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Reception September 2020 learning environment set up


BClem
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Hello,

I'm looking for some advice so how Reception practitioners are being asked to set up their learning environments for September. We have been informed by management that our children need to be forward facing, matching the guidance for the rest of the school. Has anyone got any evidence from guidance that it is okay for me to ensure our environments are set up as 'normal'? So with groups of tables with resources available, for child-initiated learning. Obviously the careful selecting of resources, as we are doing so now for cleaning will continue. I'm struggling to even work out how we will operate if having to all be forward facing, considering the stage of the children's development! 

It would be great just to get some idea on other Reception settings plans. Thank you.

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There seems to be a huge disparity in what is happening in different settings.  It is my opinion that what you've been asked to do is not appropriate for the age and developmental level of your children.  There's a new FSF podcast coming out this morning where Lyndsey and Stephanie from The Curiosity Approach discuss how they have interpreted the guidelines for their nursery settings - it might be worth a listen - it should be available by 11am here: https://fsf-podcasts.simplecast.com/

I know @BenC has been gauging opinions on this, so he might also be able to help.

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Whilst in the guidance it states that children should be sat at tables facing the front as a possible way to keep them safe, the schools guidance says that the safety measures for older children are not the same as for younger children. This is the key to what you are asking here. 

The guidance also states that you still have a responsibility to provide a full balanced curriculum including the characteristics of effective learning which remain statutory. How this would be possible in EYFS by keeping the children at tables I'm not sure. 

NHS guidance also still states that young children should not be inactive for long periods of time and that children aged 5 should have 180 minutes of activity per day.

The thing is, you have to balance the risk with all the above. If you're able to keep the children in a bubble, as I'm sure you're already going to have to anyway, then there is no need to have things set up any differently to normal - with the resources just needing to be cleaned more regularly. 

One thing I said to my wife who had to get her point across to the head who was asking the same was, if they are not willing to change their approach, then state that as an early years teacher, you can not see how it will work and that you will need them to teach the first day to model to you how it will work. I'm sure after that, they will change their minds!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is exactly what I was wondering. I have set up my classroom without children having to sit facing forwards. It would work for adult led tasks but how would play happen? Can you imagine encouraging children playing with a train set, cars all facing the same direction?! Now that would really hamper play! Our Reception class is considered part of the Infants section. However, when it comes to Curriculum and Assessment, we follow the EYFS as statutory. Therefore, I am using the Early Years Guidance alongside the whole school reopening advice.

I was searching the documents for any stipulations about messy play and baking. I can't find anything specific. I wonder if anyone else knows?

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I'll be returning to teach in Reception in September (having taught Juniors for the last 3 years) and I am unsure what resources I am allowed to have for the children? Has anyone got any advice on sand/water play, play dough/baking, soft toys/furnishings? It's been suggested that we won't be able to use these elments which does reduce the accessibility for the children and their learning experiences.

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It appears that the most recent guidance suggests things must be easily clean able.  We have been using water play with some sort of detergent product and washing toys regularly. Sand we haven't been using but from september I am going to use again as it is outside (again toys cleaned) soft toys I have removed and soft furnishings are being cleaned regularly . Play dough we make every day and throw out. Baking with restrictions (no sharing of anything!l  hope that helps!

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