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I was wondering if anyone can help? I am an NQT going for a job in a reception class. I love the foundation stage, however so far my experiences have only covered nursery. I was wondering how do fellow practitioners organise and teach numeracy and literacy in reception? Do you choose to follow the strategies rather than just the foundation document to aid your planning? Or how do you organise group work or whole class teaching, taking into account of differentiation?


Sorry this seems like a huge question to ask, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


Many thanks, Sarah

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Hi Sarah & welcome.

I feel as if I'm fighting my corner all over again with this one at the moment-


NLS & NNS are not statutory, FS is!

NNS objectives relate directly to ELGs, language is the same although there is extra content within the strategy & depending on your children this may or may not be applicable.

NLS objectives can be matched to ELGs but are not as user friendly in language and again content may or may not be applicable depending on your children and your philosphy.

There is no speaking & listening within NLS either.


It is possible to introduce elements of the lit hr & numeracy hr re structures within your day and integrate your curriculum activities. My experience is that children really enjoy some of the more formal aspects and enjoy learning what is appropriately presented.

Guidance suggests that by the end of the summer term children should have experience of a literacy/ numeracy hour.

Depending on your children, your school may expect this or not. "a lit/num hr" has also been diffeently interpreted, some consultants will say a is 1!

My experience has led me to the belief that I can teach content or context and for the children content must be preferable. This year ie last summer term we did not attempt lit/num hr and introduce a much mor fiundation style approach to yr1. This has benefitted the children tremendously. There is a strong move/ feeling with FS practitioners that this is the right approach as you will have discovered if you have delved deep enough.

You will probably need to be led by your school on this one but doesn't hurt to have some ideas about what you think.


As for differentiation it is possible to provide play based activities and differentiate by outcome, the support you give and the depth of questioning etc that occurs.

The groups in my class room are for organisation, not only movement to get coats etc but to aid the differentiation of an activity etc.


You must have some thoughts on this one & if you have Nursery experience should be able to build on that within the Reception classroom. The biggest difference possibly is the impact of the Profile. Have you visited the school, what have you been told or have you seen?


Anyway perhaps someone else will express a few thoughts for you.

Good luck with the interview.



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Hi there Sarah. It does vary a lot from school to school , and you should be able to judge what the school wants when you visit (if you havent already). I went to look at a job last summer for reception where the Heda never once mentioned the foundation stage, ELG or profile. And the job spec only metioned KS1 and the national curriculum. I realised very quickly that it was not the school for me.

At our school , we dont use NLS or NNS until the last part of the summer term. That doesnt mean that we dont do literacy or numeracy, we just focus of the foundation Curriculum Guidance for our planning. We do small chunks of whole class work, that grow in time during the year, and various activities throughout the day. Thsi works for us, but it may not work for others.

The best thing I would suggest is that you get into a school and learn on the job-you will soon develop your own ideas about what works well or not in your setting.

Good luck

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