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New to fs2

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by tick/star/smileyface, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    Hi there. I am totally new to fs2 this September. To be honest I am feeling a mix of terror and excitement but mainly terror at the moment. Desperately trying to get my head around how things work and what I will be doing. ANY tips or advice would be great. What does a day in your class look like? What is the structure?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Do you mean Nursery or Reception? "FS2" is, confusingly, used by some schools to mean one and some schools to mean another.

    If Reception, I can highly recommend this book: "The Reception Year in Action" by Anna Ephgrave.

    If Nursery, the above author has recently published "The Nursery Year in Action", which I assume is also very good and informative, but haven't read it yet myself.
     
  3. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    Hi, sorry I mean reception. Thanks for the tip. Are you in reception? Just wondering what an average first day of term might go like!!
     
  4. Nikkibell811

    Nikkibell811 New commenter

    The first day is all about settling in. Some children will be anxious, some may cry. Some will be loud and attention seeking. Some will seem bored or disinterested. Some will be absolutely fine and confidently engage with everything. Don't try to 'do' a lot. Have plenty going on in the areas of provision for the children to explore - home corner, play dough, painting, construction, mark making, small world. Take time to respond to the children's needs, get to know them. You will be surprised how much you will be informally "assessing" their abilities - based on their communication and the way they interact with you and the other children. Bring them together for circle time, story, singing etc at various times through the day. If you want to do a planned focused activity with a small group try a number game or mark making to see what they can produce. be prepared for it to go pear shaped if there are a number of unsettled children in the class. Even when children have been to nursery there are often new things to get used to in reception - assembly, playtime with other year groups, lunch time, PE. (This will depend on how your school runs reception - ie is it more like nursery or year 1? You may not be able to make decisions about that). Hope this helps. As a reception teacher for many years I was always glad when the children settled and the class started to take shape after a couple of weeks. Then there was always a nightmare fourth week when they pushed all the boundaries !!. You will need to do assessments (whatever your school requires) and some of this can be quite intense in the first part of term so be prepared for that also.

    Best wishes and good luck xx
     
  5. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    Thank you so much! I am excited but it it all very new to me! At what point do you start 'teaching' them and what format do you follow for choosing what to teach? If that makes sense!
     
  6. Poppet6

    Poppet6 New commenter

    I am also new to Reception in September and totally understand your feelings of both terror and excitement. My school is due an OFSTED inspection this year so I just wondered if there was any documentation or information anyone had about the Early Years as I know it now has a separate section on an OFSTED report. Thanks x
     
  7. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    Hi poppet - I think we will also be due ofsted which adds to my fear! Haven't looked into that side of things yet though. What is your plan for the first day back?
     
  8. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    'Development Matters' is a very good document (freely available online), which explains not only what the children should be learning but how you can set up the classroom environment and what you and other adults in the classroom can do to support learning.

    Yes, I am a Reception teacher. EYFS is child led, which means you can't plan for it like you can KS1 and beyond; you have to start the year by stepping into the unknown, getting to know your class, and seeing what they need in terms of 'teaching'. It's daunting but it does work out ok once you get going.

    My plan for the first week involves introducing the children to the classroom and its rules. So, like Yoda811 says, you set out interesting things for the children to explore, and you observe them at play, explaining the ground rules as you go along (eg. if Jade wants to paint, she should put on an apron first; if Tom snatches a toy Ellie is playing with, you explain that at school we don't snatch, we ask if we can have a go). I get them used the routines, the fact that sometimes it's time to play and other times it's time to sit and do something together (I usually start with things like listening to a story or joining in with nursery rhymes or listening games).

    After the first week, I look at the needs of the children and decide where to go next. I use 'Development Matters' to pick out some key things I would like the children to learn (focusing initially on the 'prime areas': PSED, C&L, and PD) and activities that I can provide to support this learning. This might be something we can do as a whole class, or small group activities to target key children.
     
  9. Hi.

    I can understand your feelings as it is so different in EYFS compared to later key stages. All the advice you have received so far is great. We are awaiting OFSTED as last judgement for whole school was Requires Improvement although EYFS was Good. I will now have separate judgement and hope we have moved on. There are a number of publications and advice sheets - Nursery Resources is a good website to begin with as they include school based EYFS.

    Our children actually have a staged start with part time - mornings only and then extending to staying for lunch for a couple of days before they begin full time. The afternoons are spent with me doing home visits and 1:1 parent interviews. I have already visited all of the pre-school settings before the Summer break and had 4 open afternoons for the new intake and their parents/carers. I am very lucky to have 3 support staff and they do a mixture of CPD and administrative tasks during these afternoons.

    As Yoda811 says keep it flexible and fluid during the first couple of weeks as you really need to know the children and what their interests are before you plan in any detail. I have read a really helpful book by Alistair Bryce-Clegg this holiday - 'Best Practice in the Early Years' it could be useful for you too. This year I am going to use the settling in time to see which adults are the best key worker for each child too before we assign them.

    As far as 'work' is concerned you need to really concentrate on the PSED/CL side of things and ensure that children are engaged, happy and able to get along. If you are using the EExBA baseline assessment then you will be looking at the Leuven scales for well-being and involvement and assessing children as they settle through 'free flow' and 'continuous provision' activities.

    Our first half term topic is 'My Wonderful World' where we start with the child and their peers in their new class then gradually move out to the wider school, the local community and the town. There is a street fair during September which is a highlight for us. We make a number of short walks to the library and the leisure centre by half term so that children see how they sit within the community.

    There is so much more I could share - I have been teaching for 33 years all through Primary and with regular stints in Reception classes. This will be my 4th year in EYFS since Development Matters 2012. I have to say it is so rewarding and probably the teaching that I have enjoyed most in my career but it is hard work and requires a lot of organisation, creativity and flexibility.

    Good luck and most of all ENJOY!
     
  10. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    Thank you so much for all of your advice everyone. I am excited but also very overwhelmed. I kind of feel like I don't have a clue! Been reading Development matters to see 'coverage'/expectations but I guess having never worked with the children so young, it's a bit daunting! So any further tips/advice would be great! We are doing all about me as our first topic.
     
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    My dad was a primary school HT, back in the seventies. I shall always remember his amusement in the face of the parents who worried about the perceived demotion of the experienced and much loved yr 6 teacher who fancied a career change and went into reception. Would she earn less? Was it a retrograde step on the career ladder?

    A school needs excellent teachers in reception.
     

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