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Expected skills / knowledge at the end of nursery / start of reception

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Kitkat47, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    Just wondering of any Reception teachers would be able to help me by listing a few of the skills you would expect children to have when coming into Reception in September? I don't mean expected levels and scores on the fsp, but things like 'can zip up own coat', 'can write own name', 'can dress themselves with little help', ' can hold a pencil using correct grip', 'can retell parts of a traditional story', 'can count to 10/20' etc.
    I am in Nursery and I am trying to simplify the confusing termly assessment sheet I currently have to use!
  2. Hi,
    Just wondering of any Reception teachers would be able to help me by listing a few of the skills you would expect children to have when coming into Reception in September? I don't mean expected levels and scores on the fsp, but things like 'can zip up own coat', 'can write own name', 'can dress themselves with little help', ' can hold a pencil using correct grip', 'can retell parts of a traditional story', 'can count to 10/20' etc.
    I am in Nursery and I am trying to simplify the confusing termly assessment sheet I currently have to use!
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Can hang up their own coat
    Can put on their own coat (not someone else's because they can't recognise their own)
    Can wipe their own bum after visiting the loo
    Can wipe their own nose rather than waiting until it reaches their mouth
    Can use a knife and fork to eat their lunch
    Can sit on their bum for short periods
    Can follow simple instructions
    Can take turns
    Can recognise their own name when they hear it

  4. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Yes. I like that list. Once you get into retelling parts of a familiar traditional stroy you're on a sticky wicket. Things start to get awfully specific and that paves the way for a mountain of unnecessary paperwork.

  5. Hi
    We do a basic skills assessment using a fairly simple sheet that lists basic skills in the areas of learning. We carry out the assessment on entry to Nursery, mid-point and on exit from Nursery and then on entry to Reception. It's only completed again in Reception after entry if the children haven't achieved these basics. We highlight the statements when achieved using a different colour for each term.
    If this would be of any use I would be happy to send you a copy. Just request a friend and let me have your email so I can send it to you.

  6. Please tell me that this is just the basics? I would like to think these are things most children would be able to do before they start nursery? Surely we should be developing other skills in nursery? Shouldn't this be the job of parents to help develop these skills.
  7. candyshrimp

    candyshrimp New commenter

    Of course most of these are basics that parents should be doing before nursery - but that would mean they'd have to switch off Jeremy Kyle and put down their mobile phone!
    Sorry for ranting... just fed up with not being able to teach anything other than how to sit on a toilet and wipe your own bum. Hmmmm 4 years of university just to be able to toilet train 3 and 4 year olds and teach them to speak rather than grunt and dribble!

    I like to send my children up to F2 being able to recognise and write their name using mainly recognisable letters, being able to count up to 10 with 1:1 correspondence, being able to speak clearly, able to follow instructions with 2 parts, able to distinguish between many different environmental sounds and have enough vocab to be able to say what they are, able to recognise the first sets of phonemes and be able to blend cvc words when I sound them out, and most of all - show good manners and respect for staff!!!
  8. Don't worry about the ranting, I'm a bit shocked that these basic skills aren't taught by the parents, I hope the the nursery my child is attending has higher aspirations for her than being able to go the toilet on her own and being able to count to ten.(admittedly wiping bum is a bit of struggle as she can't reach very well (she's quite petite) I want her to make progress not just stay at the stage she is at. I understand all children progress at different rates but i want my child to be encouraged to progress. (gosh do I sound like a push parent!) Although I have already thought I may have to accept this and hopefully she will gain from the social interaction. Excuse my ignorance but what is meant by cvc words?
  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    CVC = consonant vowel consonant - eg cat sat dog
    CCVC = words like slip
    CVCC = words like list
    It very much depends on the nursery and school that you choose, but in my own personal experience (which I really hope has not been typical) you have to do much of the sort of things at home that you are hoping for, without letting on, and then hope your child demonstrates it at nursery or reception early on. They will then get picked out as being "high ability" (whether they are or not) and there's a better chance that they will be picked out to take part in some more "stretching" activities that the children who have not been taught anything at home will not be offered.
    If you are unlucky enough to have a child who does not go into nursery school or reception class keen to talk to the teacher and show them what they can already do, or remains silent during chanting of single letter phonic sounds because they already know them and would like some words, then you need the next tactic.
    This is to tell the nursery teacher / reception class teacher in the right sort of way what your child can do. You must make sure that it sounds as though your child worked out how to do everything for themselves (so if they can read, make sure it sounds as though your child taught himself overnight and you just discovered this for yourself this morning when he read the cereal packet to you ). And also you must make sure that you make it clear that your child chooses to do these things for himself, and you have had absolutely nothing to do with it ........i.e. you have only provided TVs and playstations, but little Johnny frequently insists that you take him to the library, he has chosen the books, begged you to hear him read, discovered the phonic code for himself while browsing his picture books etc.
    Also, he learned to form his letters and numbers well because he has a friend whose Dad is a signwriter, and he frequently watches him at work. He begs you frequently to play shops with him and has made himself a set of cardboard replica money and has forced you into doing various change calculations and figured out place value for himself.
    Before I get shouted down, some of this is tongue in cheek, but you get my general point as to how it can be in some settings for some parents.
    On a more sensible note, your child may not be interested in any of this stuff until he's older, in which case there's not a lot you can do, and it's nothing to be concerned about as when he does start to be interested, given the right help he'll learn very fast. Nursery and reception is very highly play-based, but in the hands of a good reception class teacher the play is put to good purpose and your child will learn a lot of the fundamentals in a fun way, in a way that makes use of their natural curiosity, and in a way that will make them want to learn more rather than feel that boring things they cannot relate to are being pushed upon them.
    One of my children had a wonderful time at nursery making several really good friends (still really good friends now) and loads of really imaginative role play with them. I think this was great for her, but she really was lucky with the bunch of kids that were there with her at the same time. If she had been doing a lot of adult-led and initiated activities all the wonderful interaction between the children would have been lost.
    For another of my children it did not work out this way, and my impression was she was a bit of a lost soul during her time there. Same nursery, same methods, different child, different peers. A more adult initiated approach would probably have worked better with my daughter and that set of children, but who knows. But now, a few years on, I feel that despite in some ways being a much more difficult child than I ever was, and on the face of it far less likely to make friends than I was, I think she has much better skills at developing friendships (if she chooses to) than I had at the same age. So even though on the surface it did not seem to be working out, underneath something was clicking, and it's something that it's very hard to put right once a child gets much older. So I think the much longer period of constructive play that she had has, on balance, been better than the slightly more formal diet I received as a child.
    I have to say I had my own doubts at times and for one of my children went and looked round and observed at quite a few nurseries. I decided in the end to stay put and that the very play based approach at the nursery I was already using was the best one for that particular child. The nurseries that were trying to do some more formal learning weren't really doing it very well, the children interacted much less as a consequence, and the whole experience looked a bit flat and limited by contrast (I stayed for more than the grand tour, nearly a whole morning as a fly on the wall so I had a much better impression).
    So don't expect too much academic out of nurseries, and rightly so, but when it comes to reception class you might be able to find schools that suit your inclinations and ones that don't - but you might not get the school of your choice!! But be prepared to take reception as another rather lovely year of play for a child, where they develop a habit of looking forward to school, and practice a lot of skills at making friends, rubbing along in group situations etc, then you won't feel let down by whatever the reality turns out to be.
    You can supplement academic stuff at home if you feel the need or desire, but you can't easily replicate the sort of social interactions that take place in a good nursery or reception class at home.
    PS sorry I said he - I was kind of talking in general, not about your daughter!!
  10. Thank you for the response-some very good pointers, I am happy that she is getting the play time, I feel she is bright (I thinks a lot of parents do about their child(ren) but I have no comparrison really. I do get the feeling if she doesn't express her knowledge it will not be picked on upon so I will just quietly encourage at home when she is receptive to learning. She does pull kids tricks like i don't know and giving the wrong answer to which I "ignore" then she will give the right answer (this isn't after numerous guesses either-just her "playing").
    I agree about the social time both husband and I agreed at least she will get the social interaction if nothing else.
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    In a decent nursery class she'll hard pressed to get nothing else!

  12. Maybe I have been to quick to put thoughts into words. Initially when reading this thread I was just a little shocked at the basic skills required for our children. I think the nursery is doing a good job so far, she has settled in really well and is enjoing herself and I think this is the most important thing at such a young age, as long as she is happy then I will be too. As they say education does not just take place in "settings".
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    The list of basic skills was indeed basic but typical of what many three-year-olds have not already learnt. Now, doing up twenty-six coats is time-consuming.
    Let's look at coats.
    A lot of children, when they first arrive, bring their coats to an adult, hold it up and make an 'urr' noise. Fine. They've never had to do anything more at home. Honestly! So
    1] we gently demand that they use words when they ask for help. We often have to model the sentence, and sometimes have to make do at first with 'Please help me.'
    2] We train them to find their sleeves by putting their hoods on.
    3] We praise children who can do it for themselves.
    4] We encourage those that can do it to help those who cannot.

    When children start at nursery, they catch every cold going - a normal and ultimately beneficial process. It's actually pretty revolting when there's a classful of slimey green rivers being wiped on sleeves, around faces etc. So we train them to use tissues which, until they've been taught otherwise] they tend to leave around the place.

    Hanging coats on their own hook and putting their bookbags in the box is a skill we have to teach because it's utterly new to them and many's the parent who finds it hard to encourage them to do it for themselves.
    I'm not suggesting a them-and-us attitude towards parents. The majority work happily with us and delight in their children's growing independence.

    These are the basic skills we teach during the first few weeks/months. But obviously that is not all we teach. If that were the case I'd have died of boredom long ago. My own feeling is that a nursery should be, first and foremost, a loving, welcoming and safe place to be. When those things are right you can help the little child [a pre-schooler with no legal requirement to be in a 'setting'] with all the lovely stuff like songs, hunting ladybirds, playing I-Spy, telling stories, making collages, playing with sand and water, doing science magic etc etc etc...into infinity.
    I think the list was put together in a state of amused exasperation. It would be wrong of you to assume thatit was all we did.
    I hope your child is having a nice time in nursery. At home, tell her stories, sing songs, take her on country walks and teach her how to play ludo and snap.
    There - my recipe for a happy pre-school infancy![​IMG]
  14. Thank you for your reply and sorry to keep replying, Gosh I didn't assume that was all you did, it just surprises me that parents have not already taught their children this e.g wiping their noses, I encourage my child as much as possible to wipe her nose and be independent e.g hand up her own coat, I would think it really rude if she just handed it to someone and expected them to deal with it without asking or saying thank you.
    I think originally I saw the list as targets for children but can fully understand where you are coming from.
    I have a lot of respect for those who work in early years it must be challenging considering differences in what children now and what is expected of them. At least in secondary most will know what is the correct behaviour (even if they don't do it) etc. Not saying that not wiping your own nose is naughty!
  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Cakeface, I bet you're one of the parents loved by the nursery staff at your daughter's school.
    You don't come across as at all pushy.

    Don't forget the Ludo!
  16. Don;t know about that my LO can be strong willed and doesn't like to miss out !

    Can I ask why the ludo, obviously taking turns, number recognition and counting, anything else?
    I.E. why this over say snakes and ladders?
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Because it's more fun and I liked it more! [​IMG]
    Oh - I forgot jigsaw puzzles!
    Cakeface, you don't even have to think about all that - the concept of 'Learning Through Play' has been highjacked by weirdoes who want us to stalk our children with clipboards, annotating every normal, commonplace bit of development. You don't need to do that if your child is getting it anyway! This stuff was introduced for the children who were missing out and now its become the norm. Just play and the learning will take place by itself. Trust me.

  18. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And now I'm pretty good at Backgammon.
    And it's the national game [more or less] of Nepal...
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    And old blokes in cafes in Greece and Turkey.
  20. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Gnarled and grizzled old men?

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