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Continuing an Early Years environment in Year 1

Discussion in 'Primary' started by rockfan, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Hi, Ive been asked to have a less formally structured year 1 next year and run it like Early Years with the different learning areas. Im a bit unsure how to do this and was hoping for advice from people already doing this. My questions are:
    How much time should be child initiated play and how much direct teaching?
    How do you cover the learning objectives in the National Curriculum and make sure all the children cover them?
    Do you use the Primary National Strategies for literacy and numeracy and of so, how do you fit it all in?
    Do you have an adult in the outside area at all times and how do you manage this?
    Its also being considered whether the 2 classes work as one unit or as two classes with a shared outdoor learning area and shared role play area. Has anyone tried to run it as one unit (our classrooms are next door but quite separate) and how does it work? Especially when you are trying to get one class changed for PE?
    All helpful advice really appreciated!
    Thanks :)

  2. pachamama

    pachamama New commenter

    I am in the same position as you. Although we are 1 form entry. I think my head would like a more formal set up, but I would like to provide the continous provision. Especially as I don't think many of our children won't be prepared for the formal set up.
    On top of this we are moving from teaching QCA, to topic based units of work!

    Basically I'm jumping on the band wagon, and if anyone can pass on some advice, that would be great.
  3. Ive explained our way of working so many times i should have it on copy and paste :p
    Im mixed y1/2. My classroom is set up with 2 tables free for focus groups, 3 tables for C/I activities, a role play area, a sand area, anda small outdoor area that i can see into from the classroom.
    Each day i plan the C/I activities for the tables relating to the phoneme work we are doing. If we are doing 'oo' i might have the space station on the small world table and have a tag (laminated paper folded over and attached with those green tags to it stands up) saying "The rocket is about to take off. Where will it zOOm too?" highlighting the phoneme in red pen. Similar activity for the craft table, and a similar activity for the writing or maths tables. The difference to FS is that the children are EXPECTED to complete some independant writing in relation to the task whilst they are playing with it.
    Other than that, literacy and numeracy works as normal - from the new strategies. My TA and I each take a focus group each while the others explore the room, and we usually manage to get through all the groups. If we dont, i can pick these up in the afternoon as we teach literacy to topic to link in our Foundation subjects (at the moment we are doing a stories from fantasy settings unit with a rainforest topic, so are linking it to geography). Our morning literacy sessions and afternoons are therefore interchangable, though i do try to plan more independant activities relating to foundation subjects for the afternoons as i find my children just lose it by the afternoon, and i dont have my TA in afternoons which makes it harder as i really need to be managing the classroom.
    This way of working is a nightmare for people who like all the children sitting down all the time, and dont like them to have independance. I absolutely LOVE it, the children absolutely LOVE it, they LOVE writing, they are always enthusiastic, and they produce some great work during focus time because they have all that time exploring their own ideas and having the breathing space to try things out and do some writing without the pressure of a teacher breathing down their necks.
    People worry that children will go crazy given the freedom, but they will get used to it. Most of my children will not rush their focus work to go and explore, because they know they have the whole day and they will get a chance anyway. They used to come up and bug you all the time showing their independant writing etc but i have a finished work tray and just put a hand up and say "No im working with this group at the moment, i will have a look through later." I quite often then go through the tray before lunchtime/at the end of the day and give stickers for all children that have had a good go at independant writing.

  4. I have just been on a fantastic course about this. Im a year 1 teacher and have been for 4 years, this year we had a new Reception teacher who is amazing and very much foundation approach as apposed to the old reception teacher. We have also changed to topic teaching so again its all coming as once!
    Basically from the course one of the main things was the child initiated and adult initiated. In reception it should be 50% adult initiated/led and 50% child initiated. In year 1, especially first term, it should change to 50% adult initiated, 25% adult led and 25% child initiated.
    In year one obviously they will do more 'work', but have to make it more active work so they dont realise it initally! lol!
    What I am going to do, in lit and numeracy for the first term is have a carasel of activities. I will plan in 4 groups- 1 working with me, 1 with TA, one adult iniated and the other child iniated. Then every dat swap them around so by the end of week will have worked with both myself and TA and had time to learn for themselves. On Friday I can assess who struggled in the week and gove them extra support.
    Topic in the afternoon i will again do on rota- but make sure I always have an art/ craft table (I have made a creative area in the classroom) as this will provide very much what reception are doing. I also have role pl;ay, writing area, reading corner. Outside area will have to be timetabled due to reception using it majority of time but that will be ok.
    I am also going to use the new strategies. but I have their foundation stage profile scores so I know who needs the extra input.
    Hope this helps!
  5. M_B


    Donna your idea's sound really effective as transition for Year 1's. At present we have quite formal planning with LO & Success criteria that fits a whole school approach.Would you mind sharing how you plan as I think this will fit my new class well. 17 boys and 9 girls!
    Thank you
  6. Hi Donna,
    Thanks for this information - its really helpful! Can I ask if you are going to work as a unit with the other year 1 class or as 2 separate classes and did they give any information on this on your course? Can I ask what the course is called as I would be really interested if I could get a place on it.
    Also you said one group with teacher, one group with TA. When you say a child-initiated group, do you mean they can explore the sand/water/creative etc and would they have a focus for this or just explore by themselves? And what do you mean by adult initiated? What is the difference between adult led and adult initiated? Im sorry im geting to grips with all these different terms!
    Many thanks

  7. I am an NQT going into Year 1 and really worrying how to make a smooth transition from Reception into Year 1, making use of child initiated play.
    When children are playing in the sand/water areas are there any good ideas for long lasting resources to put in them?
    There is some really good advice on here, I hope you dont mind but im
    going to be watching this post as im finding it really useful.
    Lucinda :)
  8. Arghhhhhhhhhhh I just posted a reply on here- which took me 30 mins and then I clicked on something and it disappeared! Might go in a corner and [​IMG] now!!!
    Right I will get round to typing it out again or if anyone wants to talk about it I have msn or facebook- email me on emmaangeluk@yahoo.co.uk
  9. How much time should be child initiated play and how much direct teaching?
    I think it depends on the teacher and how you see your transition into Year 1 working. In general for the first term we have a good mix of the two. We always have two focus tables (one teacher led and the other TA) then we will generally have one other adult initiated task with the other areas being child initiated. We currently have two rooms in use by our year 1 but I will speak more about them later on. We become more formal as Y2 approaches and I would say by the summer term we have 75% adult led/initiated tasks and 25% child led. We always start a session with a teaching input of about 10/15 mins with a group task of about 20 mins and a group plenary (only for the focus groups) of 5 mins. How do you cover the learning objectives in the National Curriculum and make sure all the children cover them?
    This will depend on the ability of your children. By the end of Year 1 most children will be ready to access the NC although you will still be planning to the ELG’s for some. (usually your less able or SEN children) During the 1st term you will have to use both the FSP and the NC. However there are some excellent books which can help you do understand this more! I highly recommend Sally Featherstone’s- Making it work in Year 1. I have just read through this again as I will have a new colleague in September and it has reminded me about a few things. You will have to think about how you are going to structure your curriculum and perhaps think about moving more towards planning under the areas of learning in the FSP- apparently the new National Curriculum is going to be under similar titles, rather than independent subjects. I also think it’s important to think about making your teaching more cross curricular- teaching creative subjects as one rather than your usual Art, Music, Design etc. It is also about knowing your children well and deciding who is able to access the Year 1 curriculum as like I said before some will not be ready- you will have to decide do you want to make it more like reception or more like a watered down Year 1 class with whole class activities. The NC also gives objectives for KS1 not Y1 so it is okay to match up those that fit with the ELG’s and tell the next teacher which ones you haven’t covered yet- it is surprising how you can make links between the two! Do you use the Primary National Strategies for literacy and numeracy and if so, how do you fit it all in?
    We do use the PNS but we only teach Lit and Num 4 days of the week, we also teach it discretely through our topics. This half term our topic has been about minibeasts with the major focus being Science so a lot of our Lit teaching has been through a science focus. We have picked apart the strategies and made them fit into our topics! (They will be going by 2011 anyhow grrrr lol) Literacy and Numeracy are the only two subjects that we have on our timetable (oh and PE & ICT as they are timetabled)as this is due to the structure of our day. We have been using the PNS for the last 2 years and it is possible, promise! Do you have an adult in the outside area at all times and how do you manage this?
    We don’t have an outside area unfortunately but we do sometimes let the children use the playground which is outside our classrooms. If we have children out there we will send an adult out to support them and provide them with a focus, if applicable. We have sent a small group of children outside alone, but the area is right by our windows where we can see them. I think that would all depend on what your outdoor provision was like! Its also being considered whether the 2 classes work as one unit or as two classes with a shared outdoor learning area and shared role play area. Has anyone tried to run it as one unit (our classrooms are next door but quite separate) and how does it work? Especially when you are trying to get one class changed for PE?

  10. pachamama

    pachamama New commenter

    Bless you for typing all of that out! Everyone's responses are really useful. I know I have loads of work to do before September, but am looking forward to the challenge. I'm on Mat leave at the moment, but am going on a course about transition from reception to year 1 next week, so hopefully this will also be of use. If I'm totally baffled I may e-mail if that's ok.[​IMG]
  11. I have been in year 1 for 2 years now, and both years things have changed, but next year promises to be even more different! I haven't managed my transistion well this year, so need to work on that, but we will be using topics, so things will be different anyway.
    BUT, is this all possilbe with only me? We don't have a dedicated TA, just a few who pop in for times during the day. This means that it is difficult to organise to work with a group, as there is no-one to be there for the rest of the class, especially when they are able to 'choose' for mcuh of the time. I am getting increasingly more worried
    Will someone please tell me that it is possible to make the transition work well on your own - and if it is - then how?????

  12. How often do you have staff and is it possible to ask for them at a certain time? If not then I think it would be best for you to decide which elements of the transition you would like to go with and work on them, as I am not 100% sure it would work with you alone (simply because you need some support in it)
    How has it worked previously for you?
    Emma x
    PS Pash yes fine to email [​IMG]
  13. Sorry Pachamama [​IMG] I called you by the wrong name hehe!
  14. pachamama

    pachamama New commenter

    Thanks for that, I will also only have a T.A part time with 31 children. Our school has a high S.E.N ratio, so it will be a definate learning curve. Can't wait!!!!
  15. Thanks for typing all that. It was not patronising at all, I really dont know that much about it and uve explained it really well. :) Thank you loads for this, lots of ideas I can take and work with.
  16. Well Donna after being on the internet for the last five hours looking for help with the how I can provide a learning enviroment in year1 similar to F2 I finally find your message.
    You say that you are going to use the New Framework for your literacy and numeracy so will you choose your objective and teach the class together for a short while and then ask the children to go into the groups-carousel of activities. I presume these will be linked to the first part of the lesson.If your going to use a week for this approach will you have time to cover everything?
    How do you link the outside learning with the inside?
    I find it very difficult to give the children the time to access the opportunities like role play that have been set up.
    This issue is driving me potty Im spending time on it and getting no where.
    Do you have anything that might help me to get started please?
    Sorry for interupting your weekend and thank you for your time

  17. Thanks so much for sharing the post.

  18. Hi Emma,
    After reading your comment about:
    I ordered this book and it has just arrived. Its fantastic. Thank you so much for putting a good, useful book up here!
  19. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    oh, wow, all I can say is a huge huge thank you for all of this information. That is so kind, I am just so glad that there are people willing to give their own time to help people like me. Thank you so so much!

    I am also glad I'm not the only one in this situation. Whilst I can't wait to be in year one, apart from the info given on here, I am pretty clueless and pulling my hair out trying to find out about transition and EYFS etc. It is all completely new to me. This might sound like a silly question, but could someone clarify child intiated/teacher initiated and child/teacher led. Is it simply that the children do the learning themselves without any teachery bit at the start for child initiated?

    In terms on transition from the EY goals, once I've got my head around them, I think what I will do is for the first term, keep the teaching very EY goals based, just to reassess and consolidate, and then have a go at moving onto level 1 national curriculum work and hope some of the children will be able to move onto this. Those that are behind, I will set up some kind of programme for them to 'catch up'. Argh, As I am writing this, I'm thinking - is that right? Do I have a clue?

    :) xx

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