Visited another school today to follow up their audit from before the summer. They were 2 reception classes that have knocked a wall down and now have one big space. The space was really good. The EY team had made really good progress since I saw them last and Janet (R teacher) had lots to share. As with a lot of settings they are doing too much paper work that doesn't accurately reflect all of the good practice they are doing. But we are well on the way to sorting that!
Then I had this email from another school I am working with:
It was all going so swimmingly well until today; we have been banned from using the sand tray, the water tray, malleable materials (dough, etc), food preparations (snacks) etc....but we are still allowed to change crappy nappies!!!! Environmental Health have been around the school today, and this is for the foreseeable future.Happy Days!
What is all that about? I have visited hundreds of schools and NEVER come across this before. I will inviestigate!!
Now then, increasingly I get asked to go and support schools who are working with mixed age classes and cross phase planning. Usually it is Reception and Year One that have been put together. Often the summer birthday Year Ones - sound familiar?
The secret to success in this case is to think of ' stage ' not ' age ' and group the children according to their ability level. A few useful things to know.
Children are not legally entitiled to the National Curriculum until the tem after their 5th birthday even if they are in Year One
It is not a good idea to move children onto the NC when they hit P6 on the profile as this is just 'emergent average'. You are better to leave them on FSP until they are secure at P8 or P9.
Speaking of National Curriculum and profile points, can I just make it clear that you CANNOT predict end of Key Stage attainment from the profile scores however much you would like to!
A P6 in CLLD is not a 2B in writing. CLLD is so much broader than merely writing therefore you would have to pull out all of the writing strands of CLLD an try and assimilate them into an indicative assessment that was linked to end of Key Stage achievement.
Having said all of that - you may be interested in this (I guarantee your head will!)
It is DCFS analysis from 2009 data and it gives a likelyhood percentage of children achieving at Year 2 from their profile point score at the end of R
It makes really interesting reading - especially those children who scored low on the profile who went on to get a high end of key stage score and vice versa.
With regard to planning formats, any of the ones that I have previously posted can be adapted to include an extra colum that will ref your NC objectives.
How you plan is just the same. You need to start seeing the NC objectives as just that and not tie them to any particularactivity.
So, you asess all of your children against whatever criteria is age appropriate to determine what it is you need to teach them next. Then you find out what they like to do, then you sit down and plan what you can do to match those identified objectives to activities that you know will meet their needs.
Then you mash it all together to create a mini theme that encapsulates all of the above.
It is really easy to find a match between EYFS and NC because the EYFS is SO broad.
If you have a mixed Y1/R class you WILL have continous provision across 6 areas (possibly 5 if you have sacked PSRN!!) You need to ensure that you have got challenge in all of those areas for the different abilities of the children that you have got in your setting.
Challenge in Continuous Provision is a whole other post. Same time same place tomorrow?
Was observing a child cutting out at the workshop table the other day. She was engrosed in her cutting and wasn't aware I was watching. She was really struggling to cut and every time she tried and failed she said ' f*ck ' very loudly!
I wasn't too concerned as it was clearly a familiar word and not being said for effect. That was until she was joined by a boy who was also keen to cut. As I was debating wether to intervene before her next procrastination, he also failed in his task . As he did so he uttered ' sh*t, b*llocks! ' so I figured she was in good company and left them to it!