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I am a student who is currently on a school placement in a reception class. The teacher keeps saying that I need to know what it is the children are doing/learning. I feel that my objectives are specific enough and I have been using the curriculum guidance for the foundation stage folder.

Im not sure how long to spend on a particular area, do i continue with something until the children meet the objective or do i revisit again at a later date? :o

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is the teacher asking you to consider if your objectives are being met or if the children are getting something quite different from the activity.


I find that sometimes you have a specific objective for an activity but when the children access it they use it in a completely different way.


Sometimes the FS folder document has statement that can be quite wooley- and can cover a multitude of things. I found as a student it was easier to state what the objective for the session was in plain terms - for example for a topic on families-

The learning objective might be

Children will Learn:


What is meant by a family

About the different people who make up a family.

That there are different types of families and each family is special. Inc animal families etc etc


Then you could have specific activities to engage the chidlren and fulfill the learning objectives.


These could cover the stepping stones and ELGs in PSE and K and U that are suitable.



Does this make sense?


Hope this was of some use. :o


It will all come together suddenly in time. I look back at my own teaching practice and now understand some of the thins that went on- and the assessment process etc. (it's 3 years since I did my PGCE) and everyday you learn something new :D

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Thanks, I think you may be right in that i've been using the fs document and my objectives have been too broad as a result. This is were I am going wrong! :o

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glad to be of help.


If you are working with a TA it might be useful to give her the lesson objectives and request that she makes notes on individual chidlren or groups. Then you could use those to set your next session- therby showing that you are using assesment and observation to inform your planning.

Make a little note of the learning or lack of in the last session in your lesson plan to link your planning and to show that u are able to plan flexibily.


I found that(as a student) though I had the TA's observationa and assessment- I was not linking it in wiht subsequent planning, but staying instead with the topic medium term planning and the week's planning ( that had been planned and over planned ahead of time). :o

It is valid to be flexible as this will demonstrate your understanding of where the chidlren are...... xD

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HI Saffy & welcome in

I think this is one of the most difficult aspects of being a student . I can remember struggling long and hard with the difference between aims and objectives as a student, as thay were the buzz words then and probably date me!! I'm still not sure I could explain it,


I have found, however that it helps to think in terms of learning intentions; so for a particular lesson/activity you might have the intention that the children develop scissor skills because you are working towards the physical goal of handling tools and equipment.


In my planning I list this as PD7(no chosen at random here) to develop scissor skills

then you can observe against this and your evaluation might be that a, b & c need more experience in handling scissors as they are only snipping and x, y, z can cut curved lines accurately, while 'the rest' cut straight lines but need to further develop cutting skills to use scissors more accurately or with more control etc.

In your next activity you would plan for this perhaps by allowing children to make free collages where they have cut pictures from magazines etc and by directing your teaching focus at the those that neeed support and extending the more capable with more intricate pictures.


Your teacher ought to be able to help and guide you with this though to suit the school planning requirements and your course requirements.

The curriculum guidance is a very useful doc but for Reception I think you should be detailing the goal and a step to get there, not necessarily the stepping stones themselves.

They were designed as a possible route that a child might take to attain the goal and I think should/ could be used as indicator of where a child is and where next to lead.

Some goals are alot easier than others too.


Good luck.

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