowed to sort things our way. You are the FS Co-ordinator - so it seems to me

they should be respecting your views, or at least not shoving you about!


You stick with it! The children deserve a good provision.




PS Please let us know how it develops :)

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Thank you all for the votes of confidence so far. I do think that a rota for the positioning of the staff (for want of a better way of putting it) is a way forward because I did forget to mention that I also would like to incorporate the outdoor learning environment into this as well ( which again the head is very keen on as this was picked up at OFSTED) and I don't think anyone would want to be permanently outside!


I think I will try to put a plan together before my meeting with the head.


Thanks once again,


Mel C :o (I just love this smilie)

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I'm preschool and I used to rota staff into specific areas of our very large hall but was advized by our EYAT ( Eary years advisory teacher) that the staff should follow the child and not remain static in any one are/position. On reflection, I agreed with her advice, ie: little Johnny enjoys staff 1's interaction at sand tray, then moves to the brio ( other side of room) well, staff 1 knows in what context Johnny is currently

thinking /playing /representing etc, so is more knowledgable at this particular time to follow Johnny and continue the interaction at his level.


It took a while for staff to adjust, to ensure deployment was covered well across all areas of the hall as well as maintaining ongoing interactions with specific children. Its about taking the learning to the child not the child to the learning.


Has the member of staff who asked for the "rota" given any indication for why she wants one, what her rationale is in how a staff placement rota supports the FSC and more importantly the children?


Stick to what feels right for you, your children, and your staff- ( management is definately not an easy life :o ) but if you keep to your convictions and principles, it will rub off and motivate your staff, I promise :D



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Thanks Peggy. You're right it is all about the children: they are what we are there for.


I am a great believer that although we receive great pressure from above to have focus groups (Y2 SATs in 2 years time!) we really should allow the children the time to explore, extend and consolidate whilst we observe, listen then intervene where appropriate. Sorry ... now getting side tracked!


The rota was asked for as the member of staff felt that the children in her class were not getting access to the art area in the shared area. However, I have, when possible, gone to great lengths to initiate activities that could be accessed by both classes. I have even sent children from my class to invite children to join them in the activities. I still believe that a rota for class use would create a them and us situation - which is not really what I imagined when the head mentioned the idea all those months ago!


Leading by example is the key to this I've decided.


Time for sleeps. Night night.


Mel C :o (I still think this is great!)

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Just an idea, to help the staff feel that they are being listened to, and to assess the true picture, why not suggest that for the remainder of this term the staff complete a daily time sample observation to really observe which children are accessing which activities when. Then agree to discuss the findings and review and agree any changes to the practice for the summer term.


The time sample obs doesn't have to be very complicated.

Across the top of an A4 sheet ( landscape ) title each column with a different activity, down the side write 9am, 9:15, 9:30, 9:45 etc.

At each time the staff write under the relevant column the number of children ( they could put in brackets the class number ie: 9:15 Sand tray, 3ch (1) & 1ch (2) or the initial of the class teacher in the brackets ( saves writing ch) to identify how many children from each class are accessing the activity at any given time throughout the morning/afternoon.


I appreciatte there will be movement inbetween each 15 minutes ( you may decide to do a ten minute time sample) but it will give an idea of childrens movements. Hope you had a good sleep ( what are we like, thinking work at midnight hour :o ) and I hope this idea helps, at least doing this will let staff know you are doing something about their reservations and get them off your back ( for this particular problem) for a few weeks. xD:(:(:( :wacko: xD :rolleyes: :unsure: ;):ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r: ( many moons ago Steve did put a limit on the number of smileys used for each post, we do try to restrain ourselves now, and this is the limited number!)



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