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Learning Intentions


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Hi everyone,

This is my first post for a while (and first ever in this section - had year off on maternity leave, recently moved schools and have moved from reception to nursery!

I teach in a nursery which is part of a school. There's me and a NN to 25 children.

 

I have changed the previous teacher's planning so that I am now planning 2-3 weekly mini-topics where I list possible teacher-led activities and possible enhancements. I also include learning intentions for the 6 areas of learning which are informed by our recent observations. I then plan weekly taking into account the children's interests and needs from observations (changing learning intentions/activities as appropriate). Some enhancements/activities are topic related, some follow children's interests (we make sure that we plan something specific (enhancement/focused activity) for the 4 children that we have done long observations on the week before). Plans change daily to follow children's needs/interests.

 

I have also started doing a separate room planner to show what will be out in each provision area (including outdoors). My question is do we need learning intentions for each enhancement in each area? My advisory teacher said that we should, however, from my experience and what I have seen on here and on the EYFS website planning examples, these are not needed on your weekly/daily plan of provision? I do have comprehensive long term planners for each provision area which state possible learning intentions. For the last couple of weeks I have included learning intentions for each provision area and it has taken me ages to plan. I do state the learning intentions for my teacher-led activities on a separate plan.

How do others' show the learning intentions for the enhancements? Or do you have learning intentions for each area of learning for the week? I want to encourage child-initiated learning and feel that stating a learning intention for each provision area can only narrow the possible learning? But I also feel that there should be some evidence of linking planning with the next steps identified from the previous day/week?

HELP!

 

A couple of other quick questions -

1. should I be doing a story-time everyday? (I currently have 1 large group-time per day where we do story-time/singing/number songs/circle-time/R.E)

 

2. How often should we be doing letters and sounds teacher-led activities?

 

I am sorry for being so long-winded, I hope it all makes sense.

Thanks

green hippo

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Hi green hippo, welcome back, congratulations on having your baby and your new job. :o

 

I'm not school experienced but what you've described that you do sounds ok to me. Continuous provision sheets show 'possible learning outcomes and as you say if you plan specific learning outcomes for every area every week this could divert from child initiated learning.

 

Your plans for the 4 children observed in the previous week show that you are linking planning with the next steps doesn't it?

Also the fact that you are planing for childrens interest. Curiosity / interest is the first step to a learning intention isn't it?

 

However your advisory teacher says otherwise, do you have to follow her advice? Not sure of the dynamics of Advisory teachers within schools.

 

I think planning is a continuum, a cycle of reflection and what works for you and your children will remain on a certain track, as you have already laid down,( child centred with some adult led) but will meander at different times of the year, week, day according to childrens needs. xD (Clear as mud eh?)

 

I'm sure a much more experienced person will be along soon to help.

 

Peggy

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I am not sure about the bulk of your post.........

but I just wanted to say that I am in a nursery attached to a school

and we have what appears to be pages and pages of continuous learning provision sheets

at the front of the planning folder.

I think they are there for anyone to access so that they can see we know about and provide continous provision

 

It would seem a waste of time to write that out with each lot of planning.

 

I also wonder you said about what you plan, do you plan with your staff?

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Hi,

thanks for the replies so far.

Peggy - my planning for the 4 children is included as part of my weekly and daily planning - we use my own variation of the learning journey from the EYFS website. So, we do a long observation and a few short observations on the 4 children then plan 1 next step e.g. last weeks observation showed that child A is still reluctant to interact with other children so we have planned a tuff spot activity with wet sand and vehicles to make tracks in the sand (he loves playing with small world cars), - an activity for 2-3 children that he will hopefully enjoy and be encouraged to talk about with 1 or 2 children. Currently we don't plan every activity around these 4 children just 1 specific thing each. I know that some people do individual plans and plan most of the activities/enhancements around these children but we feel this would work better for us as we have 13/12 children each in our key groups. Does this still sound ok?

Therefore, if I want to include a learning intention for these children in would have to go on the room planner for that area unless it is a teacher-led activity.

 

Scarlettangel - I have about half an hour to discuss planning for the next week with my NN, however, we talk all the time about what we have seen, what we could do next. Then I jot some ideas down and see what she thinks. Then, I finish planning at the weekend - this usually ends up being 8-11pm on a Saturday night while husband at pub/playing on computer etc and little boy in bed! This is the reason why I'm getting frustrated with it taking so long.

 

Is it enough to write down your evaluations and nexts steps to show how you are linking obs with planning?

 

Please help!

 

Thanks

green hippo

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Hi all,

Sorry to plead but is there anyone else out there who can offer there advice? Maybe my first post was a bit confusing?

Basically I need to know where you include learning intentions on your planning e.g. only on focused sheet/on room planner etc? And in what form they are recorded e.g. one for each area of learning/one for each activity or enhancement?

 

If anyone could offer advice on my original letters and sounds and story-time questions that would also be very helpful.

 

Thanks for your time, sorry to have to ask again - I just can't stop thinking about work at the moment!

 

green hippo x

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Hello Green Hippo,

I can tell you what we do but I'm in a pre-school setting not a school.

I have one focused activity per week with any possible learning intentions on these sheets, each of these activities are in a different area of learning each week so over a half term we will have covered (as long as we have a six week one) each area. I do have a weekly planning sheet but dont have any leaning intentions on these.

 

We aren't doing a group story time at the moment as most of ours just cannot do any large roup ativities unless it involves songs or action rhymes. So any stories are in small (max 6) grouos if we come together as a whole group then it's just for singing (evn then it can only be for a couple) and dancing/movement- which they love.

Not sure if this is of any help, but let me know if you need more infor.

Planning seems to be the bane of our lives doesnt it??

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Thanks Lynne,

Totally agree - planning is the bain of our lives! You think you've got it sussed then someone says something or you read something that makes you want to change everything!

 

Thanks for your reply - you only have learning intentions on your teacher led activities? Not for your enhancements? Do you plan story-time/group-time specifically or just note the book/activity which you will be doing? Currently I plan my story and group-times with learning intentions however again these are often intentions from my long term planner for daily routines. The only thing I think that should possibly be planning separately is letters and sounds?

 

Thanks,

green hippo

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Hi green hippo, first of all don't worry too much as what you are doing seems fine to me. There are many different ways of doing things with the EYFS. I do remember being taken to task about not having a learning intention for every activity available on any one day, sometimes it is very difficult in a school where you may have many non FS staff. If an activiy is self accessed and independent you cant actually know what the chidren will learn from it and so continuous provision may show possible learning outcomes. I only ever had specific learning intentions for my adult directed actvities.

 

I do think story time should feature every day, but it can be in small groups (eg key person groups) rather than all 25 children, and it doesnt have to be long if the children are still settling.

 

I also planned letters and sounds a couple of times a week rather than every day, but incorporated many things into daily routines eg rhythm and rhyme, listening to sounds, voice sounds etc.

 

Hope that helps.

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Sorry to ask more questions Mundia but (just to get this clear) you only 'wrote down' learning intentions for focused activities on your planning. No learning intentions on plan for enhancements in continuous provision - you let the long term planners cover these?

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Yes green hippo that is what I meant, I don't think you can state what a child will learn if it is self chosen and independent, only what they may learn, and once you define the outcome, it is no longer the child's agenda but yours, and so is no longer 'free' play. I hope that makes sense, I have to admit to being a bit tired this evening so apologies if I'm not making sense to you.

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Thanks Mundia

What you wrote before makes perfect sense - just checking that I understood it correctly as am tired also! It's a long half term this time!

Meant to say before - I think we should do story-time everyday but was weary of stopping and starting the children too much during their child-initiated free play. I hate it when a child becomes upset because they really wanted to finish something or are really engrossed. I suppose it's just playing it by ear (and eyes!) and see if it's a good time to have a break.

Was considering doing a story/circle-time/together time first thing but not sure how to work this. I feel that we (myself and NN) should be both available to greet children and talk to parents but then this means children will begin free-play just for us to stop then 5-10 mins in for group-time? At the moment we don't do a formal register just sometimes gather if I want to start with a story or share something special etc. What are your feelings on this? (question open to all of course!) I think it would be nice to talk with the children at the beginning of the session about what's available, what they would like to be available, their ideas, what we did yesterday etc?

 

Any ideas gratefully received?

Green hippo x

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I always preferred my start to the day to be child led, rather than have children sitting n the carpet waiting for late comers and for me if I needed to talk to a parent. It wasnt popular with my Head however who thought if parents wanted to talk to you they had to make an appointment. I would certainly thin about looking at your timetable if you are stop/starting a lot. Are yur children full time as you didnt mention the afternoons?

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Thanks for your reply Mundia,

We only have a morning nursery 8.45-11.15am. Some children stay for their lunch then go home, some children also stay in the afternoon for 'child-care'. I only work in the mornings - having said that I don't often go home before 12.30pm, and often work during the afternoons while by son is sleeping!

We are not stop-start at the moment as I tend to only bring them together for a story/song etc at the end of the session after tidy-up time. Sometimes, as I said before, I might start with a story but this is occasional. We do have to fit prayers in as well at some time during the morning. My FS co-ordinator has also mentioned trying to do 3 stories a day (like the 5 a day for the whole school) so I'm trying to find ways of fitting maybe at least 2 in a day? So many things to think about and fit in. It's so hard when I don't want to be breaking their periods of play up. Was thinking of maybe stopping around 9.30am before children get opportunity to play outdoors? Do you think 45 mins is long enough as a period of play?

 

Would also be interested in anyone's advice as to how they arrange their outdoor time when there is only 2 adults and the playground can't be seen from the classroom? Am reluctant to have 1 in, 1 out all morning as I feel that sometime when 1 is doing a focused activity, the other person needs to be around to deal with various problems etc so that the person doing the focused activity can really 'focus'!? Obviously this isn't such a problem if FA is outside. Currently I try to offer 45mins to 1 hour of outside choice time?

 

Thanks

green hippo. x

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Hi Cait, thanks also for your reply. Putting in the area of learning would certainly be quicker and still give some indication of the learning that I had 'planned for'. My real concern I suppose is showing somewhere on my plan how my observations are linked to planning - showing the next step somehow. I evaluate each day and write down intended next steps but is that enough?

 

Thanks, green hippo

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