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Transition from EY – Y1 how to adapt planning to incorporate continuous provision

Jul 9th 2024

It’s time to start thinking about one of the hardest transitions that children will make in their school years; the transition from EYFS to Year 1. This is always a difficult change as children move from the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile to the National Curriculum. It might only be a move up the corridor and not very far geographically however, the move from EYFS to Year 1 is a huge move in terms of curriculum and development.

The transition from EYFS to Year 1 takes careful consideration due to the change in curriculum. The children that leave reception in the summer term are still the same children that start back in the autumn term. They don’t tend to change the way they learn over the summer but when they return to school, they are expected to learn in a different way. For many children this transition to a more formal way of learning instead of a play-based curriculum can be quite challenging.

The question to often consider is… ‘Do EYFS teachers need to get pupils ready for Year 1 or do Year 1 teachers need to get ready for EYFS pupils?’

The answer is usually somewhere in between and involves careful thought and consideration from both EYFS practitioners and Year 1 teachers. A smooth transition is vital, but teachers recognise that this is difficult as the early learning goals are not aligned with the now increased expectations of the national curriculum.

The key is to start early so that both adults and children have enough opportunities to prepare for the changes ahead. Whilst some children will thrive on the changes in Year 1 and are confident and ready to embrace formal learning, many children will experience anxiety and take longer to adjust to their new environment.

What could the reception teacher do?

  • Plan a joint project. Maybe a book that can be started in reception but continues to be used at the start of Year 1.
  • Support children with developing more independence so that they can work at times without an adult.
  • Give plenty of opportunities for children to visit the Year 1 classroom so that they become familiar with the environment and adults.
  • Introduce some more structured activities.
  • Send home a holiday pack with any activities that parents can support with over the summer.
  • Share data and have conversations with the Year 1 teachers about all the children.

What could the Year 1 teacher do?

  • Spend time in the foundation stage environment to get to know the children and they can get to know you.
  • Develop an understanding of how EYFS have planned for directed teaching and continuous provision.
  • Be involved with the moderation and assessment judgements at the end of the Foundation Stage.
  • Get to know the parents.
  • Continue to develop communication and language skills further.
  • Plan continuous provision for the Autumn term to support with transition.
  • Have continuity in some of the routines and resources in the Year 1 classroom.
  • Arrange a meeting with parents to share changes and expectations of the Year 1 curriculum.
  • Start with shorter teaching inputs and then build them to longer sessions throughout the term.
  • Consider what planning adaptions you will need to make for the children that didn’t achieve the early learning goals.
  • Consider more play-based learning in the afternoon.

Keep in mind that the pedagogy of EYFS is different to the expectation of the National Curriculum. We need to guide and support children as they adapt to these changes. Communicate well with all involved and ensure consistency. If you get it right the children will have a seamless transition into Year 1 and both children and parents will feel happy.

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