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Help Please :) On Keyworkers And Phonics


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Hi all

I have just completed putting together all our planning etc for the new term and we are taking on a different format like many. I have 2 problems/questions though that you may be able to help me with .. please :o

 

1. Keyworkers. Now our pre school room next term will have 4 members of staff excluding myself. 1 lvl 3 works all day on mon, tues and ,thurs, and then then 1 does all day wed and fri (VTS apprentice), 1 works all day mon, tues, wed and fri (also VTS apprentice) and the other works Thurs and Fri till after lunch (just completeing her lvl 2 and will be starting lvl 3 soon). The other is experienced and has some FS training done last year I think and she will only be doing 3 hrs a day for now after a long period of sick and her hrs havn't yet been decided. I am taking on the roll as room leader for now aswell as being the dep head and of course full time. Now the children, we have various shifts, some just a couple of days, some sessional, some whose days change weekly due to parent work shifts and others that will need picking up from a local school nursery at 10.30. Anyone got any clever ideas on how I can fairly distribute keyworkers? Each way I try to work it out we end up with some having a lot more than others due to theirs and childrens shifts. One idea I did have was instead of having single keyworkers was to pair us up so that I work alongside the trainee that is finishing her level 2 in on thurs and fri and then the other lvl 3 (mon,tue and thur) with the other VTS (Wed and Fri) and then the experienced member of staff whos in for 3 hours each day with the VTS girl in mon,tue,wed, and fri.

Hope I havn't lost you there. Mind you I'm confused. Is it ok to have joint keyworkers or has anyone else tried this. Or do any of you have any other ideas?

 

and (sorry)

2. phonics. With all the new ways of CI planning and more free flow play how does everyone else teach/deliver the phonics and linking letters to sounds? I thought about a 10 minute session at the end of the sessions twice a week on different days. On the other days having number play games, physical play games, musical instruments and rhythm, and dance and movement

These would be just for the last 10-15 minutes just before the sessional children go home. (Some will stay through the day). The idea being for exmple:

M am letters and sounds games

m pm musical instrument and rhythm

t am number games and songs

t pm physical play games i.e parachute

w am dance and movement

and then

w pm letters and sounds

etc and so on

the next week would mean starting on musical instruments.

What do you all think of this idea? I know it is re focusing on adult led activity but then so do Ofsted want to see phonics being taught.

 

Just as a brief rundown, the rest of the planning includes workshop areas with continuou provision plans on the wall in the areas. 1 focus activity per session (2 a day) based on a very broad theme over every half term and time for keyworkers (if I ever get them sorted) to spend time with their children and observing. We also will be starting the session as usual at 9 with circle time and snack time is around about 10am. I thought the idea being a circle time to get together at the beginning and then another whole group activity before the 11.30 and 3pm children go home, when we can also sing our goodbye songs. Is this enough in the way of delivering phonics? we will of course have chances to bring them into everyday play too just like maths development.

 

Any ideas and comments? I think I have been thinking now for too long and making so many notes and brainstorms my brain is now hurting! :(

 

I hope we will be providing a fair balance here of CI play and Ci planning and adult led/initiated activities and free flow play.

 

By the way we are an all day day nursery and expecting the big O any time now. I hope they dont mind me changing the format of it all. :(

:)

Thanks in advance

xD

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Hi,

When I was in nursery, only those that were qualified were allowed to be key workers and were paid a bit extra because of the individual plans, profiles and observations we had to do. Staff in our nursery were asked if they wanted to be a key worker as there is a level of responsibility to the role if it is carried out correctly in that relationships need to be handled appropriately with the parents (confidentiality, personal information etc) and have an understandng of child development and individual needs so that plans can be drawn from the individual child according to their needs.

 

With regards to the organisation, we started with full time staff and full time children and allocated them, followed by sessional children that were in the majority of the time that the staff were present and so on.

 

If there were part time staff that were key workers, we introdcued a 'secondary' key worker to the parents/carers on induction so that they had another familiar face to seek out if the usual key worker was not there. However, it is really important for a successful key worker system that a strong relationship is built up with a 'primary key person'

 

I'd really recommend Peter Elfer's book about key persons as it sets out the rights and common misunderstandings of implementing a successful system.

 

Hope that helps a bit

 

RB x

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Have you tried splitting the key groups by session? That way there shouldnt be too many per person. My friends sister was given a keygroup when she was still L2 and had mixed feelings about it. I havent seen phonics being taught in any nursery I've been to. Children are encouraged to be phonically aware while playing word games etc but nothing more and I've not seen JP either. I know there is currently a debate about whether phonics are best or not and I have no informed opinion either way, but I do think you might be worrying a bit too much about Ofsteds expectations though. Rhymes and songs, writting materials and lots of print available are just as important as formal letter work and in pre-school thats what I'd stick to. They also havent got a say over planning formats or how you run your sessions so long as you can show your intentions clearly and you follow all the basics. Take a deep breath and chill out for the remainder of the holidays, and if Ofsted do arrive any day now 'good luck' :D:D

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Hi all

I have just completed putting together all our planning etc for the new term and we are taking on a different format like many. I have 2 problems/questions though that you may be able to help me with .. please :o

2. phonics. With all the new ways of CI planning and more free flow play how does everyone else teach/deliver the phonics and linking letters to sounds? I thought about a 10 minute session at the end of the sessions twice a week on different days. On the other days having number play games, physical play games, musical instruments and rhythm, and dance and movement

These would be just for the last 10-15 minutes just before the sessional children go home. (Some will stay through the day). The idea being for exmple:

M am letters and sounds games

m pm musical instrument and rhythm

t am number games and songs

t pm physical play games i.e parachute

w am dance and movement

and then

w pm letters and sounds

etc and so on

the next week would mean starting on musical instruments.

What do you all think of this idea? I know it is re focusing on adult led activity but then so do Ofsted want to see phonics being taught.

 

 

Sorry cant help with key worker as we dont opperate this way.

My first thought on the phonics is that the 10 min activities would be better at the beginning of the sessions when the children are more focused and should be daily and be between 5-10 mins(my opinion only)

I would also include the music and rhyme activities daily but keep all activities in short burst

Have you seen Foundation of Literacy Ros Bailey/Sally Featherstone its ideal of literacy in the Foundation stage

Also would add we were given a 'good' in our recent OFSTED without being observed teaching phonics in a FSU (mixed nursery/reception) they were much more interested in emergent writing.

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We also look at allocating children to keyworkers by sessions they are in most with particula5r staff when both staff and children are part time....ie if one staff member sees a child more than others, even if she is not in every session the child attends. We also ensure parents know that if keyworker is not there who to speak to. This varies again depending on shifts. All our staff and children are part time so it can become complicated. parents are aslo aware that keyworkers may change if children find they relate better to one adult than another, they can tend to decide who they like to be with themselves, so we will re allocate keyworkers accordingly. All staff are keyworkers but those undergoing training are supported by a lv3.

It really is a complicated issue but when on paper seems to sort itself out somehow!

 

Phonics.... Recent ofsted Good outcome...pre-school FS1... no mention of children learning phonics at this age, not expected to teach it and she did not expect us to be doing it. (we have 3 main feeder schools, one uses JP the others do not so better to leave it until school )

 

better to work on pre-writing and reading skills and have plenty of opportunity for relating to reading and writing in play areas of room. I would greatly reccommend Foundations of Literacy as a good start to give ideas. Ofsted focused on seeing where the children could find print or see it in all areas and also how we allowed them to have lots of pens, pencils etc in lots of different areas of the room to encourage mark making, even with clip boards and pencils in the garden to draw outdoors. How stories were read to children in small groups most of the session (outdoors as well), and how we incorporated the other skills needed before any phonic work.

 

Inge

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Thanks for all your replies.

Bit of a change on the keyworkers anyway as I missed our staff meeting due to illness last night and the head of nursery has made up her own mind about the staffing and I am now only having 3 others plus me to work in my group. The other 2 are to be 'floaters' in between rooms (which incidentally I heard today neither girl is very happy about) :o

 

I like the idea of keyworker by sessons. That might just work. Thanks

Regarding the phonics we do have plenty of print in the nursery, and the children are encouraged to try writing their own names. We have a mark making and writing area and regular stories. We have cards that the staff write on each day with the children's names and they love to be able to see if they can recognise their names, plus their names are on their trays. I agree that if we do learn phonincs it should be through games , stories etc. I have been encouraging them today to listen to the first letter sound of their names and they loved it.

I agree too that maybe we should bring this session time down to 5 mins and put it at the beginning of the session.

 

Thanks all and I will check some of the recommended literature

 

I have been trying to set the room up today into workshop areas. Because I have had a couple of days off sick I have been at home working it all out and doing paperwork etc. I did a room plan mentally of how I wantd it..

xD I went in today and realised the room is actually smaller, wrong etc. Hmmm. Never mind, a bit of adaptation on it tomorrow i think. Must try to get it all sorted at leat enough to leave with the other staff to finish as I have got the last week next week off to spend some time with my son and remind him what I look like. Can't wait for the break.

Reeally hoping big O is going to come and visit i the first few weeks of the new term while everyone is fresh and eager over the new ideas.

 

:D

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