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I am so mad!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by milly47, May 21, 2011.

  1. Please help. The year 1 teacher and TA have been complaining to the head that the current year 1 class are figety and badly behaved as they were not used to being sat at tables during their time in Reception. When I had this class they were fantastic at sitting and listening. They were able to sit for 30 mins on the carpet and a large majority could sit for guided sessions straight after for about 20 minutes at the end of the year. The staff in year 1 think that transition only means getting to know the children before they start in year 1 and not slowly introducing a more formal curriculum. They want them all sat at tables all the time from day 1. The year 1 teacher was deemed satisfactory and I was deemed outstanding for Ofsted and the progress in my class last year and this has been fantastic. The head agrees with them when he talks to them but has told me that he is very happy with everything that is happening in my class.
    I am so angry that I am being blamed STILL!! for how, once a fantastic, attentive class is now behaving!
  2. lrw22

    lrw22 Established commenter

    I was a reception teacher for a long time and came up against this time and time again with year 1 teachers, it really wound me up!! I just let it go over my head in the end. I eventually became a Year 1 teacher myself and just got the class to do whatever they were ready for.
    I know it's hard but pay no attention to them and go on doing what you are obviously doing so well!
  3. Freeze!

    Freeze! New commenter

    I'm a Y1 teacher and I have to agree with you! Luckily the infant school where I teach is very FS based and we didn't move to a slightly more formal session until January but even now the children have practical non table based activities to do half of the week, they record independently once a week (though this might be on whiteboards or something to go home) and record with an adult once a week. You definately should ask to go see some infant schools or other primary schools whom you know have good transition practise so that you can then take lots of evidence to the head (basically backing up your ideas) showing that the transition practise in your school must change! Are you the FS co-ordinator?
    Interestingly enough I'm going on a course in July about transition FS to Y1 so maybe see if you could suggest the Y1 teacher go on one of those!!!!!!!
    Good luck! Not many schools catch on to how important this is to the kiddies and what a big deal it is - plight of the FS teacher I guess! I have found through my career in 4 diff schools that infant schools are a whole different kettle of fish to primaries, where often the infants are sidelined as well as the FS!

  4. Weezy18

    Weezy18 New commenter

    I would agree with the other poster about doing the FS2/Year 1 transition training. I have done this training in my LA for the last 3 years (am KS1 Leader)and go with the Year 1 teacher and the FS2 teacher. Could you not suggest the Year 1 teacher comes in to FS2 and does some teaching so they can get to know the children and see them in action in an enviroment they feel comfortable in?
    We do a little plan of what we want to happen for transition and it involves a variety of different things. The problem in my school is that every year for the last 4 years there has been a different teacher in Year 1 and each year I start from scratch again with a new team member - very frustrating!

  5. Thanks to you both. Sometimes I feel like I am on my own in my views. I have been made the infant lead this school year, so is my first time in this role supporting transition. I have a good relationship with the LEA advisors so might get them involved. Freeze would love to know more about your timetable and how you set up your year1 classroom if possible.
  6. Freeze!

    Freeze! New commenter

    Hi yep sure will give you some more detail.
    Apolgies all for this very lengthy reply but if you're interested then it's all good!!!
    Well we are a 2 form entry but in our Y1 we have 2 extra small classroom sized spaces. In Autumn Term we change as little as possible... their books for recording work and such like stay the same until Spring Term for example. Our day starts with activities our on tables for when the chn come in (and before registration) - things like threading beads/letters, jigsaws, handwriting things like magnetic letters, book area is accessible etc. The chn write their names as soon as they come in, and in the Autumn Term they use the same name cards as in Rec (like a self registration activity). We then have physical activity every morning which is the same in foundation (we do 5 a day little activity sessions or Sticky Kids action songs or Ros Bailey things). The children are taught in ability sets for Maths and Literacy. In Autumn Term the morning activities continue after registration and then the activity is just before we split into ability sets for Literacy. In Spring and Summer Term we use the time after registration for handwriting although generally in Spring we are still using multi sensory things for handwriting and recording on wbs, books in Summer Term.
    Literacy and Numeracy are 1hr slots. We do 20m carpet session. 30m main session. 10m plenary. During the 30m session in Literacy over the week the chn will write as a group with an adult supporting once, guided read once, and the other 3 sessions are independent activities which are usually practical and at least one of them will be on the carpet. Even if we are using flashcards with them (e.g. pick a word and use in a sentence) we might bury the words in sand or put them in the tough spot with shredded paper etc. They might have a computer activity or iwb phonic activity. When they are writing independently they often take it home, so they get to write with felt tips, glitter pens, use the clipboards etc, just to break up the sitting on tables thing. We teach them how to play games like tricky word bingo, sentence match, buried treasure independently during taught sessions or by having them as folow up to guided reading sessions so that they then can play them independently. In the Autum term we put phonic activities out and allow the chn to 'choose' 1 of the 3 phonic activities available each day if they're not with an adult and then in Spring term introduce that they have to stay on the task they have been given.
    Similar for Numeracy kind of. The children all record with an adult during the week (not the same activity - whichever is the focus that day) and work with a TA during the week (either recording on wbs or worksheet or cut and stick or practical activity) The other 2 groups do independent tasks - activities related directly to the LO e.g. cut and stick things or number games and as the year progresses a worksheet type activity available to choose. In Spring, they are again introduced to the idea that they are expected to stay at the activity they're placed at and when independent will begin to be expected to record.
    We also have a creative area that is always available so between our 3 ability groups we might go in there for lit or num during the week e.g. if we are hooking a duck for addition or finding number flashcards in the sand etc etc. We have water and sand and that kind of thing available very much in the Autumn Term.
    In the afternoon we don't split into different subjects at all. One afternoon is PE and PSHE one afternoon is Music and RE and the other 3 are Creative Curriculum. After registration and before story/singing and fruit time is a 1.15hr session. We plan using the National Curriculum to ensure that we cover all subjects and ATs and we plan with Y2 to decide what areas we will focus on over the year (we do this termly). Over the week the chn do a recorded task with an adult that will not necessarily be writing. We then put 3 activities out in class that are related (not worksheet based, might be laptop activity, a construction type task, e.g. at the moment we are doing plants as part of our topic so the chn have the tough spot out with soil, plant pots, nuggets for pretend seeds, garden tools, gloves etc), topic books out that are related, and have the creative area staffed with 2 TAs with an adult focused arty or investigative task. Also in the creative area we have a big role play corner which is available to the chn in the afternoons, and a listening centre available in the afternoons. We have different mark making materials and papers available at all times and there is soft lighting and music playing, so the chn can 'choose' to be out there (maximum number though - they have to ask to go out) or can 'choose' one of the activities in class if they're not working with the T or TA.
  7. Wow thanks for the reply.You have definately given me lots of ideas. Will have a really good think for next year now. Your set up sounds great for year 1.
  8. Freeze!

    Freeze! New commenter

    Glad I could help :)
  9. And therein lies the difference between a 'transition' upwards through the school and a 'push down' from the YR 1 more formal environment. I have been criticised for YEARS about my kids being noisy, fidgety, unused to this, that and the other. Too bad .. too sad. Reception does not have to look like Yr 1. Reception kids are not apprentices to Yr 1 .. and if they were what would Yr 1 teachers teach? Do you expect nursery kids to be able to cope with the demands of Reception ? If not, then I would say that you are in tune with the KIDS and where they are at. Good for you. Be strong!

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