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NQT in reception, please help!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by lemonyk, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I have just started my NQT year in a reception class this January and am having trouble getting my head around how my lessons and day should be structured. I have been advised that my class need more structured and focussed work than they have received previously, however I am finding it difficult to know what to to. I have been giving children 3 inputs a day and a focussed phonics session. For each input I have also given each group of children a related activity to do either independently or with my TA or myself. Some children finish quickly and some children want to keep working. Do I stop all children here or let children go on to 'play' and do some child initiated learning for a short while until the others are ready?

    Any guidance on how your day is structured in a reception class would be greatly appreciated!
  2. When I was in reception I had a day as follows:
    8.50am - 9.15am - Continuous provision
    9.15am - CLL whole class on carpet for 10 mins then activities related to the input on tables. (Such as cutting and sequencing 3 billy goats gruff if that was the CLL whole class, or making bridges from lego, or using drama to re-enact story. Obviously needs some adult support for the drama one/cutting one!) The children would finish their activities then go onto CI until break at 10.30am
    10.45am back from play with whole school
    10.45am - 11am - whole class activity on carpet PSRN
    11am - 11.45am - T/TA working through focus group for PSRN while children access CI
    11.45 - tidy up time then phonics
    12.00 lunchtime
    1.00pm - 1.20pm - register and topic whole class input (usually a KUW / PSRN type activity)
    1.20pm 2.10pm - T/TA working through readers / phonics while children access CI
    *Some days we would have hall time so 1.00pm-2.10pm would be games / dance etc
    2.10pm tidy up time
    2.20pm - 2.35pm - playtime with KS1
    2.35pm - 3pm - story / show and tell / library books

    Hope that helps. I had a TA 9.30am - 2.30pm 5 days a week.

  3. Thank you so much for your help, it is good to see how others plan their day as I haven't taught in reception before. At my school the reception class do not have a morning or an afternoon playtime so it is a little more difficult to structure the morning as there are no natural breaks. However what yo have told me has been a great help!
    With regards to the activities that children do after your input, would you have them on a carousel so that there are the same activities each day but a different group doing them? I am thinking that I will do this but also have activities for different ability groups which they will complete when it is their turn to work with an adult. Is that the right kind of thing to be doing?
    I hope that makes sense, I have so many questions to ask!
  4. My Reception class is quite structured:
    morning activities un everyone arrives.
    9-10 ish CLLD/phonics
    usually a carpet session on phonics followed by some focused activities at the tables. When each child finishes naturally (so some much earlier than others) I let them have free choice time.Activities could be handwriting practise (shaving foam, sand or whiteboards) or phonics flashcards or IWB phonics games.
    snack and morning play time
    11-12 PSRN
    A focused carpet session followed by activities at the tables ( I have a small class and a TA so the children all work at the same time. If I had more I would allow the children free choice time and call children over to work with)
    Lunch and play time
    Rest after play
    The afternoon is quite long and can be a mixture of structured whole class sessions or free choice time with children being called over one or two at a time to do something focused.
    I also change the day when I see how the children are feeling. I often ask them, do you want to do more or have you had enough today?

    I hope this helps in some way. Please ask if you have any questions!
  5. Yes I did do them on a carousel. I know others aren't always keen on them but it worked really well for my class. Glad to be of help!
  6. skills324

    skills324 New commenter

    I think things have changed a lot since you were in reception.
    It isn't supposed to be too structured.
    My typical day is as follows
    8.55- Reg, day of the week song, establish (count) how many children are here
    9.00- 9.20 ish PSRN or CLL -alternate each day carpet session (introduction)
    9.20ish- 11.35 ish- Continuous provision, providing for all 6 areas of learnng, with access to outdoors. TA ot Teacher supporting play TA or teacher working with 1:1 or focus groups.
    11.35ish- Tidy up
    11.45-12.05 Phonics
    12.05-1.10 Lunch
    1.10 Assembly (sometime)
    1.30- 2.55- KUW, PD, CD Continuous provision. One afternoon is PE and ICT
    2.55-3.10 Story time
    3.15 Hometime

    (sometimes in the afternoon i do a PSRN activity if it hasn't been covered in the morning. CLL is done everyday as phonics is covered each day.

    Im not saying this is how it should be, as each setting is different. I really find giving the children 2hrs of continuous provision really helps them to explore, create and learn well.
  7. I'm an NQT who started in September and I'm still trying to get my head around it.
    My final placement was in a nursery and I was expecting it to be more like that than KS1 but it is a lot more structured. We have assembly each morning so go to that straight after registering, then come back to do phonics but I might suggest doing phonics before lunch like it seems is common after reading the replies.
    I was interested in how much planning everyone does per week, I currently do a weekly timetable overview, a separate weekly plan for CLL, PSRN, phonics (each) then structured daily plans for 4 different sessions, and I'm finding that I'm struggling with time.
  8. Phonics has to happen first in my class, or we end up with 5 minutes left before lunch! Once I've done that, my other activities can be flexible on timings. Usually:

    Come in and choose in areas of room---------------------
    Lunch register----------------------
    Then about 9.30am, the children move from phonics to accessing the provision. I will sometimes be observing, hearing readers, playing, or introducing areas or activities.---------------------
    10.25am - carpet tidy - just picking things up off the floor, not really tidying areas unless they are trashed!-----------------
    10.50am PSRN input - usually a game or introducing vocabulary, always some counting (We use Numbers and Patterns to plan from)-----------------------
    11.30am tidy for lunch, PSED game or singining if time, prayer and hand wash---------------------------------
    1pm CLL input - usually a story or similar to kick-start the afternoon, then activities partly linked (eg role play/construction based on the story). I ask children to come in groups to do reading/writing/KUW based activities, and while they're not doing that, they are initiating their own play, usually with the support of another adult. I will also have CD activities or fine motor crafty things set up in the afternoon.------------------------
    Lastly, Game/story then home.

    My children do go to assembly at times in the week, as I feel it is important to make them feel part of the school. The assemblies are geared to the whole range of ages too, so it's relevant and covers a lot of the KUW stuff!

    I'm sorry about the lines I've added between parts - I can't figure out how to have line breaks on here, so was trying to break it up!
  9. Hello Lemonyk
    I was an NQT last year but in Year2/3 and this year I am in Reception. I have tweaked how I structure the day since September and seems to be working much better now. This is my typical day which I hope helps.
    8:45-8:55 Children come in and sign in using different things for writing in their teams special book. They put away their own book bags into the right coloured box.
    8:55-9:05 Registers and count how many children are here.
    9:05-9:25 Whole School Assembly (which they went to everyday right since the beginning as we are a very small rural school helped them join the school community quickly.)
    9:25-9:35 Activate
    9:35-9:50 CLL/PSRN input and then one focus group with myself and one with the TA. (this rotates through the week.) The rest of the children are engaged in child initiated play.
    10:20-10:30 Snack Time
    10:30-10:45 Playtime
    10:45-11:45- This session varies depening on which day, sometimes PE, Welly Walking, Cooking or KUW focus.
    11:45 Tidy up time and story or singing.
    12:00-13:00 Lunchtime
  10. Opps not sure what I did there it posted before I had finished.
    13:00-14:00 Another input and small focus group work, (TA hears readers and sounds on a 1-1 basis)
    14:00-14:15 Playtime with Infants.
    14:15-14: 35 Phonics
    14:35-14:55 Singing/Music etc
    14:55-3:15 Story time and we also talk about what we have learnt during the day.
    Home time :)
    Hope that helps, I'm really enjoying reception although its all so new I feel a little like an NQT again.
    PFB x

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