Young children of four and five will now be a few weeks into their first steps into their school life. Reception class is still very much learning through play, but what happens when they move from reception to year one. And then onto year one and year two.
Most schools do a gradual settling in period, I know when James joined reception in September 2016, and he was in every morning the first week from 0855 till 1130. The second half of the class was in from 1330 till 1515. Then the second week of term the whole class was in from 0855 till 1330 meaning they all got to experience school dinners for the first time! Then the third week of term they were in all day from 0855 till 1515.
James found the transition to year one quite tricky for the first couple of weeks. It was definitely a shock to his system going from having free rein in the reception classroom where he spent most of his time in the construction area to having a structured timetable on a board in the classroom, where everything was accounted for. But after a few weeks he got used to it and he totally flourished. Having the structure definitely helped him. What he didn’t like was when the structure changed, especially in the run up to the national phonics test. There was some days James was coming home saying they had had three sessions of Phonics that day instead of the normal one session!
Now we are into year two and it’s an even more important year as come May next year James will be sitting his Key Stage One SATs! Not only that but James will also be re-sitting the phonics test that he didn’t pass in year one.
This year James had a school trip on the second day of term, so he didn’t actually get his first reading book of the year and his new home school diary till the end of the first week. Then in the second week we got our first set of spellings, first homework and more reading books! The workload for home has definitely increased compared to year one and I expect it will increase more each year to come.
Our School does a welcome meeting in the second week of term for Parents to come into the classroom and hear from the class teacher about what they will be doing this year.
One thing we will not have to do this year is meet a new teacher as James teacher and teaching assistant from year one have actually moved with them to be their year two teacher. For me having some continuity will be ideal. James is the youngest in his class and he only turned six ten days before he was due to start in year two. So really the only real difference for James and his friends is that they come out of different door at home time.
At our class meeting the main focus was the SATs. I did not realise they did quite so many papers! There are two maths papers for us to look at and also the four English papers! We were also told where we could find past papers for the tests online from the department for education, so we could access them at home to help the children prepare. We also had a look at some of the revision guides that you can buy, so it looks like a shopping trip on Amazon for us to help James prepare.
At the end of the third week of term, James actually got glasses and since he got them we have seen an even bigger improvement, especially in his reading and writing!
So now we are a few weeks into the autumn term I think the transition from Year One to Year Two has been positive, mainly I think down to the continuity of having the same teacher and teaching assistant as well as being in the same classroom!