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Eyfs Planning Problems


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I just wondered if I could ask you all a question?

 

As a Steiner Waldorf setting we have always used the early learning goals and interpreted them to fit in with our ethos. I now have a problem that I cannot see a way around and I'm wondering if I'm just dumb.

You all seem to be very experienced at the different types of planning and have many great ideas. I am having a huge problem now with this kind of planning. In our settings we do plan but our planning is based on the whole year, the seasons, the week, etc. We would not change this as it is the basis of our pedagogy. So for example; we notice that a child cannot hold or use scissors. We would not then create something for this particular child to do while others are doing whatever they require. We would however fit this into our usual planning rhythm so perhaps when making lanterns at Martinmas we would assist this child in cutting out the shapes for the group.

Also, our settings work as a group the whole time. We have free play in a morning, then a group activity, then snack time (together) that we have all worked to prepare etc. etc.

 

I just can't see how we can plan individually for each child in this way and it's something we do anyway without documenting it. We act in the moment. I also can't see how a child's actions on one day can be taken and then turned into a plan for the future for them; children change with each given moment and isn't it our job to react to that, in that moment? What is working for them one day, and we see a planning opportunity, may be something they have no interest in on another day.

Child led, teacher led, it's all one and the same to us, we work together.

 

I'm going to a seminar in London this week about all this but I just want to make sure I am not being dumb before I open my mouth.

 

I'm not even sure that I am explaining myself very well at this point so I will stop there.

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As you say responding to individual children's needs is something you do anyway I would imagine documentation is the key - not all planning should or can be done in advance (and indeed the best responds to children at that moment) but it not always obvious to outsiders / the powers that be that we are doing this. I would have thought that some form of documentation that shows how and why you responded to a child's needs in that moment would be sufficient evidence of your practice and reflect that 'planning' does repspond to individuals in your group.

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Thanks Nsunshine, You have helped me formulate my thoughts here and at least now I don't feel as dumb.

I don't know if all settings do this but S.W settings write a daily diary with our reflections of the day. They tend to be quite in depth and they do help to think things through rather like a mediation on the day.

Perhaps this will be enough evidence or at least support our planning that we do now? After all it's not like we ignore what is going on each day, far from it, buit like most of us (I expect) I'm feeling a little frustrated at the beaurocracy of all this and that I'm now having to spend the time writing about what a "good job" I do rather than spend that time doing a "good job".

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totally agree the time spent writing about it should be much less than the time actually spent doing the job - don't think you/we need to document every example just enough to show it is part of our everyday practise. Your daily diary sounds as if it may well provide the evidence you need or could easily incorporate comments to do so and is obviously better to use current systems then invent something new for the sake of it.

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I think you hit the nail on the head when you spoke about reflecting on what the child does and look to how you move that child on. Perhaps there are some key areas that you know the child is struggling with and these are the ones that could be documented in bullet form in addition to those that you know they can do well and how you move them on in that direction and incorporate the two together. I think it was LJW who put up the train and caterpillar record and I think this would fit in nicely without too much hassle especially as you reflect on your sessions, what has been achieved/not achieved and by whom. Being in a steiner school means that you are doing all these things and you will only need to adapt it slightly.

Nikki

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