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Need Ideas As To Moving To More Structured Day


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Hi all,

 

Just want some advise on moving to a more structured day in Reception. My HT is starting to kick up a fuss as it is Summer Term and she feels the children should be doing more writing and working more formally in preparation for Year 1. I have tried to move to set Literacy and Numeracy sessions with set activities to choose from and other ELGs in the afternoon but have found the noise levels unbearable, the amount of paper to go through impossible and the time they have outside dwindle to almost nothing. I had a good system of spliting the class into two groups to go outside in different session (not possible to do free flow) with the focused activities in each area repeated so everyone had the opportunity to choose.

 

Can anyone give me some advise on finding a reasonable middle ground before I lose my will to live and my hearing! My HT is obsessed with literacy in particular writing and holding the pencils correctly. She has told me Ofsted are only looking at Literacy and Numeracy in inspections so that is what I should concentrate on. Anyone know if that is true?

 

Claire :o

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http://www.nfer.ac.uk/research-areas/pims-...key-stage-1.cfm

http://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/other-p...key-stage-1.cfm

Smooth Transitions: Building of the Foundation Stage Ros Bayley,Sally Featherstone,Martha Hardy

In our recent OFSTED they were impressed that Y1 worked like reception and suggested Y2 should be working in a similar way. Having said that they were looking at Literacy and Numeracy but didn't want to see a Literacy hour....seemed more interested in good phonics in the wake of the Rose report

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I don't think OFSTED are concentrating on just English and Maths - I can let you know as they are coming to us on Tues / Weds. I have a mixed R (19) and Y1 (7) class and tend to have a more structured morning focusing on literacy / numeracy teaching / activities. Both I and the TA tend to have a focus group, and one other group works independently at a teacher directed activity. Another group is child-initiated. It is a simlar set up for maths. Depending on the activities planned, the noise level of the children I someitmes vary what the children can access or not. e.g. I wouldn't have the children using bricks / noisy remote contol vehicles / noisy ICT programs, whilst others may be trying to concentrate on a listening activity or a writing activity needing paired talk- I find it just makes it too loud and not easy for cetain children to concentrate. During the afternoon, there is much more child initiated for Reception, often planned around a theme. We tend to brainstorm what could be done (e.g. when we were focussing on Jack and the beanstalk, children suggested writing a sorry letter from Jack, making a beanstalk using junk boxes, making a big giant, using musical instuments to make loud giant music, using the puppets). I find it focusses some childen more so maintaining concentration better and shares ideas for those who don;t come up wiht new ideas so easily!

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Hi Claire. It's very difficult isn't it when you're being pushed by people above you to go a certain way when your every instinct is screaming 'NO!'. I've only quickly looked at Marion's links but they seem to provide excellent evidence that more traditional teaching isn't the way forward for young children. You should also have been sent, about 2 years ago (?), a copy of 'Continuing the Learning Journey', from QCA I think. This provides a model of good practice and makes clear that transition between Foundation Stage and Y1 should be a process rather than an event and that Y1 should be adopting the way Foundation Stage practioners work rather than vice versa. There are things about 'Continuing the Learning Journey' available on the internet if you do a search. I couldn't work out how to do a link because all of the things I found just downloaded! :o

 

We were Ofsted-ed in June last year. We are a one-form entry school and it was perfectly clear when the inspectors came in that my children are still free-flowing and that nothing is 'formal'. Our transition policy states quite clearly that the Foundation model of working will continue in Y1 up until Christmas. They were fine with this. They were interested in end of year FSP scores but this was across all the areas of learning not just CLL and MD. Of course, because of the vagaries of the system we work under things might have changed in the last year...!

 

Our school has also adopted a Creative Curriculum that runs across the whole school. This means that we now operate in a more cross-curricular way and don't stick to the 5 literacy/numeracy hours a week system. Again, Ofsted were fine with this as long as you can show that your results aren't slipping.

 

If you are very brave I would stand your ground. If I really want something I always find it useful to go backed up with evidence and say, "I've been reading this latest publication from ...It says that we should be doing this. What do you think?"

 

Good luck!

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june 2005 was when Continuing the learning journey was sent to schools, although as an Inset package it's not something that you can just use. However there's another pack called seamless transitions which yu can get from Dfes.

 

do you have a transition policy? This would help if you could get some clarification on how Y1 support the childrens transition into KS1 which is surely the point. You can't be "doing transition" if the children haven't left where they are yet!!! Then you could work out how to fit into this process maybe.

CX

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I am not aware of any official transition policy. My Deputy is also FS and KS1 Co-ord and she agrees with an EY model of working and play based learning at the beginning of Y1. However, my HT doesn't agree and my Deputy won't fight our corner so we are forced to go against what we want to do. It is very frustrating and is one of the reasons I am going to be leaving the school at the end of term.

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I have to say that I did use 'Continuing the Learning Journey' as a stand alone thing! Trust me to do it wrong! In a small school it's difficult to get time allocated specifically to the Foundation Stage. I sat down with the training materials and the DVD and went through it and thought: this is what we need to be doing. I then fed this through into Y1 and they were advised to watch it too. Maybe not ideal but it ended up with the right result for the children. :o

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We had our Ofsted inspection in March this year and we came out as outstanding in every area of the report/ inspection throughout the school.

 

We focus teach in CLL and MD with a 10 min carpet session followed by a focus group concentrating on the children' next steps........we use lots of talking partners, wipeclean boards etc with only the more able children using books.

Don't forget to cater for those more able as well as the less able. The more able should have a different starting point for their focus work not just an extension for when they finish in 2 seconds flat!

 

The other children are doing activities that are linked to the topic in the other areas of the FS curriculum based on the learning intentions chosen for the week. In the mornings we do quieter activities such as puzzles, small world, cutting and sticking, plasticene, chalk, threading, puppets, numbers/letters hidden in the sand, sorting objects, pattern marking, and of course always have an independent writing activity where they can "write" in zig zag booklets etc. etc In the afternoons we add noisy things and big play stuff.

 

Ofsted will be looking at whatever they decide they need more evidence for to back up the SEF, but definately for a seperate role play area within the classroom and freeflow to an outside classroom if possible.

 

Good luck it's not as bad as expected, but don't be fooled by the "we're not watching your teaching, just looking around"!!!!

Of course they are.

Edited by Guest
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