Lily is nearing the end of her reception year at school and that means she's taking part in move up afternoons!
Similar to her settle sessions for reception, Lily has got four afternoons coming up where she'll be spending some time with her new year 1 teacher. We all know how beneficial the settle sessions before reception are and we were really lucky in the fact that Lily's school offered four of them also. It givens them a chance to explore the new school and get to know their teacher so that the first day has some familiar elements.
Even though Lily has been at the school for a year now, move up sessions are really important. She knows the class teacher for year 1 just from being at the school, but this gives them all a chance (students and teacher) to see each other in a more formal setting. It's a big jump from reception to year 1. There seems to be a lot more formal teaching taking place rather than a majority of pupil led time. At Lily's school, they've normally had mixed classes (so year 1and 2 in a class together) and if they're continuing with that, these sessions will also give them a chance to get to know the other pupils that they'll be joining. As a small school, they'll be people she recognises but also, it's a group of pupils who already know the class setup and the teacher. I'm sure this can only be a good thing. I remember when starting a new class, you had those odd days at the start of the year where everyone was trying to settle down in their new classroom but by having children in their who have already spent a year there, this may help reduce some of that.
I have no idea what they'll be doing, but I'm expecting them to go along and take part in some sort of activity similar to the type they'd be doing next year as classwork. They'll probably be given a list of what stationary they need as well. In reception, they haven't had to be responsible for supplies like pens, pencils, glue and so on.
I'm also hoping at the end of these settle afternoons that as parents, we'll be given some information on who the teacher is, what the children will be expected to do and so on. Our reception class doesn't have many parents with older children at the school so we don't really have anyone's previous advice to go on. There's also the fact that the school have been considering not doing mixed year classes any more. If this is the case and they start this with Lily's class, then it would be good to get some information on how this new system will work and how they'll physically accommodate them as a separate class at the school, who'll be their teacher (as the current year 1 teacher also teaches year 2).
The transition between the two classes will be interesting. Unlike reception class, year 1 homework is a must rather than "if you fancy doing this" approach. I'm 100% confident in Lily's ability to complete the work and to understand it, what I don't think will be easy sometimes is getting her to actually sit and do it. I also what to set a precedent for how homework will be handled in this class. I want her, at least while she's at primary school, to give it a good go by herself first before we help. I feel like by trying on her own first, she'll have to sit and really think over what it is they've been learning at school, helping her retain the information. This is on top of the daily reading they have assigned as well so overall, it seems like a lot to be getting on with alongside any extra curricular activities the children all have.
It's weird to think that when she starts in year 1, she'll be a couple of weeks away form turning six! I noticed at the start of reception just how much older she seemed compared to some of the younger students in her class. I'm hoping that going in to year 1, this would have all levelled out and that they'll all be more settled with each other. It will also be interesting to see if any new, summer born children join the class who deferred entry last year. It's a subject I know little about but know some of these children go straight into year 1 rather than reception.