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Teaching structure for Year 1

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Andie08, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm an NQT and will be having a Year 1 class in September. Just thought I'd post on here as I've completed all my teacher training in Wales, where they follow the Foundation Phase. As my position is in England, I was just wondering how others set up their classrooms? Do you have all the areas etc? I'm starting to get a bit worried that my current ideas will be more suitable for Reception rather than Year 1.

    Also, I'm used to completing a focused activity with one group while others learn through continuous and enhanced provision, then rotating. I'm unsure whether my current school will be happy with this as from what I've seen, year 1 is a a lot more formal.

    Can anyone post what you would do on a regular day in Year 1, how you would structure your day teaching wise?

    I'd really appreciate any advice/ideas!
    Thank you.
     
  2. Hi everyone!

    I'm an NQT and will be having a Year 1 class in September. Just thought I'd post on here as I've completed all my teacher training in Wales, where they follow the Foundation Phase. As my position is in England, I was just wondering how others set up their classrooms? Do you have all the areas etc? I'm starting to get a bit worried that my current ideas will be more suitable for Reception rather than Year 1.

    Also, I'm used to completing a focused activity with one group while others learn through continuous and enhanced provision, then rotating. I'm unsure whether my current school will be happy with this as from what I've seen, year 1 is a a lot more formal.

    Can anyone post what you would do on a regular day in Year 1, how you would structure your day teaching wise?

    I'd really appreciate any advice/ideas!
    Thank you.
     
  3. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I teach very formally from very early on but that's because that is my school's expectation. We do ease them in for the first fortnight but by mid September it will be literacy (mostly phonics at this tage) and numeracy in the mornings and other lessons in the afternoon. I'll have a role play area in the beginning but this will probably be gone by the October half term. I've got enough tables and chairs for every child to be working at a table at the same time.
    However many posters on here do use continuous provision. I would advise checking with your school to see what they expect.
    One thing every Year 1 teacher has in common is the Phonics Check in June so whatever else you do make phonics a big priority.
    Good luck, it's great fun teaching Year 1.
     
  4. comenius

    comenius New commenter

    I agree with the previous poster - check with the school and find out what the Head expects.
    I run my year 1 in a similar way to reception, 2 focus groups whilst the rest access continuous provision and the outdoor area. I have challenges in some of the areas of learning that the children need to complete by the end of the week.
    I September I'll have another adult in the mornings which means I can also have a 'floating' adult who can support and enhance the continuous provision.
    This is my daily timetable
    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">9.30 - 11.40 - English and maths groups run alongside each other. I do a 10 minute english input but no maths input. 1 group works on english at a time and 1 group on maths, the rest have free flow in areas of learning and outdoors. I don't follow the strategies but work from what the children need (hence no maths input because often groups are working on very different things)
    11.40-12.00 - phonics
    12.50-1.00 - mental maths, then handwriting/fine motor
    1.00 - 2.45 - topic/PE/RE depending on the afternoon, again 2 groups working at a time whilst the rest have free flow. I have Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons covering topic (science/art/dt/geog/history/ict), Friday is RE, Wednesday is PPA and the teacher does PE and music.
    2.45-3.00 - story and then home at 3.10
    I have no playtimes because the outdoor area is always available. </td></tr></table>
     
  5. What you are describing sounds like very good practice for the Autumn term in Year 1. You have to consider what percentage of your class have completed the Foundation Stage- ie how many have achieved the Early Learning Goals. If your children have yet to meet these in certain areas then you have a responsibility to provide an environment in which they can carry on their learning and do so. It is not good practice to presume that as they are in Year 1 they must now begin formal teaching and embark on level 1 work and indeed the National Curriculum. When a child leaves Key Stage 1 below a 2b differentiation should ensure that they recieve tasks aimed their next steps in learning- not just the Key Stage 2 curriculum being put upon them. The same applies to Year 1 children. In fact, children that have achieved 6 points + do not automatically start to function as a level 1 child just because they are now in Year 1. Even the fact that they are 6 points doesn't tell you what they scored the points in unless you look through their learning journals. You are absolutely right to carry on the practice that you describe for at least the first half term, and if possible longer. Early Years children are not 'formal learners' and should not be taught as such. They are little children finding out about life and it's experiences and should do do for as long as possible.
     
  6. Your role play area is gone by October! We have 21 classes and every one has access to high quality role play throughout the year - from EYFS to Year 6 speaking and listening is given the status it deserves.
    I would never have all my children seated as I cannot think of any situations or activities where I would consider all the children need to be seated. You don't have to be sitting down on a chair to learn.
    I teach phonics daily and we set the children according to their phase. As we are a large Key Stage we differentiate 12 ways, ie 6 teachers and 6 TAs. Some Year 2's come to phase 3 lower and this year some EYFS2 children have joined phase 5 higher. All good infant teachers understand that phonics are important and should be a regular part of the children's literacy learning, but absolutely not because of pointless phonics screening. It should be taught alongside other just ad important skills because we want our children to succeed.
    I feel sad that 5 year old children are taught in the way that you describe as it goes against all the principles of good early years practice. If I was 5 or 6 years old and knew I had maths or literacy every single morning I wouldn't want to go to school. Can I suggest you google ' all I really need to know I learned in kindergarden' by Robert Fulgham - it puts our job in perspective.
     
  7. Goodness!
    I run a foundation style practice in my year 1 class. Lots of independent learning and enquiry. My TA and I target groups for literacy and numeracy whilst other groups are involved in independent learning activities. I also have an outdoor learning space and we operate a free flow system between two classes
    Although in a deprived area and our intake scores are considerably low - we do get accelerated progress and the vast majority of children reach 1b or above.
    Our Year 1 phonic screening was also very good .
    I suggest you read " Moving on to KS1 : improving transition from the EYFS" by Julie Fisher. It's so good and an antidote to the formality that some schools expect.

     
  8. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Chubs, I'd love to be less formal but it would not be accepted in my school. I try to make the best of it and make school as enjoyable for children as I can. On the whole, our children are happy to come to school even though we do maths and literacy every morning!
    I was simply trying to advise the OP to check with her school - in particular, as she was assuming she'd have to be more formal when I know that it varies from school to school.
     
  9. I can't help wondering when your school was last inspected. I would be very surprised if they came out as satisfactory under the new framework, with the practice you describe. There is a big emphasis on independent learning in the primary phase. This is not meant to be a criticism of you, it seems you have little say on the matter, but If I were you I would be looking to gently try and influence your head about more up date practice.
     
  10. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I'm really confused now - I know my head knows what she's doing re: OFSTED etc. If we were at risk of SM or NTI she would be acting to change things. I know that for a certainty.
     
  11. dagnabit

    dagnabit New commenter

    Becky all heads have different ideas - you're going to have to take this all with a pinch of salt. I have to have all my kids seated for formal lessons by half term too and we've been graded good with outstanding features. The LEA think our head is the second coming and they were graded outstanding by Ofsted. Don't bite.
     
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I know a school that continued FS practice in KS1 and were graded unsatisfactory when Ofsted visited this term so there is no hard and fast rule.
     
  13. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I think the hard and fast rule is that children are engaged and learning, and therefore making good or better progress. Any set up that allows this will be acceptable.
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I was criticised for not having reception all sitting working at tables by one inspector ... and they asked where their writing books were (3 weeks after they started school) apparently writing on paper wasn't acceptable
     
  15. point taken, it's not the set up per se, but the quality of teaching and learning. I too have been in a school where FS practice was graded as inadequate at KS1, but it was because the FS practice itself was really poor. My point is that where children's needs are met and teaching and learning is adapted to meet those needs, that is where outstanding practice happens. To do this you need to have seamless transition, so that all practice builds on the excellent prior practice (granted that excellent prior practice needs to be in place) whereby children are motivated to take charge of their own learning. This is what we have developed in my school and it continues right up to year 6.

    It was graded as outstanding by Ofsted in April this year, who were amazed at the independence of our year 2 children. I guess you are right about no hard and fast rule, but a flexibility of approach is so much more exciting and allows you to take into account the different developmental needs of the children. I would hate to see a class of reception or year 1 children all sitting at tables at the same time.

    Good debate
     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Sometimes it's simply down to the particular team of inspectors and what one loves another sees as inadequate
     
  17. That and the data
     
  18. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    I try to have a balance for year 1. So I do whole class inputs and then work with a group while the rest are off in mixed groups doing fine motor, small world, role play, computer etc. But I link the things there with the topic and I don't give the children a choice- they are assigned. However, I have seen that this has made a big improvement in their social skills and speaking and listening because they have to interact with the children they might not have last year and go to an area they may not have chosen much last year. In the afternoon they still have choosing time after a small topic lesson.
     
  19. I completely understand. I know only too well that we have to adapt to the current whims and demands of everyone around us. It seems to me that whatever ofsted consider to be good or better depends entirely on the inspectors tastes and experiences. We can never please everyone and only the individual children know what is the right thing to do for them.
     
  20. Thanks for the Robert Fulgham suggestion - its wonderful, sheds a lot of light on what is important to get across to the children that we teach. A nice little priority check as I'm sitting and looking over planning for September:)
     

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