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The Reception year - what do you want for your child?

(26 Posts)
mrscraig Sun 02-Oct-11 19:31:38

I am a Reception teacher - was previously in Year One, haven't taught Reception for about 9 years so feeling bit out of touch at mo plus I have OFSTED looming so lots of pressure! I would really like to know what you, as parents or teachers, want for your child in Reception in terms of learning/development/opportunities..... I am going to put this to the parents in my class this week but wondered what the general MN consensus is, so I am fully prepared!

chocolatchaud Sun 02-Oct-11 19:39:56

I think mainly I want DS to settle in happily to school, get to grips with the routines and rules, make some friends and feel confident about going.

It would also be nice if he got a good grounding in the basics of reading - i.e phonics and blending - and some basic numeracy. I think it's more fun if done in line with some imagination-capturing projects, that appeal to 4/5 year olds - e.g our Reception teacher introduced the rhythm of words by getting them to make their own musical instruments, and presumably lot of banging followed! They use the Jolly Phonics scheme to start with - just to introduce each phonic - which seems to work really well.

I also like lots of PE - great for the boys who are not too hot on concentrating for long periods!

Good luck - sorry I can't be more specific on what I would like - generally we just all want them to be happy and not cry as they go through the door!

mrscraig Sun 02-Oct-11 19:44:05

Ooh like the musical instrument idea (scribbles it on plan for this week!).
I knwo what you mean about them not crying - when my two dds were in Rec, that was main stickler for me too!

SazZaVoom Sun 02-Oct-11 19:45:26

I would like to know what they are actually doing. My 4 yr old's report on the day is, i fear, not 100% accurate.

So far she has said they have not done any reading or numbers. I suspect they may have, but through play/games rather than formal learning.

It is SO different from the preschool where you could chat with the teachers, stop by for an hour to observe - you drop them at the door and they are delivered back to you at the gate. So no chance for a chat with the teacher/TA (i know this would be impossible with 30 children). It just feels very 'distant'.

I am not asking for a full blown account of the day, but perhaps an outline of a typical day ie: - registration, read a story, play, IT, lunch, numeracy, PE, play, hometime would be sufficient.

40notTrendy Sun 02-Oct-11 19:48:28

Lots of info for parents. It would be nice to know the daily routine, which sound you are teaching each week and the praise/reward system. And let them play!!!! Be warm and open. And don't get defensive if parents question something, generally most parents just like to be informed. Good luck!

mrscraig Sun 02-Oct-11 20:01:36

Thanks for your response. I think I prob already keep them quite well informed. I generally get to say hello and quick chat to most (if not all) the parents before the start of the day, ao that's a positive to take.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Sun 02-Oct-11 20:10:53

Yes I'd agree with lots of communication with parents - it's helpful to help your child settle in if you can chat to them about their day a bit and have an understanding of what they are up to.

Doesn't have to be verbal communication every day (though the odd word about how they are doing is nice) - a whiteboard with updates about 'alphabet letter of the day', reminders of PE day etc is appreciated.

Also helps parents/carers to feel part of the school and not just the 'dropper off' and 'picker up'. I think the more involved people feel, the more positive vibes and helpfulness are generated, which benefits the whole school community.

Moomoomie Sun 02-Oct-11 20:11:17

I agree with just wanting them to be settled and happy to go into school each morning. When I think my dd has got 7 years at this school, I do not want any battles.
Good communication. We have a home/ school diary which is helpful.
And to remember how young these children are, some have only just turned four. So to make some allowances for this.
I think the reading and writing will come in time.

UnSerpentQuiCourt Sun 02-Oct-11 20:21:22

Yes, I agree with home/school book or similar. DD has been ay school for four weeks and I know nothing about what she has been doing, what she enjoyed, etc. Strange pieces of paper come home, about fire safety or pictures of tractors, and neither she nor I have any idea what we are supposed to do about them.
Obviously you know that what parents want and what OfSTED want have nothing to do with each other or anything to do with reason.

mrscraig Sun 02-Oct-11 20:24:26

Ha! Yes am more than aware of what OFSTED want is not necessarily compatible but if the parents are happy, it's a good place to start!

DeWe Sun 02-Oct-11 20:26:40

I'd like ds to learn not to hit when frustrated sad somewhat of a regression there since going full time. And do what his teacher says because ofsted have this lovely idea that children at preschools should only be requested to do things and never told to do it. Hence he's expecting the same. If preschool had be able to tell him to do it, I don't think he'd be having problems understanding this now. <roll eyes>

MegBusset Sun 02-Oct-11 20:28:07

We get a 'treasure chest' book home each Friday with details and pics of what they've been doing that week, and a couple of tied-in activities that we can do at home over the weekend. That's really nice.

An0therName Sun 02-Oct-11 20:45:56

OP - what I wanted for my DS last year was what he got - to enjoy learning, to get used to school routine, and start on the basics of reading and writing
the best thing that he came back raving about was the knights days they did - it was a whole theme day - with dressing up, jousting all sorts

DeWe - your old preschool has made a really common error - my DS's preschool did it too to some extent - they are mixing up child led and not telling the children what to do - child led learning goes on in reception as well - it means following their interests and a certain amount of free play -I understand as a parent so I sure teacher could explain it better mind you - not like one pre school i heard of where they wouldn't even tell them to put on their coats - so I wouldn't blame ofsted more their interpretation

yellowsubmarine41 Sun 02-Oct-11 22:04:30

As people say above, re settling into routine of school, making friends, enjoying their days. The school/home communication thing is a big one - it is a big jump from nursery for both parents and children and a 'time table' of the day would be nice to know.

Dd's school hold parental involvement sessions after school on Mondays, starting with making playdough and other play based activities and then more about reading, writing and maths after Christmas. They also send a newsletter home each Friday with 'homework' ie recapping what sounds and numbers they've been doing and saying what their main topic next week is with a few 'try this at home' suggestions. These are brilliant ideas imho.

Tgger Sun 02-Oct-11 22:56:36

To have his natural curiousity and imagination nurtured rather than curtailed. To be encouraged to be the 4/almost 5 year old he is already, but to start to use his brain in a more structured way- eg basics of reading and numeracy- hopefully in an exciting way! To have individual strengths recognized (perhaps not always directly to him but an awareness from the teacher) and encouraged to thrive and to have weaker areas supported and also encouraged to develop! To have lots of time to play with lots of stimulating things, and to learn to share and play with others in a fair and kind way. To be excited by different experiences, to play outside every day, to be challenged.

Quite a lot eh!

noramum Mon 03-Oct-11 10:58:57

I would like to know more about what they actually do in school. But: I work 4 days therefore I don't see the teacher a lot. I can understand that doing 30 individual responses in writing are a lot for the teacher.

How about some kind of weekly "newsletter", topic of the week (if they have one), what they do in Maths and on what days PE is.

We get a weekly newsletter from the school but obviously this is designed for the whole school and only states which class has its turn in the allotment or have a special do for the assembly.

Otherwise, let them be the small kids they are.

kickingking Mon 03-Oct-11 11:11:34

I want DS to develop his confidence and be settled at school, secure in routines and systems, etc. I want him to develop a love for learning - he has this already really, so should say to develop it or something wink

I would expect him to get a good grounding in phonics and number - he is desperate to be able to read and write, and I would hope his teacher realises he's ready. He says they haven't done any letters and sounds yet, but I'm not sure that's true.

Have been impressed with home/school communication so far - his teacher has written in his contact book daily and told me what he has enjoyed that day.

KTk9 Mon 03-Oct-11 11:20:04

My dd's reception year was a nightmare - too many unruly children and the NQT stuck ridgidly to the EYS, when what they needed was a little control, bottoms on seats for short periods - the things I heard that went on in that classroom from a few children!

I think one of the most important things for them to learn the skill of sitting for a short period and listening, either to others or the teacher, this will stand them in good stead for the huge change in Year 1, where they will be expected to listen more.

I also wanted her to learn the basics of reading - she knew most of her phonics before starting school and could read some simple 3 letter words, but went into Year 1, knowing no more, so the ability to be flexible to those who do know something and those who don't (one size doesn't fit all!).

Simple numbers, most children can count, but need to recognise them up to 10.

Pencil skills, starting to write the letters as well as learn them, one surely has to help the other, this wasn't done at our school, so their writing was very bad going into Year 1 and basically still is.

To learn that school is 'fun', it is fun and interesting to learn, my dd switched off mid reception and it was so sad to see, the teacher who had two TA's, was struggling to cope with a class of 30.

Most of all and what I really really wanted as a parent, was to know what was going on in the class. I honestly felt that my dd went into the class (were never allowed in at any time) and I had no idea what she did during her day. Children are notoriously bad at tell you what they did, role play was my only way of knowing!

If we had a letter each week to say either what the children had done, or what they would be doing, I would have felt much more connected to the school and the teacher. Just a short note, so that perhaps at a weekend, we could then talk about these things, or even compliment them by the places we visited, or what we did as a family.

I am not talking about a school newsletter, but something specific for Reception. A lot of the Mums felt their children, who they had everything to do with for the past four years, had been thrust into a world they knew nothing about and it was very very hard for both child and parent.

A teacher and parent should work together and I think a lot of parents will do more if the relationship is a good one.

Can I also ask that you reward the good children too, not just the naughty ones, we hear all about the naughty ones when they come home, even if they don't remember what they did during the day and it would be lovely is these naughty children weren't the only ones to be recognised when they are good, but that the good children are good too!


Bramshott Mon 03-Oct-11 11:33:07

To settle into school and feel confident there
To make friends
To develop a love of learning
To start learning letter sounds and the basics of phonics
To have fun!

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Mon 03-Oct-11 12:15:29

A class newsletter is a great idea - doesn't have to be every single week, just regular updates about what the children are doing and reminders about how the book / homework / PE / lunch systems work and how you can help your child.

With the best will in the world, it's hard to remember/understand all the details of what is happening, especially if you have more than one child and/or don't get much chance to gossip update with other parents in the playground.

This is another one of the big differences between pre-school and school - pre-school newsletters are much more relevant to YOUR child because they only have two or three year groups. It's good to have a school newsletter, but it isn't a substitute for communication between class teachers and parents.

sugartongue Mon 03-Oct-11 12:49:19

We get a letter at the end of each week telling us what they've been up to. (reception class). It's fairly short but covers briefly what they've been doing in numeracy, literacy and knowledge and understanding. It also has a reminder for what the children will need in the coming week - eg swimming kit on tuesday. It's only a side of A4 and probably takes 20 mins for the teacher to update each week but it sooo useful and and makes me feel I know what's going on - unlike DS1 in reception where I suspect nothing was going on...

indiastar Mon 03-Oct-11 20:01:09

I would just like the teacher to remember that they are still very young and a lot of them have only just turned 4 and to give allowances for that. My dd (summer born) is already being 'told off' and having to sit our certain activities as she likes to talk! Very hard when the pre school setting was all 'child led' activities and now she has to do as the teacher says.
I want my dd to enjoy school and learning and not be put off in the first month.

SazZaVoom Mon 03-Oct-11 22:10:17

To overcome this i have just agreed to become a classroom helper one morning a week.

Infiltration is the way forward grin

pozzled Mon 03-Oct-11 22:18:38

DD1 will start in reception next year.

Mostly I want her to be really enthused about school and learning.
To be confident that she has the capacity to learn and achieve.
To be encouraged to ask questions about the world.
To make friends and enjoy being with other children.
To continue to see books and reading as magical and wonderful, and not some boring chore that you have to do every night.

verybusyspider Tue 04-Oct-11 12:00:46

We had a terrible reception year last year but the teachers communication was excellent, we had a home/school diary, she also did a weekly newsletter (third of a4 sheet) so we knew topics and when show and tell was etc.
We had sounds and high frequency words and books to take home - one a week. The teacher also did a couple of curiculum sessions to explain how the phonics etc were being taught.

Personally ds was confused if he should be working or playing - our main aim was to get him used to the school 'rules' and the timetable of when he could do things - about half way through the year the teacher did a visual timetable for the class, that would have helped ds from day 1.
Timetable for parents is good - PE on X day, assembly every day etc, once I had that I could talk through it with ds and we could talk about how you had to put your hand up or sit still at assembly time (the social story type things) I guess that would help a teacher?

I didn't understand what the expectation of ds was either, it was sold as learning through play but we had a lot of feedback that he would rarely write and only chose to do construction... I couldn't work it out, was he allowed to choose it or not? and if not put it away, I think he found it hard to focus on a task if the table next to him was playing with playdough for example...

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