Jump to content
About Us

Is There A Right Or Wrong Way?


Recommended Posts

I apologise now before i get started!!! As I read through the many helpful comments on here about the EYFS I start doubting the way I have decided to work......there seems so much paperwork to get done and little time to do it.


I think my weekly planning is ok....it works for us, I have no medium and I have long term planning.

Key persons groups are set up and each child has a folder waiting for them to start building up their own profile...these will contain photographs, work and comments from parents/staff and show how all this relates to the EYFS. I have noticed that there is quite an emthasis on parent involvement.....so far we have open evenings, parents rota, regular news letters and we are going to introduce a learning journey review sheet to send home at the end of every term. What else should we be doing?


Please clarify some of these points for me:

I've also noticed that some people still talk about topics/themes......my understanding is that you don't have these anymore and provide activities/opportunities being led from the childrens interests.

How many adult focused activities will you do and will these be from children's interests?


How will you work your key persons groups?


When will you get chance to update childrens files?


I'm sure there are a million more questions to ask but these will do for starters! :(

:(:oxD :wacko: :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

looks like you have everything in hand.. we have done much the same stuff


No medium plans needed, or topics although some find it easier to plan using them, we use what we call mini topics, to provoke the children into thinking and then follow their lead as to where it goes, ... or introduce one around their lead.. extending what they know.

We do introduce a topic where there does not seem to be a specific lead from the children or it gets so repetitive we feel it needs diversifying.. we found that we were covering the same all the time despite trying to move them on as they kept returning to the same thing all the time.. how many times can you do Rapunzel in how many ways? After 5 weeks going round in circles.. believe me staff tried to move it on.. we decided a topic was needed to break the cycle.. it worked..


Adult focus.. we plan one a day with the key person planning it from the observations they take over the week. This works for us as we are all experienced staff. It can be either from the children's interests to extend them or else adult initiated where a gap is noticed or the children need a particular areas strengthened. It is done in discussion ( usually when putting out or away!) and planned 1 week for the following one. If it takes off into another direction then it will be carried over several days.. and followed through by other staff. we are lucky in that we communicate well and adapt very quickly, actually enjoying it as we are always kept on out toes!


Key persons groups.. with staff and children part time and never always in with the children we all work together, parent has one person to contact but otherwise the children are with potentially a different key person several times in a week.. Children having just one key person just will not work for us. we have been working this way for a long time now. Key person is responsible for keeping obs books and liaise with parent , we don't have key person 'work groups'


All staff do obs over the week for all the children... put it into a relevant key person file for staff to use to update files.


Time to update files... yeh.. committe will pay 1 hour each week to all staff for non contact time.. to be done in the group and the recording to be done then.. some with the child , eg scrap books of 'work' etc and we have a development file with the obs and next steps etc , photos etc etc. Child can help if they feel it appropriate. we ahve found that 1 hour a week we can keep up to 6 files up to date, as it only takes a few moments when done regularly. ( I found that i could manage 8 childrens books in that time well)


we have tried this last term and it worked for us..


Not saying it will next term though with new children....



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Mrs b.


I too have felt overwhelmed when reading the posts on this site......


I thought I was doing a decent job........... just had an ofsted that was all goods and outstandings............. but that was for the private bit of the nursery provision so now I am stressing about the LA nursery bit being inspected and looked at against a different criteria now that the EYFS is actually here..........


I am also worried that despite three tons of paper work we won't have time before we get inspected to actually see what does and doesn't work for us!!


So topics......... I think they are still a good place to start.

We have some children who will stay with us and not move to reception this Sep so we have talked to them and used them and their interests to decide what we wanted to start out with in September (DINOSAURS!!)


We generally do not do a different topic then after half term because we build with the topic slowly and make our role play areas etc with the children and their thoughts............ and continually add into the mix


In the past we would throw in a mini topic if it seemed we needed more excitement!!!!!!!!!!!!


Since coming on here I have been gathering such brilliant resources and so I feel we can head into Sep with the continuous provision indoors and outdoors, covered (paperwork, planning wise) and therefore the enhanced provision of in this case dinosaurs, can happen to suit the children..... we will also be having new ones start so will expect this to be a slow process.


As we get to know our children we can then see what our new friends bring to the mix... what they are interested in.


As for the learning journey diaries I have bought pocket display books to add anotated photos, childrens work etc.

I have wondered when I will get time to put those together!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope to send ours home regularly to share with the parents.


In our setting there is myself and a teacher in the LA provision in the morning so she is classed as the key worker for all the morning children!


In our afternoon provision there is myself and another NNEB. We can share the key worker role apparently........ but with only 2 staff I am not sure it is as important as when there are lots of staff coming and going, part time full time this day that day etc.


Our parents will talk to and pass on info to either of us I suppose we could split the group though to make sure one of us doesn't get totally bogged down in paperwork!!!!!!!!!!!


As for observations............some children stay all day so we are going full throttle into post its which will be different colours for morning and afternoon children so that staff can see which are going to be needed by who.


Again we will need to see exactly how that turns out!!


I hope I have helped?


This site is totally amazing though and I am sure someone will enlighten further you needs be!! Or maybe someone will offer up some better ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You know I forgot entirely here to say you must do what suits you and your setting.......... don't get swayed by an idea if you know for sure the one thats in place now works!!!!!!!!!!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mrsb


Can I just ask what does your Learning Journey review sheet look like? I am keen to do this and would be greatful if you could share the review sheet.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



You sound like what you are doing with/for parents is great!


I would say do what you want with Topics/themes - we don't but I know some still do.


Focus activities - one a day, in a context informed by children's interests.


KW groups - two short times, am and pm - when specific needs are addressed.


Our staff are, wherever possible, given time out once a week to update files, although (Daycare) the Teacher does most of the developmental record keeping, with input from keyworkers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Hi Guys,


I'm new to the forum and have founds some fantastic ideas already so thanks to you all.


I just want to get something off my chest and find out if we are gonna get slated in an ofsted inspection! Advice please people...hahaha.


I work in a daycare setting within a children's centre and we have children aged Birth to four year old. (Most children are 2 yrs and below). We have a vaiety of different children from very different backgrounds attend the setting.


At the introduction of EYFS we begin to focus our planning around the children's interests we found this extremely difficult and would only get ideas/interests from the same 3 or 4 (older children.)

Following this we decided to go back to topic based planning and find this works much much better. Our observations have depth and meaning, children appear to be more settled and are thriving in the setting.

I am concerned that OFSTED will pull us up on this but surely, it is in our children's best interests to work this way and why should someone who hasnt even set foot in our setting decide which is the best way for us to work.


Thanks xxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Forum, ashleigh1983


You make a very valid point, I think - but I would have thought that if you can prove to Ofsted's satisfaction that you have made a principled decision about the way you do things, then that should be ok. If what you do is working well for your group and the children you care for, and you can show that you've researched it well then surely they can't mark you down for it. It would be very unfair, whatever the Inspector's personal viewpoint.


What an interesting first post - keep them coming, won't you!?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ashleigh and welcome.


I almost think the 'we cant do topics or themes' is becoming one of those EYFS myths.


Im happy to be corrected but I don't think the EYFS says anywhere...thou shall not do any topics at all, ever...


Its about what you do with them, about being flexible, about being able to acknowledge that if you begin a theme because you think children WILL be interested in it, and they're not, you change it. Its about NOT bringing out last years planning because 'we always do this topic in October' or about saying we must do this and this because we always do.

Sometimes we DO introduce children to new things, new ideas, because otherwsie they may never get that experience (how many of us work with chidlren for example wh think milk comes from tesco's, or have never been for a walk in the park, never been on a bus etc), sometiems we make those professional judgments and decisions about what wewould like our children to do and experience.


I thnk the main thing is that if you do have themes, you dont let them straitjacket you, you are flexible, be preapred to go off in a new direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum Ashleigh!


I too would say that you have certainly thoroughly thought through (sorry about that!) the approach you are going to take to planning and can justify that approach in terms of effectively promoting the children's learning and development. As Mundia says, nowhere in the EYFS framework does it say that you can't use topics as a starting point - flexibility and responding to the children's needs and interests within that approach is the key!


It sounds fine to me! :o

Edited by Wolfie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome from me too Ashleigh. Planning from children's interests isn't just about taking the things they are talking about (such as trains, superheroes etc) and then planning around a topic. Sometimes you can observe how a child is playing and use this to feed into your planning. Do you know very much about schemas at all? Perhaps this is an area you can focus on with the other staff to see if you can pick up on much more from all the children. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I have been reading through this gr8 discussion hoping that it will point me in the right direction. We had a visit from our early years adviser today. She wanted to see my Medium term planning! I told her that i was under the impression we didnt need to have a MTP any more. I have a long term plan and lots of short term plans which have been gathered together by looking at the children's interests. She insisted i still need a medium Focus , something very broad that We can spin off from.


This Plan needs to have links to the 6 areas of learning and the commitments. I am struggling to devise a form where this information can be easily looked at and understood by all staff. She told me to look at the EYFS disk there is a FOCI sheet , but to be honest i think its toot!. DOes any one have any suggestions?



Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)