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Guest colechin

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Guest colechin

I wanted to attach my new planning to see if I am doing it correctly. I know everyone has different ways but it was a general feel from you I wanted ie: its fine! or your missing this out!


The planning is for this week. I am really struggling with the Adult Focused Learning. This is an idea of what we do each week. All staff have post-it notes which they write on daily. We take nearly 200 photos weekly which go into the childrens profile books and also into a Home/Nursery diary - this goes home weekly. The parents get to look at the profile books each term at parents evening. We also do 2 detailed observations for each child termly.


I have a meeting every Thursday with my staff to discuss every child - concerns, interests which then feed in to the planning for the following week.


One question do I need to do a Adult Focused Ob each week.

If so what am I doing wrong on my sheet or leaving out.


If anybody could come back to me that would be great.


Thank you in advance.


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Looks REALLY detailed - how long does this take to do?


Where are you offering opportunities for Child Initiated activities - or does this come under children's choice? OR are you interpreting children's choice as the areas of provision they decide to use without direction from an adult?


Where you specify certain resources - such as 'lego' for construction, do you then put away all other resources such as train track and knex, so children have only lego as a choice?


Remember that all adults can do focus observations, not just the teacher or leader, otherwise you will never have enough time to get around all children! I make sure that we do a focus obs on each child once a week - shared between the adults. As long as I, as the teacher, set out what I want staff to observe and how to record what they see, then it doesn't really matter who does observations. We discuss these any way to make sure we all know what we meant at the time of observing - this also helps to develop staff knowledge and understanding of the observation process.


Hope this helps! Jenni

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My first reaction is that this is incredibly detailed - and I'm wondering how long it all takes to plan! You include a lot of detail about children's individual needs and your inclusion of the development matters statements from the relevant age bands clearly show the kinds of experiences you want the children to have.


It sounds as if you do a lot of observing already, and there is a lot of discussion about the staff team about individual children, what their needs are and how you can support their development and learning. That is an incredible amount of photos to take each week - and your parents are obviously kept up to date about what their children are doing and can offer comments or information to support your planning.


I'm a little confused by the terminology you use - you talk about doing two detailed observations on each child each term, and then you talk about whether you need to do an adult focused observation each week. Are these the same kind of observations or are you just wondering whether you do enough? Perhaps you should ask yourself what extra information you would gather by doing an adult focused observation each week and how it would help you support the children's learning? The answers to these questions might give you the answer you're looking for.


Can I also ask how many children you have and how many staff? Who is responsible for completing the planning paperwork? I'm also interested that you change the activities on offer each day - what is the rationale behind this (and do you have to set up every day?).


Sorry - I know that is a lot of questions to answer but I'm just trying to see how you make it all fit together. However, I'd say your observation, planning and assessment systems are very comprehensive indeed!



Edited by HappyMaz
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hi , just wanted to say I am on my own and I couldn't possibly change each messy activity everyday. If I have shaving foam out I might add to it and then the 2nd day put some colour into to change it. Last week I did a tray with compost and minibeasts and my class showed little interest, they looked at it and had a little play this week they loved it and lots of lovely voc and discussion. what i mean by that is i think children sometimes need more than one day to explore....... good luck

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Guest colechin

Hi everyone for coming back to me regarding my post. Very interesting and has got me thinking about a lot of things.


Jennim - Although I have construction planned (Lego) all the children are able to help themselves to other activities from the contruction area if not interested in this planned activity. Like wise with the other areas in the Nursery. This I feel is child initiated. Also if the children can not find something or don't know want they want to play with, I have a children choice book which is out during the session which they can look through and see all the activities set up, which we have to offer and they can pick from these, but they will then be in charge of putting the activitiy away if they change their mind later and want to move on to another activity.


Hali - We do go through a lot of ink cartridges at home, but Nursery doesn't get charged for them.


Happymaz - We have a 2 hour meeting each week and discuss each child and look at the obs taken. From then we decide the planning and which children it is targeted towards. For example some children were playing fantasy role play. Catching Dragons and locking them up, also some were Knights and Princesses. So this week we have planned around this theme.


The 2 obs per child, per term are 10/15min ones. Which we following them around and write eveything the child does, says and is seen doing. Then we write it up have a meeting with the parents and look at either possible lines to supportt/extend/develop the child's learning.


Post-its are done by every member of staff and they write anything down about any child they see, who may of achieved something for the first time, needs help, done something special - really anything they thing is of interest for that child's keyworker who will then decide if the obs is relevant.


While typing this up, I feel that we don't need to do a Adult Focused ob each week, as we are getting a lot of information about the children anyway.


We have 17 children who are over 3, who attend 5 morning sessions each week with 3 members of staff. We now take under 3's in the afternoon. We currently have 7 children to 3 members of staff but, from January we will have 14 children. The afternoon children all attend 3 afternoons.


I myself go away and put the planning together after the staff meeting. Each keyworker has a daily evaluation sheet which they fill in at the end of each session. Evaluating the planned/unplanned play and what could be done next time. These forms are also looked at during the planning meeting.


We do have our own premises, which is a one room protacabin. Which I clean at the end of each session and set up for the next one.


Ger - Yes, your right about doing a different messy play each session. I should concentrate on one and each session add to it and see what the childen also come up with. I did do this last week with Sand. Sand one day with glitter, them with rice and lentils, another day with food colouring and then with different smells. The children then added scoops, cars, animals and so on. I will stick to one messy item for the whole week.


I know this is a long response, but hopefully I will be able to take your ideas and guidance away and shorten my time spent doing my planning and also cut mine and the staff's work load down.


Thank you for reading

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I would personally link the childs need to make name tags, not with a literacy goal of 'mark making', but with a PSE goal of sense of belonging. I'm not sure how staff can know if each child has worked towards or met so many developmental matters statements (over 14 in one week). Do you use continuous provision sheets, displayed around the setting? this would certanly reduce the need to re-write developmental matters statements in such detail on your planning sheet, plus also leaves the children the flexibility to meet their own learning goals.


I used to have a blank sheet of paper with 'play areas' in left side column, day of the week at the top, and the staff would write in want next steps learning they noted a child was following/interested in, with initials. In a sense the next weeks plans were created as the week progressed.


How do you decide the 2 developmental matters statements per area? Do you discuss what learning may take place from the childrens interests, ie: Heroes - the children are basing their play on exploring roles, rules, feelings, group dynamics, place in the group etc, or decide this is an opportunity to introduce / impose mark making or creativity by designing crests?

What are the children learning? Thoughts / actions in their play that can be repeated or built upon, compared to adults trying to fit the interests to the adults learning criteria as dfined by the DM statements.



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Guest colechin

Thank you Peggy for your reply, although It has made me feel a little bit less confident in what I'm doing, but this is why I have asked the forum for advice so I can get it right.


Firstly the name tags - Parents asked if they could have their child's name printed so they could have it up at home to help their child recognise it. As it was a parent asking I will organise this.


We do have continuous planning sheets, displayed around the setting, but I still have to prompt staff to look at them.


I was informed at the start of the summer holidays from my Early Years Adviser that we should be meeting one stepping stone from each of the areas of learning for each age group. This is why we have one from the 22-36, 30-50 and 40-60 groups.


At our planning meeting we look at what the children have been doing or are interest in and we then look for stepping stones which we feel we could cover. It may be that we may not cover some of the stepping stones that we have planned for and end up covering other ones.


Would you advise that I do not need a focused ob for the week? Please advise

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