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Hi there,

 

I know that there are loads of posts on here for planning and this may have been covered before but I cannot find the answer I'm looking for.

We have recently had an 'Early Years mentor' visit our setting and she seems happy with our environment and wants to visit us again to discuss planning but not until 5th November and we are hoping to have something in place before then.

I have compiled a yearly plan showing a new topic/theme each month and linking it to each of the development areas to ensure that they are all covered at various points of the year. I hope this is how it should be done!

However, there is still confusion over the weekly planning. Some of the staff would prefer to hold a weekly planning meeting but the term 'planning for the individual child' keeps coming up!!

We have 9 key children each who we observe on a daily basis and have compiled PLODs for each child noting their interests. However, can someone please tell me if we should plan on a daily basis?, weekly?, in our own key groups?, as a whole setting????

This is really starting to stress us out and some staff are contemplating leaving the childcare sector completely! Not me, yet!!

 

I told them all today that this was the best place to get some advice and so here I am.

 

I am sorry it's a bit long winded and hope I don't sound like a complete airhead but if anyone has any suggestions at all or even a copy of a weekly plan I would be so grateful!!

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we plan every 2 weeks... we plan as a whole group, we all sit down together and discuss what childrens interests have been, we then put activites in to meet these interests. we select different children every couple of weeks... it seems to work... making sure we cover them all... does this make sense...

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we are a 'pack away' group. Like Emma28 we have a LTP ensuring all areas covered over the year, using this as a basis for focussed activities etc.

 

But we do stuggle over daily planning, but for us it's more a point of what resoures we put out.

We cannot leave anything out..... we do have trolleys that have a certain amount of limited resources in- but we have to make the place look inviting in the first place as we haven't the luxury of wall/celing displays so unless we actually set stuff out the room would look dire.

 

I ask the children what resources they'd like out for next session, and I've managed to turn planning into an activity in itself-but unless I do it it doesn't get done this way.

 

I try to encourage all staff to each add at least one resource to the daily set up sheet that they know would interest their keychildren, but even this is like swimming in mud - with the result being they keep asking why we can't just have a toy rota and done with!!!

 

I have to add I have a couple staff members who insist we 'must get them ready for school' and I am constantly trying to reinforce the importance of play- and some days (today being one of them) I feel just walking away and letting them all get on with it!!!!!!!! One is particlary strong willed and will influence the others - it's always a case on one step foward and two steps back.

 

Anyway rant over - and I'll be following this post for inspiration on how others do it.

 

xxx

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we plan every 2 weeks... we plan as a whole group, we all sit down together and discuss what childrens interests have been, we then put activites in to meet these interests. we select different children every couple of weeks... it seems to work... making sure we cover them all... does this make sense...

 

yes I think so - I think the actual laying out of the planning sheet is one of our biggest hurdle!!

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We are also a pack away group based in three different settings but have so far managed to plan every week since term started. Planning formats were used from EYFS disc/website where it shows loads of examples of different types of planning. Your EY mentor/ LA will probably provide some formats too, though we have politely disregarded ours as they didn't work for us which our CCAT said was fine. Anyway...

We have one continuous provision sheet for each week as we have 3 settings and toy rotas so need to be organised

we have an planned opportunities sheet with a link to a 'development matters' for every session (activities are not necessarily adult-led- at present we are introducing weekly themes through role play area which has a 'development maters' link and works well)

Weekly themes are based on current interests, and each KP has one 'interests' sheet for each of their children- child's name is in middle, six areas of development boxes around name and idea is that KP fills out one box every week. These interests are then used for theming the week as I have said and for completing Continuous Provision sheet to ensure provision is suitable for children attending each session

also have a 'daily objective' sheet to complete for each session by whoever is on the planned experience- practitioner records which children interacted with experience, their responses, if the DM link was appropriate and a quick evaluation...these will be primarily used by KP for updating ongoing observations but also referred to for planning to see what children really enjoyed and what they didn't in order to plan similar future experiences

SO FAR it is going well- children have responded well to the themes as they are more motivated because based on their interests, and I think staff have seen the difference that weekly planning has made. It does have downsides though of course- parents and children do not know what is happening in advance (previously every topic and theme was noted in newsletter) but we have laminated a little poster to write on what children have done each day and the theme of the week so parents know what is going on and that their children ARE still learning! but don't get me started on that or I will be here for hours :o

I must mention though that only 2 members of staff are currently planning each week- at present it is leader and myself to make sure that these formats work, when we are confident with them we will hopefully get others staff to do planning, a pair swapping each half term. We have decided to do this as it is hard enough to arrange half termly staff meetings let alone weekly staff meetings trying to fins a time that suits everyone, which won't happen

...hope that makes sense, can try and upload some basic blank copies onto here if you would like to see more but try the EYFS cd-rom or website first as that has a good range of ideas

Becky

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...hope that makes sense, can try and upload some basic blank copies onto here if you would like to see more but try the EYFS cd-rom or website first as that has a good range of ideas

Becky

 

 

That would be great - thanks. I will look at disc again but when I showed one of their forms to a friend in another setting she said it was way too detailed and that it could be done easier!

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we plan weekly.

We have 60 kids (split between 4 of us) we each select target children for a week and observe them then feed this info onto a sheet adetailing targets what they can do,what they cant and then use this to fill our weekly plan in with activities based on this info for the following week.

We then log if they have achieved their aims and reached goals.and feed this into thier profiles.

then it all starts again the following week with another lot of children

It works for us but we have yet shown this to our Early years advisor to see what she thinks.

We also leave certain areas of our weekly activities sheet blank to inlcude childrens choice activities.

We were advised to do this and also to not have a regimented sheet of paper on wall as Ofsted prefer a sheet with lots additions,post-its,notes stuck on it to show that you are adapting for what the children want to do.

I hope that this akes sense as tring to put into words without boring the pants off people but making myself clear is hard (especially on a friday evening!!!)

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staff plan progressions for their key carer children individually but at fortnightly meetings we go through it as a team. Our indoor/outdoor planning sheets have spaces to snowball (continue / extend activities ) on and after session we go through to plan for the next day. :o

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60 children between 4 of you???!!!

 

I thought we had it bad with 9 children each!!

 

Some good ideas from all of you - I've printed off replies so far to feed back to the staff and hopefully get something that works for all of us.

 

I am so glad I found this forum as I knew I would get some great support!

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I'm in Foundation stage and we will have 60 3-5 after half term. getting around the planning format a nightmare. especially as we are only supposed to do 20% carpet time and direct teaching. can i see your plans please.

Thanks Helen

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yeh we have adapted EYFS planning to our setting and not used every format as it should but thats what EYFS is about- individual needs whether it be per child, family, and setting

i will try upload my formats- i don't have continuous provision and weekly plans on my comp so they won't be exact to what we actually use but will create a basic example for you to see...KP planning format was taken from disc though but will put up anyway to show you which one we use

had staff meeting this morning and though have only used these three formats so far it is going well an everyone understands formats although some staff have requested that on continuous provision we put the areas of development e.g. for construction what it generally relates to (did try explain that learning is not compartmentalised and everything links but it helps staff when comes to noting down interests under an area of development)

another point is that our continuous provision relates to toy rotas we have in place for each of our settings- toy rotas are used as we are unable to allow children to choose greatly what they would like out as environment and storage does not sadly allow us

thats all can think of for now as have to dash to uni, hope it helps

blank_planning_example.docx

Individual_Plan.docx

blank_continuous_planning_example.docx

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Have tried to download your individual plan but there seems to be a problem with it. It keeps making Word close. I have Windows Vista so it should be able to cope with older files.

Am interested in how your individual plans work - the one from the EYFS resources seemed a lot of work to do at once. Do you observe the child one week, then plan activities for the following week? I have 13 children in my key group so it would take a while to get through all the children in this way. I am currently doing long observations (learning journeys) for 2 children per week (as is my TA), then we plan 1 or 2 enhancements or FA to cover their interests and identified next steps. The other enhancements etc link to (loose) topic or other children's needs/interests.

 

Thanks, Green Hippo x

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Oh right, I have no idea why it isn't working sorry, I have Vista too so would have thought it had saved as recent word but never mind, i will try and upload it again for you

Anyway the individual plan takes all of 5 minutes at most to fill in, as it can be something as simple as what they have enjoyed playing with, what they have done for 'show and tell' etc- it is about interests rather than what development they need to move onto.

Yes what KP has observed child enjoying is noted down and at same time they suggest something they think child will similarly enjoy- may be same thing or moved on. For example my leader noticed boy of 2 enjoyed using motor skills and pincer grip with large puzzles so next session he was in the threading box was out which she sat down at next to boy and modelled threading large beads onto large string.

Our weekly themes generally seem to be coming from our older children who absolutely love role play along the lines of helping people so we have done fire fighters, hopsital/doctors/ambulance, police, and then rescue. However we are aware that younger/quieter children's interests will generate a theme at some point hopefully.

Other children's interests are still followed up through KP's observations. For example one of my children enjoyed dressing 'barbie' dolls so baby dolls and clothes were provided next session, followed by dressing up clothes for her another session

The most time spent is at planning meeting on a Friday afternoon- usually takes leader and I 2 hours to complete Continuous Provision and Planned Opportunities sheet which I know sounds alot but we do get slightly distracted as it is an opportunity to discuss the ongoings of the setting and of course it always stays work related! :o

At my setting there are currently 19 children on roll between 6 members of staff so maybe my plans won't work so well for you however other bigger settings I know of work as you do choosing several children per week/fortnight and per key person to focus on. If you feel that your method is working for you then I would stick to it, as it seems every area and type of setting has different guidelines, formats and advice given which I find totally confusing considering EYFS was meant to ensure more consistency across early years practice. Never mind though, I hope whatever you choose to do works and as long as it ultimately benefits the children then surely that justifies how you work

Becky

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I managed to get your individual plan to open (Vista did something clever by itself and fixed it!!) - is similar to the ones I have seen before. I like the idea but I have 13 children in my key group as has my TA so I feel that even if I had time to note something down for every child every day it would be impossible to introduce a next step for every child (does that make sense?) Does each key person add just one thing to the individual plan each or something for every area. Does the individual plan then also act as a record of significant observations?

 

What scares me/worries me is that everytime I come on the forum or read a book (just read Vicki Hutchins book) I find something that I'm not doing which leads me to consider whether I should be doing that as well. One thing I didn't want to end up doing (again) is filling out pages of boxes on planning sheets that are not useful.

It has really made me think carefully about planning - and made me realise that we have to consider what we want our planning to do and show - is it as a working document which helps us plan and organise the environment? How much are we doing just for evidence to prove to OTHERS that we can do our job? Like you said the EYFS was supposed to bring consistency in the early years and I think the fact that everyone still plans differently just shows that we need to plan differently for our settings as they are all so different (and so are we!). What seems to be consistent is our approach - planning that starts from the child, lots of obs and being flexible. So I suppose as long as there is something written down (and sometimes it's just to document our thought process!) then it shows the planning cycle.

 

Green hippo x

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  • 2 weeks later...

Many thanks for the plans, especially the individual one.

We are currently modifying our way of planning and we are now trying the following: introducing a topic or theme for the week, hopefully picking up on the children's interests (last week was easy...lots of talk about fireworks!), asking the children what we could do at school (I'm in a mixed year 1 / FS class), what they'd like to know about fireworks (for example), and including observations to plan activities. So I do a rough plan for the week in a mind map style for the areas of learning, add to this during the week and then tidy it up for the powers that be at the weekend, for which I've used this individual plan. I accompany each adult led/initiated activity with a lesson plan, more for my own use at the moment.

 

Thanks again, you have saved me soooo much time.

 

Maisie

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R.E. individual plans: KP only fills in one box a week so that the sheet lasts about a half a term. Still going well so far and weekly 'themes' have all come from interests- common or individual. Haven't discussed how the sheets will be used afterwards as focusing on SEF, EQUIP and summative assessment documents at present. In terms of next steps thats where our continuous provision sheet comes in handy, as many of the children's next steps are based around resources... The idea is to keep the next step simple as we are based across three settings, neither of which are our own and have to look like we do not exist at the end of a day, so sadly there are limitations as to how creative we can be with next steps. Of course we do try to push these boundaries as we want to provide the best for our children

going on a summative assessment course tomorrow and hoping that will provide some clarity as leader and myself are unsure how to continually document ongoing observations. We use photographs, post-it observations, the individual plans and an 'ongoing observations' sheet fed by our 'daily objective sheet' -the planned opportunity linked to a 'development matters' with a brief evaluation. how are you compiling all the 'evidence'? do you use learning journeys and if so how successful are they? we're feeling a little overwhelmed with amount of paperwork too, its ridiculous!

You're right though green hippo, but i do feel that this 'new' way of planning (i say 'new' because my setting planned half termly or even termly in advance) has made a dramatic difference to the children, particularly in terms of settling: we have had 5 new starters- 3 under threes- and all of them have settled amazingly well. One of the parents who has had 3 other children go through the same pre-school but through the old planning method wrote staff a letter to praise us working under the EYFS and thank us as she feels there has been a real difference with her 4th settling compared to her other three children and puts it down to us recognising his interests and ensuring the setting appeals with something he enjoys doing each time he arrives. To hear this from a parent who has recognised the positive difference it has made is so lovely to hear and is what I keep in the back of my mind every time I feel down and stressed about this new way of planning so keep it up everyone, I am sure it is working even if you don't necessarily feel so positive at times

Bex

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We;ve introduced a learning wall as our main area of planning. For example I sat down with the children yesterday and gave them the word 'winter' to think about. I then jot down their ideas on a post it note and put it up. We go from there. Yesterday one boy came out with snowball fights so we had lots of fun making different sized snowballs and talking about these. One girl came out with skiing and spent the whole session with her friends standing on wooden bricks skiing/skating over the tiled floor. But as others have said it's the format we struggle with.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi there i hope you dont think im a complete hairhead because i havent got a clue what a PLOD is. The planning were using is easy to read and ok ( well our improvement officer hasnt said not to use it) it works for us. im not a computer wizz but i could try and put the document on here for you. Thankyou

Edited by Beau
To remove Quote wrapped around query
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PLOD = Possible Line of Development, used for planning

Don't use them within my setting and only heard of them off of Early Learning Forum but I'm sure if you put the keywords on to the search function on here then you'd find some more detailed answers until someone else fills in the rest of the details

bex

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