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Still getting to grips with the basics...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by sillysausage21, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    Am moving into Reception this year and am still tying myself up in knots about it!! I can't seem to get the organisation of sessions clear in my head and would love to hear any words of wisdom!
    So...would you expect to see, for example, a PSRN whole class input and then all activities you put out link to PSRN whilst the teacher or TA leads a focus group or should the activities you put out that session link but cover all different areas of learning?
    Also, do manage to carry out your focus activity with all the children?
    Thank you
  2. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    Am moving into Reception this year and am still tying myself up in knots about it!! I can't seem to get the organisation of sessions clear in my head and would love to hear any words of wisdom!
    So...would you expect to see, for example, a PSRN whole class input and then all activities you put out link to PSRN whilst the teacher or TA leads a focus group or should the activities you put out that session link but cover all different areas of learning?
    Also, do manage to carry out your focus activity with all the children?
    Thank you
  3. Hi
    Am still a trainee but in early years. I would think an input then coninous provision covering all areas with a focus activity linked to psrn as in example and maybe links in other activities. If you have enough help they could encourage the children to do what you would like in the areas.
    When training I have done focused activities but over a few days. This is because there is not enough time ever,
    Hope this helps a bit
  4. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Firstly, are you in the only Reception class in the school? If not, your colleagues might be better placed to advise you on the expectations of your school.
    If, however you are the only Reception class and you are able to organise the sessions as you like, you will need to work out a timetable that suits you and your TA (if you have one), this should help to organise when and what you will be doing at certain times of the day. I do think organisation of activities is very personal to the teacher, class and school.
    I have PSRN whole class sessions twice per week (just after lunch), this is the time I have allocated for a whole class session (not phonics), be it PSE, CLL, KUW or PSRN based. I will put one focus activity out to correspond with the whole class session and either I or the TA leads it. The rest of the class (in/out) is set up as continuous provision and planned activities which the children can get on with by themselves. We don't carry out focus activities with all the children, we do encourage them to come, but if they have no interest then we will try to plan something which is more interesting for them with the same learning outcomes.
    Some teachers will prefer to do the whole class lesson in the morning, but I have a morning welcome time with register/weather/visual timetable, so I don't want to keep them on the carpet too long.
    I could sent you my class timetable if it would help (although it does change over the year).

  5. Hi the structure of your day will change over the academic year. At first there will be a lot of child inititiated learning in your well set up indoor/outdoor learning environment with very short carpet adult led inputs and lots of adult modelling within the learning environment. During the year your adult led learning can increase with a healthy balance of child initiated and it will vary from whole class/small group and individual as you see fit for your children. By the end of the summer term you will have much more defined say PSRN session with adult input and then all groups working on linked activities. Flexibility and changing timetables and groups as your children mature is key. You will know when they are ready for the next small step.
    I do manage to carry out my focus activity with all the children but on the occassions when I dont I don't lose sleep over it as there is always tommorrow! I keep short assessment notes and a tick list so I know who not to miss next time!!
    Hope that is useful
  6. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    Thank you for your replies, such a speedy way of getting advice. :)
    Hurny, we are a 1 form entry school and so have free reign really with how to organise. Only problem is I have no early years experience!! I know I will be learning lots along the way and probably making lots of changes but just want to get things a bit clearer in my head to make a start with.
    Are your planned activities that you put out covering the different areas of learning or are they focussed on the one area that your input was based around?
    Am currently working on timetable...was planning on 2 whole class sessions per day and 2 CI sessions. But not sure if this is going to be too ambitious to squeeze into day!!
  7. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Only one activity will be based on the whole class session input. Everything else will cover other learning areas.
    If you look at my short term planner in my resources, you will see I have a section for the 6 areas of learning. Here is where I write down my planned activities, which are usually based on the children's interests. They will have a link to development matters or ELGs.These will go on throughout the day and may change if the children aren't really accessing it.
    The focus activity section is usually related to the whole class section, but sometimes a focus activity will be an activity in itself without a whole class input beforehand.
    I will give an example, if it helps:
    I will do a whole class PSRN session, then I will have a focus activity set up in the maths area or outdoors which is related to it.
    I will have playdough on the malleable table with lolly sticks/buttons and tools (planned: covers PD/KUW/CD)
    I will have a phonics lotto game on the phonics table (planned: CLL/PSE)
    Free (no particular theme) drawing writing in the mark-making area (continuous provision=CP)
    Free painting (CP)
    Free model making (CP)
    and all other areas will be CP sand/water/ music/books etc.
    I do 1 morning whole class welcome session, one whole class phonics before lunch, one whole class sessions after lunch based on an area of learning and one whole class session at the end of the day which is story/singing. They are about 10-15 mins in length.
    If you don't do a morning routine like me, you should be able to do your first whole class in the morning and second in the afternoon, but don't forget you will have phonics as well.
    It's very difficult to fit everything in in one day, and you'll find in early years that you'll need to be quite flexible with what you are doing and when!

  8. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Yes, do look at other threads, there are so many on here with such good advice.

  9. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    Thank you for being so generous with your advice. Things are beginning to slot into place...just need to work out the best timetable for us I guess!
    I was imagining trying to link every activity into the input but that makes it much easier to have activities covering diferent areas.
    On a different note, do you tend to set up your role play as a home corner to start with? I was interested in leaving it more open ended but it has been suggested to me that I have it set up for them at least to start with.
  10. This thread is also proving very useful to me too so thanks. I'm new to EYFS (been in KS1 for 15 years) and am really looking forward to this new challenge.
    I did go on a 2 day course that the county ran for staff new to EY and that was really useful but I'm still interested in how people plan their day and introduce all the different elements. There just seems so much to cover!
    I plan to do a self register set up, brief CP then short carpet session to discuss timetable. Freeflow activies, teacher/whole class input after play than CP with an adult focused task
    Another teacher/whole class input after lunch again with an adult focused task. I have a fulltime TA plus an excellent retired nursery nurse 3 days a week, not to mention voluntary help and also the odd student. These adults will all be used within the setting to great advanatge - best resource you can have.
    I plan to have a 'home corner' inside for the first two weeks as my role play and then change it to link to our Jungle topic. Outside I have a play house which will be a Vet's initially.
    I don't want to plan too much in advance as I want to get an idea of what the children like and go from their interests.
    We too are a one form entry but the current EYFS teacher is only moving into Y1 and we are friends so I shall be asking her lots of questions!
    I'm sure by Christmas all us 'newbies' will be really into the swing of things...lol...hopefully
  11. susbo

    susbo New commenter

    Hi Hurny
    This is my first year of a whole class of reception children I usually have mixed reception and year ones. I am trying to get my head around my daily timetable and was wondering if you mind sharing yours with me.
    Thank you - suzi@5223.co.uk
  12. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    Thank you so much for all your support! Am bit worn out tonight...but I'm sure I'll come back with more questions again tomorrow! :)
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I would also say make it with a group of children (you can choose a different group each time you make a new batch rather than do a whole class ) lots of science/maths/speaking and listening and great exercise to strengthen wrists and fingers for mark making ...
    The link seems to be broken for dough gym which is a pity
  14. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    I have that down in my routine..thought I could have a group making a supply of play dough for the week each Monday.
    On a different note, do you still split chn up into keyworker groups? What are these groups used for? Apparently the keyworker groups at my school just meant that it was those chn the adults had to their observations on. I'm not sure if this is a bit restricting though? I will always have 2 TAs with me however they will not be the same people, in fact across the week we will have 6 different TAs in and out!
  15. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    It'll be quite difficult to have key worker groups with 6 TAs in and out. As the keyworker should get to know the child well and support him/her with settling in etc.
    I don't split children into key worker groups.
    Here's some info on key workers:
    Here's an good quote from it:
    Sometimes a ‘key person’ is understood to be a person to co-ordinate observations and record-keeping for the child. Whilst an administrative system like this may be an important part of the way you work in nursery or reception, it is not the same as a key person system. A key person system is not principally about administration and record-keeping.
  16. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    I know I am lucky to have 2 TAs until January but it complicates it being so many different people! I think the groups before were so that TAs had chn to focus their observations on...but would you simply expect all TAs to be making observations when appropriate on any of the chn? Oh and I think they also had to read/change books with 3 of their keyworker chn a day.
  17. sillysausage21

    sillysausage21 New commenter

    Ooo and another random thought! Do you let your class have free access to paint?
  18. yes i havemy CP areas set up and one of the areas is 'creative' area with free access to paint and then i put out a different media each week that has an adult modelling it for a while e.g. pastels, charcoal, watercolours. This is indoors and outdoors. But you will develop this as the year progresses, don't stress about getting everything done straight away
  19. Ditto, nats30.
    One of the media I put out is a set of those very old fashioned tins of paints. There's very little mess with them when the children work independently and they are extremely easy to use outdoors.
    I would recommend them to anyone who doesn't have them. My art co-ordinator was chucking them out because nobody used them.

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