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Too Many Children?


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We have a difficult decision to make at school and i wondered what other peoples' opinions are.

I teach the R/Y1 class (13R, 17Y1) and my colleague teachers the Y!/Y2 class (5Y1, 20 Y2). At the beginning of the year we had fairly even sized classes but we have had some new reception childran start, a Y1 returned who had left and a new Y1 child (who we placed in the R/Y1 class after speaking to his old school for the most suitable placement).

We have planned our class split on need, rathe rthan age, those children who were socially and academically more ready to work alongside Y2 children for literacy and numeracy. For some of the foundation subjects the 5 Y1 children return to us for 'equality of curriculum'!

Our current dilemma is that we have a new R child due to start on Monday which would take us to 31 childen, and keep the other class at 25. We have thought about transferring 3 children over to the other class to make it even. Whne we set up the classes at the beginning of the yearparents were informed that theremay be changing around of children if we felt they could be better suited int he other class. Therewas no comeback from parents about this, and knowing th earents we dont think there will be a problem with the 3 that we have chosen. We can see pros and cons to each way of working. My main concern s for the 3 children who we have chosen. They are all sociable sorts, who mix well with the Y1s in both classes, and it is easy enough for the work to be differentiated for them. They will also be in my room 3 afternoons a week anyway for foundation teaching.

The dilemma is whether we struggle on with bigger numbers (is it legal?), or transfer a couple of children in name only onto the other classes register, or whether we transfer the childrne over to the class next door?

Currently each class has fulltime LSA help. We also have almost full time help for 2 childrne wiht statements in my Y1. There is full time help for a child in Y2. I also have 3 childrnenwith statements in reception who share 4 mornings of support. Any thoughts?

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Guest tinkerbell

Oh marie what a dilemma.

We have the same problem at my school where the yr1 are split.We hve always gone by ability and maturity to handle a yr2 based classroom...this last year the older children were the most able(first time ever done it by age), it wont be the case next year.We also have a smaller room (yr2/yr1)and larger room R/yr1 but this means r/yr1 walking to the outdoor play through small room.

Back to your situation 3 years ago i used to teach all yr1 and yr2 children in the afternoon (32 children) foundation subjects giving reception teachers chance to do more play based work .....things have changed.I would suggest you send the 3 through to the other class.

What do you mean you teach all yr1 /R three afternoons for foundation?thats 35 children ! please explain more??

Tinkerbellx

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Tinkerbell,

The extra Y1 children come in for his/geog/art/DT/science sessions. I tend to do whole class general input, and then split the children up, with the reception tending to have more child intiated and some adult directed depending ont he activities, eg. art, or geog walking around field talking about things seen / bear hunt. Because of our extra SEn help (and having a spare room we can use) I tend to split the Y1s into groups and have some working in the other room with the SEN LSA to share the children out a bit. There is a lot of organistational planning involved!

Marie

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Guest tinkerbell

I know there will be a lot of panning and organising involved Marie because this is the situation I had 3 years ago with teaching Yr1 and Yr2 in the afternoon (32) and at that time I did have a TA.Getting them all sat down to do work in books was a nightmare...but as i said times have changed.

Can you not just keep your class all the time???(having sent the 3 through)

Tinkerbellx

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It seem unfair on the children not to keep the Y1s together for the foundation subjects. The Y2s are doing their topic and our class do theirs. Because this is the first year we have had split classes for years, we didn't plan a rolling topic type scenario, so that the current Year1s won't be repeating any topics next year. It seems easy to adapt the plans at this time of the year for Reception to have a 'taster' and then more appropriate activities. I agree it is harder work for me than the Y1/Y2 teacher but I suppose we're going on what we agreed at the beginning of the year when there were only 10 reception, 22 Year 1 and 27 Year 2! The Y1/Y2 teacher is quite happy to have the 3 in her class, but I think it is unlikely she would have them for the foundation subjects (unless her LSA worked with them, after initial input from me?) Hmmm...got me thinking about that now!

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Guest tinkerbell

Marie

Since we have kept our own classess and dont do the afternoon thing it has been so much better.You will find that you can plan for things to go into the afternoon or do maths lit in the afternoon.I have found it far more relaxing and more able to go with the flow...childrens ideas etc.

We do still have KS1 assembly when they are all together.

PPA time on friday afternoon each year group does a carousel of PE, music and puzzles.You can find times like this to bring the year groups together.This half term I will suggest to the class2 teacher that I will have her yr1s to join mine and I will do pse/circle time (to start to get them ready for joing back as yr2S) my Ta will do pse with reception

Tinkerbellx

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Your situation sounds more liek I would like it to be - a bit more flexible! I am sure the Y1/Y2 teacher would be OK about it, but as I job-share for part of the week, I'm not sure that my job-share colleague would - she doesn't really want the children to move to the other class. She works i a different way to me - the LSA virtually teaches the R exclusively, but thats another story!

Thanks for your input. Tinkerbell!

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Guest tinkerbell

We have always split our yr1's as our intake is 15...some years appeals have made it awkward hence the 32 in the afternoon...this was when the head made the decision that we should not work as a ks1 unit but as two seperate classes.

We have a two year topic based plan so both classess are doing transport next half term but obviously with different slant...we all go on the trip to the Bradford industrial museum together etc.Could this be the way forward for you?

Tinkerbellx

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Marie, why are you making these decisions? Isnt it ultimately up to the head?

Saying that though and presumimg that you have not reached your admission number, I would think that you should stick with your orginal plans and move the children. At least the numbers can then remain stable for the term unless anymore children move into area! Also think of the children, it has to be better for them to be in smaller groups? Your new reception child could just prove to be the straw that breaks the camels back if you keep your class structure the same.

 

Good luck!

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Susan,

You're absolutely right that it is the Head's final decision. He is pretty good at listening to us as teachers and our views as well. I am more for the move across, the Y1/Y2 teacher is happy eitherway, and my job-share colleague is against it! I will speak to him tomorow to find out what he has decided as I am not in school until Monday myself.

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