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Reception for Dummies - I'm confused

(10 Posts)
Catmint Tue 12-Jul-11 21:51:31

My daughter starts school in September. The school have been good so far, putting on an info session for parents and a visit for the children. But I think when you're an experienced professional it must be difficult to appreciate that school is a whole new, crazy non- user- friendly world for some of us and I have some basic questions that were not covered. I'd be grateful if anyone could clarify!

In a reception class of 30, will there be any teaching assistant in addition to the class teacher? Is this a set level or discretionary?

What is an Integrated day? The way it was described made it just sound like chaos.

Is reception the same as year 1? And is year 1 the same as Key Stage 1?


LawrieMarlow Tue 12-Jul-11 21:55:20

Most reception classes will have a teaching assistant but not all of them will. Schools will manage their budget in the best way they can.

Not sure what an integrated day is and have two children, one in year 2 and one in reception. But in reception they learn through play and although things may seem like organised chaos sometimes, everything will be organised.

Reception is different from Year 1 - year 1 is the year above reception. Key Stage 1 is Year 1 and Year 2 and then Key Stage 2 is Years 3-6.

kennythekangaroo Tue 12-Jul-11 21:59:43

Reception children are all 4 and 5 years old (Sept before 5th b'day).
Year 1 5 and 6 yrs
Year 2 6 and 7 years.

Reception is officially part of the foundation stage (Nursery/reception).
Key stage 1 is year 1 and 2.

There will probably be at least 1 TA in a class of 30 but I don't think it's compulsory.

An integrated day/free flow sounds like chaos to me too but I have been informed it works very well.

Lara2 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:15:29

Reception is the last year of the Early Years Foundation Stage which is from birth to 5. It's a totally seperate stage from Key Stage 1 which is Year 1 and Year 2. Every child is entitled to the Foundation Stage Curriculum until the end of their 5th year.
Every class will have an Early Years Assistant - this is a legal requirement because of the age of the children.
An integrated day is a day where children follow their own interests for most of the day. This doesn't mean that they aren't gathered together or formally taught. The ratio is 50% self chosen activities to 50% teacher initiated/led activities. Free flow just means that children can go where they want within the reception area - inside or outside.
Alot of planning goes into this system to make it work; reception classes will have continuous provision - things that are always available like sand, water, puzzles, PC's, bikes, balls etc and enhanced provision - special interactive displays, role play areas that change with the topics, cooking activities etc. These more often then not have something to do with the current topic.

Hope that helps! smile

startail Wed 13-Jul-11 12:17:47

Reception is now part of the Foundation Stage i.e. It should be a continuation of and a development from nursery.
During the last 10 years my DDs have been at school there seems to have been a realisation that If you get better outcomes, happier children and less stressed mums if you don't force formal learning and class room structures on rising 5s many of whom are just not ready. (Schools on the continent have realised this for years). Unfortunately schools don't seem to be very good at explaining this. Hence lots of moans that DDs school have split the years R, 1&2 this year (meaning that reception is a much smaller class) rather than splitting Y1 and making to even classes as in the past.
This was done with DDs class and it makes the reception teachers job much harder as Y1 are meant to follow a more formal KS1 curriculum to the more child lead reception one.

Catmint Wed 13-Jul-11 12:59:42

Thanks so much everyone, your helpful comments have set my fevered mind at rest!

LawrieMarlow Wed 13-Jul-11 14:27:06

That's good smile It is all less complicated than it sounds but feels like a different language at first.

Catmint Wed 13-Jul-11 21:44:42

Yes, actually I think not understaning the language is part of the issue. I might suggest a jargonbuster for 'new parents' on the school website, if I can screw up the courage to post on there!

spanieleyes Thu 14-Jul-11 10:21:59

Unfortunately every class IS NOT guaranteed an early Years assistant, the only stipulation is that a Reception class has 30 or less children and is led by a qualified teacher.

spiderpig8 Thu 14-Jul-11 16:14:34

don't be fooled by the lack of formal learning.IME (only 3 schools but still...)
They will all do 5 or 10 minutes of phonics per day from day 1 and will do a 5 minutes numeracy or literacy section each morning.
But there will be some kids who are raring to go and they will set up play situations which will encourage writing , numeracy skills etc and bring home a reading book every day.

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