Setting: New position as New Entrant teacher in new school. First batch of new entrants beginning next week (4), followed soon after by 2 more.

Thinking:

Communication with parents well before visits start.

New Entrant Pack prepared – contains: parent/teacher questionnaire (to give a heads up about child’s dispositions, likes/dislikes, behaviour); starting school booklet; set of digit cards; first set of sight words with ‘window’ tool (viewing card to focus on one word at a time).

4 – 6 visits, starting with short morning where parent is invited to stay, followed by gradually increasing visits (one per week), until visit 4 (and 5/6) are full day visits, the final visit in the same week as the start day if possible. Aim is to be flexible to the child’s needs, so if more visits are required they can be arranged and once the child has started, a day off here and there to adjust to tiredness levels can be taken into account.

Aiming to build relationship with ECEs (3 that feed into school), by visiting soon to establish contacts, then subsequent visits to meet prospective new entrants in an environment they are comfortable in prior to their first school visit.

With a pure new entrant class (no year 1s), I want to explore a more play-based learning environment that gradually introduces more routines as their time at school goes on, inspired by the CORE research report into re-inventing a new-entrant classroom to provide richer learning opportunities in a play-based environment that encourages student agency and focusses on key-competencies:

http://www.core-ed.org/assets/Uploads/CORE-Research-Report-New-Entrants-in-the-Re-making.pdf.

Plan for first 4 NEs who are starting:

8:30-10:30 (with 9-9:30 whole school activity): play based, student led, creative time, building relationships, oral language, observing.

11:00-1:00: more routined, formal learning, by drawing students from their chosen play based activities in groups for explicit teaching of maths, phonics, reading and writing, drawing on what’s been observed throughout the morning.

2:00-3:00: Depends on level of student engagement and interest – physical activity, swimming (during T1), story time, celebrating learning from the day, class admin.

I plan to record formal learning and curriculum coverage using a series of checklists that note who I’ve worked with on what and when, not aiming for a formal maths – reading – writing timetable. This allows flexibility around students’ interests and engagement, giving students choice as well.

Want to explore the use of “Ferre Laevers emotional well being and involvement scales” to monitor engagement and well being. Link to blog that discusses this and other things around setting up a classroom for engagement and well being:

http://www.earlylearninghq.org.uk/earlylearninghq-blog/the-leuven-well-being-and-involvement-scales/

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