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The Independent Support Group - open to all by mac64

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mac64, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Hey maybe someone has put a curse on this site for us indes.

    I'm hoping my week will get better. How do you stop children talking when you want to tell them something. I have 4 boys and 2 girls who cannot stop talking. I know they were a problem in nursery last year but they have brought it into R and it is driving me mad! [​IMG]. In fact got home an hour ago and already on the gin.

    And my HT has said not to wait for her to OK everything in the new FS, so we don't and then she puts her oar in and wants to change things Grrrrrrrr.

    Now I must go and sort through the tracking file we have to start doing. And then I might drown in paperwork. Though I was more settled now, but guess not. Where's the bottle gone!


  2. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    The new revised list (sorry rach05 for not spotting that you weren't on the list [​IMG])

    Now pass that bottle round because sharing is caring...
  3. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Hey what happened to the list? It was a proper vertical list. Now I really need that bottle...
  4. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    [​IMG] I'll try again...

    I can't believe that I'm wasting time fiddling about with this list. It's becoming my own personal obsession and it's only Monday.

  5. Rach05

    Rach05 New commenter

    Thanks mac64 your efforts are greatly appreciated [​IMG]night night!
  6. Yep, this site definitely does not like us folks. Maybe mac you wrote too big cos the bottle had already been past around? (No offence intended). [​IMG]
  7. woo hoo! October tomorrow.....September's been a long month this year. And still 3 and a half weeks to go until half term! Hope everyone's ok in the indie world. It's nice feeling part of a little group!
  8. Remind me never again to say that our school feast day is fun.........

    Would you agree that parading around the streets in full school regalia waving banners has got to be classed as a bit strange??? Do you think we do some wierd in indie schools - any other odd goings on out there?

    I had to invoke our newly minted physical restraint policy in front of most of the parents when two of my little loves decided they would leave the pavement and head into the road.....in front of a bus and a white van man aaagh!!! not a funny moment, thankfully the HT and DT were blissfully unaware 5 paces in front of me.

    Think I'll ask that next year somebody else gets to walk at the front, or maybe Reception can stay behind with Nursery and just wave at everybody. Not sure I'm up to it. Pass the wine please
  9. whoops - wierd activities, unless there are any other suggestions!
  10. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    The big writing is the result of having the lergy (runny nose and lots of coughing all over anyone near me!). And yes I think at times our school could also be described as weird. Many wonderful moments oftne caught on camera which to an outsider looks very strange indeed! It does seem to be an inde thing.
  11. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter


    I found the ISI inspection a better experience all round because they were very focussed on tracking each child throughout the school and only came to my classroom for short periods of time. They were interested in target setting and seeing the targets in the classrooms -we have ours on a display board in each room. They did ask children about their experiences of school too. Ofsted looked in more depth at the early years at the time (5 yrs ago) but that was then...

    I stopped guided reading and the Head was fine about it -I find it totally a waste of time with Reception personally!

    Good luck with all your inspections!


  12. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Boatmanco do you do individual daily reading? I can't quite see how guided reading would work with R. When was your ISI inspection?
  13. Hi everyone. Have just got home and feeling[​IMG]. Having an absolutely awful time with 10 children. How can 10 children make me feel that I am so totally useless. I had 27 in my state school and never felt like this. There are four who are out of control and two more that 'join in'. I have abandoned taking them outside as it's WW3 over all the resources. It's not helped that my rec class is resourced like a watered down y2. I am struggling for appropriate resources. I want to work more closely with nursery but it's physically distant and as all my admin has to be done at break/lunchtime, I never get time. (moan moan)

    HT is wanting development plan for this year. Asked for ideas and suggestions but none forthcoming, so jotted some ideas down and discussed with staff. Every single one was a none starter. Have I got indies so wrong, that assessment and tracking don't matter, that because classes are small, we don't need to record where children are at, does anyone use NC levels? Please could someone tell me what they do so far as assessing and tracking. The children are nowhere near where I would have expected for their ages, notwithstanding learning difficulties. Don't know quite what to do next, apart from pour a LARGE g and t!
  14. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Hi Celestine. They need reminding that ISI may be the ones who'd inspect but with only 5 days notice fort he EYs so your school needs to gets its bit in order. Outdoor play (whatever one's opinion) needs to be seen to be planned for. Target setting and tracking are both biggies. We use PIPS in R and teacher assessment. From Y1 NFER Nelson and some old sats and CEE Y5 and Y6. Two independent writing samples per year and one art sample per year. N & R have so far kept EYs portfolios and used the profile points. WE do use the NC levels. I'm sure others here can add more detail or explain their approach. What about using the PTA for outdoor stuff? (and possibly a regular school supply of g&t!!!)
  15. Thanks Mac. The gin's hitting the spot! I have done on entry assessments for rec and am using e profile to record/track. I am keeping on going folders for small obs, samples of 'work', photos etc. Have steered away from pips as I don't like the idea of formal assessment/ one off, and would rather build up judgements over first few weeks from obs in class. Nursery now using similar format for planning and tracking using development matters statements on EYFS.They have also agreed to drop Letterland and have started to use Letters and Sounds phase 1. I am concerned that 'work' may be rather formal and in books, and focus work is always table based - but I think we are moving in the right direction. They do not have access to outdoors, but could have if I can persuade them to move rooms next to rec - which would be good for me, but Y3 would not be happy as they would be in smaller room. I know my provision is not what it should be, will have to give this some thought and be more creative with what I've got. It brought it home to me today when we were in nursery to see a visitor, and mine were playing in home corner, with cars etc.

    Have established good relationship with y3 - we shall be assessing writing termly using same assessment criteria - so we have continuity there. NFER tests are done Eng/Maths and this is the data that is 'tracked'. My concern is that this is a one off test, and nothing much is done with the results other than 'track'. I would feel happier if teacher assessment was higher profile - nothing too complicated - a highlighter on Key objectives achieved? I thought this would highlight learning needs for individuals and for groups - or even for the class.

    I think I am trying to do too much at once. Will concentrate on getting Nursery/rec sorted (have issues with EYFS requirements), access to outdoors, and establish thorough tracking in English this year. Getting tired and it's my first open day next week and not really sure what to expect.[stress] I am sure it was a good move for me and I just need to give it more time!

    Am so grateful for this thread ...thank you [​IMG]
  16. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter

    Hi celestine88

    Sorry you are feeling like this!

    I have a small class but the difference is the children have so many choices e.g our Reception children can go riding, ballet, piano, speech & drama etc etc so I feel I only manage their time some time!

    However, we do track the childrens progress closely. I have individual play diaries for mine which I update with photos/anatotions etc every Friday when I have non contact for 1.5 hours. We also have individual tracking/targets on the wall in child friendly speak plus report to parents with targets 4 times per year. When the children turn 5 we carry out a numeracy and English test which determines their numeracy/reading age -it is designed to be done in term1 in Year 1 but it works ok. The children also have more formal elements throughout the week but most of the activities are play based. There are many times when my children are all painting for eg which works well with a small class.

    I have quite a tricky group of boys this year whose parents are very defensive over their behaviour but this week I have been quite firm and given clear warnings and time out for children that need it -many are never told no at home and get away with blue murder! It seems to have worked -I have also given lots of stickers/star points for children who have behaved well. We also have writer of the week and i give them book marks which they love. i think this week -week 4 -is always a tricky period because they have settled in and now feel comfortable to see what they can get away with!

    Do you have any play planner time (child inititated play)? it is hard if you are not resourced but I feel all the children need time to choose. When i first came to my present job my classroom was not well resourced but I went straight to the head and explained that I needed a budget (as many indie schools dont have class budgets). i use it for playdough etc but always buy resources aswell -this year it was lunarpark construction. Buy a builders tray from B & Q and fill it with different things each week -sand, goo, paint, small world, construction -I find that this is the most useful piece of kit i have -£15 from B&Q!

    Good luck and I hope you have a happier rest of the week!

    Mac64 -I listen to every child read individually every day or alternate days. I feel that in Reception they are all so different in their abilities. I have 2 children reading fluently and 1 who knows 5 sounds. I hear readers during reading time every day for 15 mins, when the children come in they have a handwriting type activity before assembly which is 10 minutes and I try to fit the rest in during the day. What do you do?

  17. This year i have a fab class but just wanted to say that there have been times that I have felt the same as you. With a small class, the dynamic seems to change and if half are struggling with behaviour issues this can have a dramatic effect. I have found that the smaller the class the more difficult it can be, because there are not enough children to model desired behaviour. It takes a tremendous amount of teacher energy becuase you have to model desired behvaiour yourself.

    I am sure that you will have an extrinsic reward system in place and I found that this helped initially and i continue to keep it in place. Also. I have found that there is a growing trend for parents to choose inde becuase they have an awareness that their child has an unspecified problem/delay which they don't want exposed and hope that small classes will be the answer.

    Does your school have a nursery and have the children transferred fron there? When I joined an Inde school, I was very aware that not all teachers and staff were qualified and so the nursery/reception , in particular, seemed to have been run by staff, whose only experience was raising their own family and so did not seem to understand the pedagogy behind EY provison. They had no idea of behaviour management because they had been used to " nice" children. Also even trained staff had received a scant amount of In service training. You can imagine that they were resistant to change. Were you employed as an agent for change perhaps?

    When I started at the school there was no systematic way of recording other than monitoring skills, such as knows colours, can cut a straight line. I taught children in yr 1 at first, who. having been through Reception, were still barely able to recognise phoneme/grapheme correspondence in the Spring Term of Yr1, when I joined the school. These were able children and so I felt that their lack of progress was probably down to the teaching they had received and poor tracking. Their work had been so scaffolded and such emphasis had been put upon neat copying and work sheets, that on paper there was no external evidence that there skills were so poor. Parents and SMT saw beautifully written work and so lack of progress was heavily disguised.

    I now teach age 3-5s together- and I introduced a record keeping system/ learning journey type document for each child, which has the stepping stones to ELGS into which I attach observations.Each child's record is in an A4 file We track the reception children's progress against EY goals sheet each term. We were given that from at a course but I think it came rom a Sally Featherstone little book of something. That has proved invaluabel because it clearly flags up if children are achieving or staying static. It also flags up if all the children are not achieving in one area- is it to do with our teaching. So it makes us reflective. Staff resisted the change but there was an iminent inspection so fear made them more compliant but I did not win any poularity contests.

    SMT started to appoint more experienced teachers from the maintained sector and there is a great atmosphere and sharing of skills and the work sheet culture is no more!.

  18. interested in your reward system, my class is being very difficult at the moment and would like to nip it in the bud ASAP' completely agrees with you about the small class sizes and modelling good behaviour. actually im taring my hair out at the moment and had a really *** day with them (not true only some of them but they were really bad) complete disreguard for what has been asked of them. anyway could go on and on moaning, if any one has any good reward systems / ideas for promoting good behaviour it would be most welcome
  19. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter

    Hi Timber

    We have houses in our school too. The children have star papers. These are A5 cards that have 4 spaces for an adult to write a star point in. When the child has all 4 spaces filled in then they post their star paper in their house coloured box in the Hall. they are collected every week by the house captain in Year 6. They can receive a bronze, silver, gold & platinum certificate throughout the year for collecting a certain amount of star papers. this is a good system as the parents cannot compare their child with another! they receive star points for good work or behaviour -i always fill in their star papers with a coloured gel pen of their choice. I also give out stickers for the fastest/quietest changer after PE/ good behaviour etc. for children who have reached the class target -e.g sitting down on the carpet when they come in from break I use a marble in a jar system which is great for team work. If all the marbles are in the jar the class get to have extra time on the climbing frame at breaktime (only 5 mins) before they come in on Fridays. We also celebrate good work in Good work assemblies throughout the year. I hope that helps. Good luck! x

  20. To begin with, as the children are young, you need one that gives some sort of almost instant reward- the gratification from a house system is too delayed and you need something that rewards the entire group as well as the individual and avoids competition. They can't understand the house system and are probably still struggling to see themselves as part of a class community.

    I have one picture of ten flower stalks for entire class- at the top of each stalk is piece of velcro. I then have ten pics of sunflower heads, with a piece of velcro stuck on the back.

    I tell the children of the behaviour that I will be rewarding eg. stopping and listening when asked, or helping tidying.

    When I sees a child doing as asked- I say to the child to put a flower on the stalk in the garden picture. When the class has completed the ten flowers they <u>all </u>get a sticker and we begin again. This makes them work a community and stops competition.

    With an unruly class- at firstyou might have to try and complete the ten flowers in one teaching session and repeat several times during the day. Then you gradually wean them off of it. My class at the moment are pretty good and I use it to tweak desired behaviour or as a reward for effort and we aim to complete ten flowers daily.

    Never remove flowers or stickers as a sanction. Use other sanctions, don't confuse it with the reward system.

    You could use apples on a tree, or fish in a tank, marbles in a jar.

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