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No TA and really struggling to manage purposeful play sessions in the early years

(16 Posts)
zincclearspots Sat 03-Oct-15 16:22:44

I have P1 (a full class of 25) and no PSA. I'm in a deprived area and the children really, really need to play. They are rough and tumble (to put it nicely), their nursery education was extremely lacking and a lot of them have chaotic lives.

My HT wants to see stations during numeracy and phonics, but the ones she has suggested just will not work. For phonics she suggested doing 1 direct teaching station with me, 1 painting station and 1 table shaving foam. It would be complete and utter pandemonium.

Is anyone else in the same situation?

ScentedJasmine Sun 04-Oct-15 14:09:28

So just you?
That must be tough.
I am not a teacher but am in a classroom...

zincclearspots Sun 04-Oct-15 15:59:38

Yes, just me. It is manageable when I have them all doing the same activity (just about!) or when I have 2 groups doing worksheets and 1 working with me, but that's not really in the spirit of infants.

toomuchicecream Sun 04-Oct-15 18:45:45

If your HT is coming up with bright ideas of what they want to see done, can you suggest she models it for you to demonstrate how to make it work???

I don't envy you at all - all you can do is spend time training them up on how to use the resources by themselves, then when they've got the hang of it, start to try and work with a group. But for me, the killer would be all the setting up and clearing away single handed. While I'm doing the intro/plenary, my TA goes round getting out the things she can see we'll need from my plan, or putting things away again.

zincclearspots Sun 04-Oct-15 19:03:20

If your HT is coming up with bright ideas of what they want to see done, can you suggest she models it for you to demonstrate how to make it work???

Oh yes, perhaps we'll arrange that... no, next week is too busy... no, not that week... I will definitely look into that and get it sorted.


The setting up and clearing away is the stuff of nightmares. Even having someone to do the homework folders would be marvellous. And changing for PE- I could weep.

Geraniumred Sun 04-Oct-15 19:53:02

That sounds really hard. Maybe you could get a friendly parent/student/grandparent to come and give you a hand?

breward Sun 04-Oct-15 20:27:46

I was in this situation once. 30 reception with no TA in the afternoon. I ended up with a kind parent offering to help one afternoon. I told her how different the children's learning was having her just for that afternoon. By the end of the week she had 4 other parents on board and I had a parent helper every afternoon. I trained them up on how i work etc.

They were fantastic. Two of them then went on to become TAs. The first mum ended up being my permanent pm TA when a new head took over and insisted Early Years needed a TA all day. We worked together for 7 years and she is now one of my best friends in the world!

MrsGinnyPotter Tue 06-Oct-15 18:55:22

What about parent helpers or students? Definitely unworkable on your own!

zincclearspots Tue 06-Oct-15 19:28:11

I've never worked with parents/students before. I'd be wary to plan for having them and then be let down too. I really feel unsupported by SMT here.

Geraniumred Thu 08-Oct-15 16:29:18

I think you need to take a risk and get a volunteer in - emphasise they need to be reliable- otherwise your sources of support are limited.

rollonthesummer Thu 08-Oct-15 21:37:39

I've never known a reception class with no TA! Well, not in the last 15 years anyway.

Can't you have them accessing Continuous Provision (nothing too messy-writing area, listening, computers, puzzles, construction etc) whilst you work with a target group and then they all tidy away together at the end? Tell your head that you tried it her way but it was crap ;)

MiaowTheCat Thu 08-Oct-15 22:06:42

I've done it in the past for afternoon sessions and it was a bloody pain - only way I made it work (remembering vaguely here - it was a long while ago) was to do some short and sweet whole class input on the topic in hand, grab a focus group and try to get through two of these in a lesson while the rest accessed continuous provision - and then for the continuous provision I had set tasks that I praised to the high heavens/rewarded if they did them that week (think I did something like they could colour in their name in each area if they'd done the set task that week or similar to that). Then run around like a headless chicken trying to spin plates, and have an "oh fuck help me" card to send down to the office in case of things like soggy pant emergencies and me being unable to leave the classroom!

I only really managed it because it was a very nice catchment with kids who were used to the classroom environment from nursery and managed it for that reason alone... I believe after I left the head cracked and got TA hours in for the afternoon as well.

zincclearspots Fri 09-Oct-15 18:26:15

P1 isn't quite reception. It's more formal (as far as I'm aware), but it does need to be play based for these kids.

I've managed to get someone in on work experience for 1 whole day a week (score!). Will probably put them off for life grin

Yesterday I had some success with 1 target group with me, 1 group making button numbers and 1 group cutting and sticking. I think I just need to find this sort of activity and train them into it.

However, it is still a hell of a lot like juggling forty plates one handed and blindfolded.

Geraniumred Fri 09-Oct-15 20:47:15

Well done! Hope the work experience person is a proper help. Hopefully as you train up children and helpers things will become easier.

rollonthesummer Fri 09-Oct-15 21:23:27

Oh, sorry-I misread, I only saw 'Early Years' and assumed.

I'm in Y1 with no TA-it's not easy sad

gininducedhangover Fri 09-Oct-15 22:09:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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