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Medium Term Planning


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Hi all I have just had a visit from my regional early years consultant and she has more or less said that we dont need to use a medium term plan anymore but I dont really understand how we decide which areas of learning we are going cover. I know that our weekley plan is meant to be child led and based on their needs but I feel that we still need a base to work from. We usually have a weekly target which is aimed at the children as a whole as well as their individual aims but should i still be planning for these or should it be completely child led.

We tried to have a brainstorm today with the children to find out what they would like to learn but the responses weren;t exactly overwhelming.Please help i am tearing my hair out and would welcome any advice.

 

Disgruntled from Dorset!

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Sometimes it does feel more secure to have a medium term plan to "hang" topics, etc onto, doesn't it? Could you maybe have a loose topic lasting anything from 1-6 weeks, and choose your aspects from the six areas of learning to best fit with these? It doesn't have to be anything other than a simple table on an A4 sheet, but it may give you the framework you need. You'll also feel that over the course of a year/two years, you have provided for all the aspects.

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When we moved away from topics for the first time we came to a sort of 'half way' house arrangement. So we had themes like "lets read about..." or "lets paint with..." and then planned activities around things we knew our children enjoyed. This helped give us a secure base from which to begin to move towards planning more around children's interests, but gave us confidence to experiment and begin to enjoy the freedom not having an all-encomassing theme or topic.

 

It will take some getting used to - but I'm sure you'll find it liberating when you do!

 

Maz

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Our LA has advised us to use a medium term plan as a time for planning for any changes and for self evaluation.

We are including plans for:

 

  • settling in new children
  • daily routines (based on children)
  • festivals and special occasions
  • curriculum coverage - what elements were missing from last term? (e.g. need more maths activities)
  • the learning environment (any physical changes. e.g need new equipment/ rotation of equipment/ change to outdoor area)
  • focus learning areas - are there gaps in children's learning/ skills that need focussing on? (e.g. speech and language/ social skills)

 

All this goes into a chart, which will be filled in every term.

 

Not sure how it will work, but will give it a try! :o

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[]

Hi

I don't think your the only Early Years practitioner that is currently tearing out hair. I know we certainly are and are finding the idea of being totally child led with no medium term planning very disconcerting. I don't see how we can provide a broad and balanced curriculum without planning. I feel it is most important to observe children and discover thier likes and dislikes but without introducing them to new and exciting activites we are doing them a great disservice. The training and advice we've been given so far seems to involve reams and reams of paper first observing on to an individual child's sheet, then putting it onto a master sheet, then producing enhanced plans for the whole class, then individual plans for children. However, we did also have one trainer come in a say that all we needed to do was change a few heading on our current system. (Her expertise was within schools). Furthermore they want us to provide individual areas both inside and out for I think around eigtht different areas , which considering I have only 16 children in a classroom rather than I hall I find impossible. If I put eight areas into the classroom I won't have any room for children. Our children are lucky enough to have free access to the outside all the time but I certainly don't feel I need to set up eight areas out there. Finally we have been provided with "Learning Journeys" to complete for each individual child which consist of 6 booklets one for CLL, PSED. etc that are purely the development matters retyped directly out of the new curriculum guidance. This to me is absolutley ridiculous especially as some of these statements are impossible to asses and the Development matters where never ever intended to be assessment points. Well I've had my rant and rave not sure that I feel much better. As a quite reserved person I do not often vent my feeling on the site but I am so fed up with this at the moment am seriously considering throwing in the towel. This despite the fact that we have recently had an "Outstanding" Ofsted Inspection. So why the .B......H........ do they want us to change everything.

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Thanks to you all for your ideas. I think the thing that I find hard to grasp is that in one breath they say there is no set rule about how we plan but then if you dont meet requirements you'll be penalised.

I am the manger of a small setting with 3 other staff 1 of which is our proprioter who makes it clear that planning is my area and she doesn't want a lot to do with it and 2 others my deputy and another staf member who is unqualified but nevertheless a very valuble team member however, lovely as they are they both struggle to get there head around the planning and observations side of things which in turn leaves the majority of responsibilty to me, hence I feel like I don't really have anyone to turn to but feel that I will be the one who gets the blame if it all goes wrong. I don't have time to plan when in my setting so end up doing it all at home in my own time for very little thanks which in turn causes arguments between myself and my husband! I'm sure i'm not the only one in this sort of situation but it's great to be able to let off steam somewhere so thanks to you all for listening.

I've finished my sob story now so you can all put your violins away.

 

JAN R i agree everything you say especially the parts about some of the statements being difficult to asses I got told off by my early years consultant for calling them stepping stones but thats what they are just worded a bit differently!

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HI,

 

We do ours a bit like Millhill - in essence we only do long and short term planning and have scrapped topics as such....

 

We ask the children and on thier learning journeys that go home for parents to fiill in decide on a very loose topic!!!! then we just have an overall view of what to cover broadly (and can be changed)each term which includes the Jolly Phonics and any other special activity or festival we are going to cover. This is very basic and on an A4 sheet displayed in the setting.

 

I feel this just helps staff members who are a little unsure what to do or plan to keep focused.

 

xD:o:(

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My advisor told me to fill in a medium term plan as we went along, therefore we would be able to see which areas had not been covered so well. But as I am focusing my planning on one area a week, in theory there shouldn't be any gaps.

 

I sat the children down on Friday and asked them what they would like to learn about or play with. One of the boys came up with 'jobs' so that is what we are going to do. They all came up with a selection of jobs which I wrote as a spider chart and this will go onto the learning wall. As the weeks go on we will add photos, pictures and anything else that can be displayed. Yesterday I planned the different areas of learning around different jobs, so we'll see how it goes. It took a while, and it may not last as long as planned, but we'll just be flexible.

 

So far so good!

 

jackie

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that sounds like a good idea so i suppose this would be similar to highlighting the areas covered on a tracker sheet and noticing gaps and areas we are not covering so much and therefore plan activities as approriate. When you say your focusing your plan on one area a week does that mean all your focused activities are focused on just this one area is that right?

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Well that's the theory of it. In fact on my weekly plan I'm only really planning one area and adding other areas to it. For example one day this week we will be doing about policemen/women. For our focused CLL we will role play stories they deal with ie directing traffic, helping people etc. But I have also planned numeracy with cars for traffic jams to do positional language, PD to chase a prisoner over, around, through cones, boxes etc. These will be set up for the children to choose if they wish and probably observed as spontaneous, but everyone will be encouraged to take part in the CLL.

Another day we will visit the school library and the librarian will tell them a story. For CLL we will write and post letters, and for CD make a story book.

That's how I'm hoping it will work but we'll have to wait and see.

Hope you can understand this!!

 

Jackie

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Well that's the theory of it. In fact on my weekly plan I'm only really planning one area and adding other areas to it. For example one day this week we will be doing about policemen/women. For our focused CLL we will role play stories they deal with ie directing traffic, helping people etc. But I have also planned numeracy with cars for traffic jams to do positional language, PD to chase a prisoner over, around, through cones, boxes etc. These will be set up for the children to choose if they wish and probably observed as spontaneous, but everyone will be encouraged to take part in the CLL.

Another day we will visit the school library and the librarian will tell them a story. For CLL we will write and post letters, and for CD make a story book.

That's how I'm hoping it will work but we'll have to wait and see.

Hope you can understand this!!

 

Jackie

Yeah i understand it sounds similar to what we do ! when you put out the things for children to choose if they wish do you do sepearate learning objectives on your planning or just add them as enhancements?? Sorry for all these questions

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I guess they're seperate learning objectives as they go under a different area to the one we are focusing on.

But as a general rule if one child chooses to do something and you get down to play then the others join in so then everyone also covers that area of learning.

I'm following the childrens interests but coming up with activities for each area which hopefully will be fun and challenging,

I'll let you know if it works!

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I've got a really detailed set of long term plans highlighting continuous provision and areas of learning. I've also got detailed short term planning. After having a long think we as a unit decided we need something to hang things loosely from as a starting point. We have 138 children in a day with very diverse needs. So, I've made up these medium term sheets which I think will act as kind of longer short term plans. I.e. if we think the children are really into superheroes, we'll take this as a starting point but with a health warning i.e. we'll still follow the children's interests and the short term planning will go from there. Hope that makes sense! The intended enhancements to play may not happen but just are there as a starting point.

Please say what you think!

Janine

x

superheroes.docx

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Hi

 

Doesn't open for me, would love to take a look, as we have planning meeting Friday and I intend to tell them all what a fab site this and how useful it's been gathering info.

I think this is a case of "too many cooks NOT spoiling the broth"

 

Bren :o

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Opens for me :o

 

 

I've tried saving it and converting it to works processor but because its in a table to throws everything out-sorry

Edited by Guest
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Hi Folkes

Just reading topic and managed to open Peggys download.

A wonderful forum as always and so much help.

We struggle constantly with planning so all these ideas are useful but it amazes me that time and again OFSTED and development advisors(mentors) tell us our planning is not right but not how to do it!

Yet we all seem to be doing it the same on this forum just a bit of personal tweaking.

Thanks to you all, :o in the world of childcare i am not alone.

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