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Confused - Reception Planning


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Hi, I am starting teaching straight Reception next year, after a year in mixed R/Y1. Last year it was very prescriptive. I taught a very Year 1 style curriculum, but with EYFS objectives. This was the way the school ran things, with the Reception class planning in a similar way to me. Having read posts on here I am a little confused as how to do my planning for next year (I am moving schools and becoming the Reception class teacher, it's a small school, so no other EYs teachers to bounce ideas off of) - last year I had every lesson planned at the beginning of the half term.

 

I want to give the children topics - mainly to help with my organisation, but also as a lead in, however am very willing to go off at any tangent that the children want to lead me in!

Should I just be doing the first week's planning and then talking to the children/observing to plan each day from then on? Would you give each week a theme and go from there? Or be far more free? Also how do you make sure you cover all the objectives? - do they go down on a rough medium term plan? Is CLL and Maths planned weekly just like further up in the school?

 

Sorry for all the questions, am junior trained, and have had no training on the EYFS and am beginning to panic just a little!

 

Thanks

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You are not the only one is confused. You will get some good ideas on here. I don't know if it right or wrong but on training we were told you can't really do a long term plan but i am going to do a loose medium term and take it from there e.g in september i am going to start with we are all special rather than calling it ourselves(lots of great ideas on here for ourselves). I am going to have a travel agency in the role play and i hoping that this will get the children talking about their holidays, where families are from, look at different cultures and see where it leads. I think also if you remember all areas have to have equal coverage. I think also it is getting away from teaching blocks like a set numeracy time, set literacy time. Getting the balance right with your child inititated/teacher led. Remembering that numeracy etc is going on all the time, also how rich in language p.e activities are. On a recent p.e course we were told to call it PD and to remember all the other things that could be going on in this sessions. Hope you can follow this.

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On a recent planning and observation course, we were told our long term plans would be things like Christmas, Easter, Spring, ie things that we generally do in some way shape or form.

What they said was we need to go with the childs interests, and this maybe something different each week!

I am planning to do 'all about me/we are special' the first week and talk about favourite things and if they went on holiday and how they got there. I'm hoping this will lead to transport! By the time it comes round to Harvest Festival I'm hoping we'll be on tractors! Bit of a long shot, but who knows.....only time will tell. (Lots of hopes there!)

The first week we are having dressing up clothes to make us look even more special (!) but with their help the home corner will change into either a travel agents or something completely different, who knows.

I do tend to plan maths and literacy even thou these go on in other activities, but they only last 10/15 minutes.

It does mean that most of my weekly planning will be done after it has happened, but apparently this is fine, as long as you have some ideas and something written down for Monday morning. The medium term plan will also be filled in as the weeks go by.

After talking to a friend who also works in foundation, she plans an area of learning each week, and this becomes her planned observations, so by half term each area has focused activities for each area, so I may try that.

Sorry have waffled on some what. Don't know if what I intend to do is right, but hey, you just have to go with the flow!

Hopefully someone will point me in the right direction if this is all a no no.

 

Jackie. :o

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Hi

My advice to you is, don't plan at all for the first few weeks and spend your time playing and observing the children. Focus on settling them in, rules and routines and some speaking and listening/circle time activities. Don't feel that you have to rush in, just sit back and take your time.

In relation to the objectives and how you know that you have covered them all, don't worry, you will. Lots of the objectives are linked to each other and one simple activity can cover a huge number of activites. Don't let the objectives and goals lead your planning, let the chidlren do that.

In the past I have printed out all the objectives and highlighted them each time that I cover them, you will very quickly realise that you are covereing so many of them so much that this exercise in itself will show you that you don't need to do it any more.

I have loose themes each week but am prepared to change them. For instance when the topic ourselves, we started with themselves, them the next week was their families, then how they have changed etc but it may be that they love learning about their families so much that you carry that on for 2 weeks.

Hope this all makes some kind of sense?

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I'm always wondering if the way we plan is right! We've tried many different ways. Current way is:

 

Decide on a theme(either from children's interest or based on one we've done in the past that owkred well).

 

Share ideas on sub-topics for each week / fortnight, e.g. Theme= Animals Sub-topics= Water animals, Zoo animals etc

 

Share ideas for activities linked to the sub-topic as a team.

 

Plan the main objectives to be covered each week linked to the ideas and theme (at check coverage at this point)

 

Use this as a basis for a brief weekly overview (we get together each week and look at sub-topic and objectives we planned and then share more ideas or change them as a result of AFL and/or children's interests).

 

Daily plans (which again may change from weekly overview ideas as a result of AFL and/or children's interests).

 

 

It sounds a lot but the weekly overviews and daily plans are quite brief. I'm just not sure if we're planning too much in advance - although I suppose it's still flexible and we adapt them as appropriate.

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It sounds a lot but the weekly overviews and daily plans are quite brief. I'm just not sure if we're planning too much in advance - although I suppose it's still flexible and we adapt them as appropriate.

I think (and I'm not in school, so what do I know?) that the willingness to treat plans as starting point and be willing to change and adapt them in the light of children's experiences and ideas is the key. We don't do themes or topics - so we don't have long or medium plans as we used to know them. So long as your systems work for you (and not the other way round!) then who is to say that you're not doing it right?

 

And so long as you've thought carefully about how you do things, why and how this benefits the children then you can justify your decisions to yourself - and to Mrs Ofsted if need be!

 

But then as I said - what do I know? :o

 

Maz

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello! I'm new to the forum and my mood feels lightened reading all the good advise and ideas whizzing around. I was a Year 2 teacher (the SATs Queen!!!) and am moving to Reception to add a new string to my bow, having been a Key Stage 2 teacher in the initial part of my career. I am really confused as to what planning and paperwork I need to have. As a Year 2 teacher paperwork was always essential and I now feel all at sea with a brand new curriculum. Help!!!! : :o

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Welcome to the forum - this is definitely the place to be to get the very best advice!! Just doing lots of searches and reading through past posts will give you lots of food for thought to begin with, and then you can do a new post with specific questions - I've found this site invaluable and I've been working in FS for quite some time now!

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And so long as you've thought carefully about how you do things, why and how this benefits the children then you can justify your decisions to yourself - and to Mrs Ofsted if need be!

I completely agree - really as long as you can justify the way you do things and it works for the children and they are benifitting from how things are done then go with it! I have been teaching in Reception for a few years now and no two years have been the same because all classes and cohorts are different and what works with one class wont necessarily work with another.

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This term i am also planning to do an 'ourselves' topic, and as yet, I just have ideas for activities in each area of learning that i think will be exciting and stimulating for the children. I'm planning on doing a very brief medium term plan, perhaps with a topic for each week (although obviously this can change with the interests of the children!) and maybe include 1 activity for each learning area in this plan. My weekly plan is what i am most confused about, as my school seems to want a KS1 'numeracy time' and 'literacy time' set up, when only these topics will be done. I'm not really sure how this is going to work as I would prefer to have all different areas of learning going on at the same time, and make sure all the children have accessed adult led and child initiated activities in each area of learning! Does anybody else have to have proper numeracy and literacy sessions? I also have to do KUW and CD sessions as well. Stupid I know!

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Could you manage that by making literacy and numeracy your focus teaching times with an appropriate focus activity and have the children who are not working at the focus activity, choosing within your continuous provision. (CI)? You can look at skills and direct your focuses towards these.

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