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Emmawill
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I have not been on here for a while but , I thought as I need some good advice I would return!

 

We have returned back yesterday and We were all ready to implement the new planning. BUT !! today we are feeling very low and now confused as to how the hell we can fit in 60 children ! .

 

We carry out 1 focus activity each session and this and all other general observations are used at the end of the week to plan for the following(in theory) but we are now beginning to panick that we arn,t going to be able to cover every child as we have also set each child a target under each heading per term (for their profiles and showing next steps- as Liked by our recent ofsted inspector!).

Any advice or tips needed as all we can see is a large mountain.

Also how do you all plan? DOes everyone in you setting plan for the following week or is it just 1 person?

 

Waiting in anticipation for your advice!! :oxD:(:(:( :wacko: xD

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Do you have a key person system in place? Spread the load and let the key person plan for their children. Also, you don't have to do all the children all the time! Have a focus group if that works better for them and you.... we are taking our time and observing the children and their interests and won't really be developing our planning for at least a week. In the meantime we have a continuous basic provision sheet going on which should cover most outcomes and I'll try and attach our weekly planner which we put on the wall in the staffroom. As we observe a child with a particular schema or interest developing we add to the plan. Sometimes the plan only runs for a few days or a week, sometimes the children are wallowing in their current area of interest and the plan can run or develop over a few weeks..... One way of working as the EYFS is new and developing is to relax into it and see how it works for you.... I'm sure there's no right or wrong way! Enjoy the time to observe and really get to grips with what motivates your children and what learning they are busy exploring and take it from there!

EYFS_NEW_PLANNING_DOC_FOR_WALL_TO_A3.doc

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Thank you. Feel free to adapt it as you want. We already feel the headings on the left are too prescriptive and want to change them. Ideally we'd have more but its hard to fit it all in!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just wondered how they EYFS was going in the settings, i spent hours in the summer holidays getting it all up together, i have since had a visit from my early years advisor, who has told me not to fill in my planning sheets, have one adult activity then leave the rest blank, when the children arrive ask them what they want out, we have 25 children per session and cannot leave resources out over night, everything goes away... i thought we were doing great, we have planning meetings, discuss what children are interested in then choose activities linked to this, this is all colour coded on the planning so you can see what has been planned by children interest. 3/4 of the planning sheet is childrens interest but apprently we are not giving them choice, if children want something out we get it and write this on the planning sheet..... just wondered how others were doing...

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we have a weekly sheet that it put up on the wall detailing activities out and then amend when the children get differnet things out.

We also have a sheet to which we attach posr it notes of observations and a list of the weeks keyworker target children.

At the end of the week all notes/obs are used to plan activities for the following week.

I don.t know if we are doing enough or not enough the whole thing really annoys me as I wish there was consistancy within every setting so we all knew where we are!!!!!!!

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I think its important to remember that lots of people are putting new systems into place and these take time, time to get used to; time to reflect upon; time to embed. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to take this time (lovely word I heard recently...slowliness..). Rome wasn't built in a day and, just like our children, we are on a journey too. Sometiems there are down hills, whgere things happen very quickly; sometiems there are uphills (such as now for many people) where we struggle, slow down and never feel we get to the top; sometimes there are flat bits where we consolidate what we are doing; reflect and tweak.

 

There cant be conisistency between every setting beacuse we are all different, our children are all different, so are our experiences, knowledge, location etc etc, and planning, however we choose to do it, must be owned by us for us and our chidlren. Personally I dont believe in a one size fits all off the shelf model, but thats just my view.

 

Simcity, I wondered what you meant by saying that aparently you arent giving the children choice, was this something your advisory teacher said? is it beacuse what she really meant was the children cant self select because they have to ask if they want something? Is that an issue for you because you have t pack away every day?

 

 

Emmawill, good advice from LJW there, if the sytem you have in place is unmanageable then change it. Its always better to plan as a team if you are able to but this isnt always possible with shift patterns or access to rooms. What does matter is that if planning is left down to one person that everyone else can contribute in some way by making notes/observations/keeping a book; or by havng next weeks planning sheet avilable for staff to jot down their ideas as they go.

 

Does that all make sense?

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Hi

We have free choice trolleys which we push in and out everyday, but we also put a box of something on th mat which children can play with or put this away and get out something else, we then have an adult led activity on another table, a table for painting, snad/water, homecorner and another table for children to put on what they wanted.... she said it was too adult led... we should just have one adult led table and leave everything else blank.... but children enjoy the sand/water/painting etc and this is something we need to set up before they come in.....they have free choice as they can take what they like out of the trolleys, if children do this we write it on the planning sheet so it is recorded... i thought we were doing fine...

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i thought we were doing fine...

It sounds to me that you are doing fine, simcity! I completely understand the limitations of having to pack away everyday, but by providing self-selection trolleys you are overcoming this barrier nicely. You are also providing children with the opportunity to decide what they want to put on a designated table - and as you say some activities must be set up before the children arrive.

 

I can see what she's saying to a certain extent - but it doesn't sound like she has inspired you to look at 'tweaking' a few things to increase children's autonomy: rather she has deflated you so you can't see the good bits of your practice. There are really quick and easy ways of enabling children to make choices about their play: whether offering different shapes of paper to paint on, or a range of resources to play with in the sand and water - do you have equiment for these activities in a trolley for the children to choose from? If not, then its an easy thing to do, and if you do it already then I think your adult-planned activities are pretty much as child-led as they can be.

 

If your cupboard is anything like mine, then it isn't safe for children to wander in and choose their own play resources, and having to ask an adult to go and get something is a big barrier to encouraging children to develop independence.

 

Don't be too hard on yourself: you're doing a good job in letting the children take the lead given the limitations of your environment - and also you're noting what they do when they are making their own choices. It all sounds good to me!

 

Maz

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Hi thought I would chip in! We are in a similar situation we plan week to week , taking into account the children's interests. However we can not invite the children in that morning and say what would you like out today? Our cupboard is a nightmare and a danger to unpack and load while the children are there!

 

We therefore have a selection of activities around the hall, if the children want something different they ask and if possible we attempt to get it out. Our key person's plan for the individual child and myself and the Asst plan based on general observations that week. We have quite elaborate role play areas set out which do evoke great 'play' and make fascinating watching.

 

Our area EYFS lady said that we don't have enough free choice as in lots of trolleys and do forth scattered around the hall, but I explained that we do not have storage facilities to put these trolleys at the end of the day. She then proceeded to try and tell us how to change the cupboard! which we fit our whole pre-school into! We are due an OFSTED inspection any day, part of me can't wait just so I can see if what we are doing is ok. The last inspection we had outstanding in 3 areas, so I am hoping that we can't be that bad!

 

Lisax

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Thanks Maz... i think we are doing fine... we do have a trolley for the water and sand toys which is placed next to it, we have a free choice art trolley with draws filled with card, tissue paper , scissors, glue sticks etc... which is all on wheels... i feel we do offer free choice... sometimes these early years advisors just make my blood boil... maybe they need to go back to basics and work in a setting and experience it for themselves.... sorry moan over but my staff were quite inspired until her visit then she seems to have knocked the spark out of them ...

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Hi

We have free choice trolleys which we push in and out everyday, but we also put a box of something on th mat which children can play with or put this away and get out something else, we then have an adult led activity on another table, a table for painting, snad/water, homecorner and another table for children to put on what they wanted.... she said it was too adult led... we should just have one adult led table and leave everything else blank.... but children enjoy the sand/water/painting etc and this is something we need to set up before they come in.....they have free choice as they can take what they like out of the trolleys, if children do this we write it on the planning sheet so it is recorded... i thought we were doing fine...

 

Hi simcity, you sound like you are doing a great job. My team and I are in the same situation, unpack, pack up etc. We set up activities each day on tables and mats and have free choice trolleys available for the children. It would be nice to have a few more trolleys to offer more choice but money is tight at the moment so we make do. I have stopped worrying about whether we are doing everything right or wrong, I am just concentrating on the children. ARe they happy? Do they want to come to school? Are they comfortable enough with you to come and ask you for things they need (and I just don't mean resources)? Are they learning and developing new skills? Are they making friends and learning new social skills? I think the EYFS is good and I think it will be even better when we start to feel confident again in what we are doing.

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Hi again Simcity, thanks for explaining your set up, it does seem like you are managing free choice/self selection very well, I was trying to think what your adviser could have meant but I could nly hazard a guess. Do you have a good enough relationship with her to be able to give her a call and ask for some further advice as to what she meant and what else you can do that you aren't doing already.

 

It is a shame when you have bad experiences, asyou say they can be very deflating for you and your staff. Mrsw is so right in that confidence will build as we become mroe secure with working witht eh EYFS. Be confident in what you do well and that will give you the strength to tackel those things that may be trickier...

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very good LJW - have printed out... xD

 

Simcity - we are exactly in the same boat as you and my advisor is coming in tomorrow!!!! - cant wait to see what she picks me up on this term - last term she didnt visit as we had just had Ofsted and got an outstanding!!!!!! :(

 

sounds like you are doing the best you can - and thats all we can do in settings that we have to pack away each day! :o

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we do simular 45 children in total with 5 members of staff (2pt time 3 full time) it would be impossible to plan, assess and observe for every child.

 

we observe all children using sticky labels, white board etc (incedental notes) each keyperson then writes a breif description on what they have done and then gives each child a target for the following week. some children only come 2hrs a week so it is difficult to do any more than this. we send home an all about me sheet termly for all children to see what they are interested in at the moment.

 

example of observation - billy settled really quickly this week. he enjoyed playing with the trains and was interested in trying to snip with the scissors.

 

next steps - help billy to cut with scissors use pictures of trains.

 

this will go in the keypersons folder.

 

we will also do photos etc to go in their learning journals

 

for our pre school children currently 17 children 3 keyworkers (most experienced staff) will each have a focus child for one week I anticipate over a year each child will then be observed once a term.

 

we send home a all about me sheet to see what they like at the moment. we then plan for the following week observations based on the eyfs areas of learning. they will be observed that week closely through activities related to their interests. at the end of the week we evaluate them.

 

hope this makes sense and it is real minimum. I am still to work out how to track what each child is doing without involving much more paperwork.

 

 

angela

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Thanks Maz... i think we are doing fine... we do have a trolley for the water and sand toys which is placed next to it, we have a free choice art trolley with draws filled with card, tissue paper , scissors, glue sticks etc... which is all on wheels... i feel we do offer free choice... sometimes these early years advisors just make my blood boil... maybe they need to go back to basics and work in a setting and experience it for themselves.... sorry moan over but my staff were quite inspired until her visit then she seems to have knocked the spark out of them ...

 

Our situation was very much like yours. My lovely and able assistant did a wonderful job of taking photographs of all our resources and displaying them in a folder in a very child friendly way. This folder was always accessible so that children could look through it and let us know what they would like out next session. :o

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Our situation was very much like yours. My lovely and able assistant did a wonderful job of taking photographs of all our resources and displaying them in a folder in a very child friendly way. This folder was always accessible so that children could look through it and let us know what they would like out next session. :o

 

what a great idea! I could do with a folder like yours, not just for the children but to remind myself what's at the back of the cupboard!!!

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