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Planning For Eyfs: A Beginner's Guide Please!


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Hi all, I'm brand new to this forum, and after some help if you don't mind!

 

Here's the situation - I've just started as chair of the committee for our village pre school. I'm actually a qualified teacher (3-8 years) but haven't taught that age range for a while and don't teach young children anymore. I want to help out our leader with her planning, and she's happy to get the help. But I'm very confused about how and what you're meant to do these days for early years.

 

Could someone let me know:

 

- What is meant by 'continuous provision'?

- How you're meant to balance 'planning' (i.e. for future activities) with the idea of following each child's own interests?

- Whether it's okay or to use themes and topics like we did in the old days?

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Sue.

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Ok here goes- All settings are different so you need to do what works for you.

We are still using termly topics to focus a few adult led activities but they can drift off course folowing children's lead. We like to keep the topics to help cover areas of KUW.

Continuous provision is basically long term planning- All the activities that are out most days- puzzles, playdough, physical, painting/drawing, small world, role play etc.

Just ensure you have a good supply of stimulating activities out and see where things lead from how the children play- eg adapt role play area to however it is being used ( superhero, dinosars etc)

Finally-don't panic. EYFS seems to be just reverting back to how things were before curriculum guidance for foundation stage. Just allow the children to play and guide the learning to their interests. Goodness- i hope that's right or it may have to be more wine tonight!!!!!

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Thanks for such a speedy response!

 

Could I ask what is KUW?

 

Also, with the continuous provision sheets, at the moment the staff are filling them in retrospectively, i.e. this child did this today in water area. Is that right?

 

And how do you check that each child is covering all of the areas in the EYFS if you're not going to use some kind of tick sheet system?

 

And what's going on with these profiles - seems like a crazy use of staff time, couldn't they just get on with playing with the kids?

 

Sorry for all the questions.

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welcome to the forum... it is good to find someone who is a committee member who is willing to try to get to grips with the EYFS and get involved....

 

as you may gather some are a bit 'jaded' by committees..

 

I assume as chair you have copy of EYFS document.. last one was May 08 (check it is the correct version)

 

I will try to help as will many others if we can... but it may become confusing as everyone seems to have their own methods of planning.

 

Continuous provision is the easy one..... these are all the things you have out all the time for children to have free choice of and access themselves, it is a way of planning and showing what they could learn from using them.. Have you seen the Resource library.. there are some examples on there which are simple and would help explain.... they can be in so many different forms .... Children are encouraged to access own resources over majority of the setting if possible, and these are enhanced if needed, or to an interest.

 

These days many settings no longer follow topics.. but that said if the children show an interest in something we can then develop a mini topic around it, which will only last as long as the children are interested.. and very often will change mid way into something else.

 

Planning is very of the moment and in our case was not done more than a few days in advance....

 

It is very play based, and using the children to build on what they know, or extend an interest.

 

I would get together with the supervisor and look at what is in place, using that as a base to work from

 

Inge

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As far as continuous provision planning goes, have a look in the Resource Library on this site - click on Resources down the left hand side and Resource Library will be one of the options. In there, you'll find loads of really useful examples of how each of the areas of resources provided every day...sand, water, construction, etc......help the children to develop and progress in all six areas of learning. Many settings are using that type of plan as evidence of what they are providing every day.

 

You'll probably also come across the term "enhanced continuous provision" - this means the ways in which you enhance what you provide in response to observations of children's interests and individual learning needs. For example, you might add particular resources to the sand/water in order to develop a particular child's fine motor skills because you've identified that he/she needs support in that area and that he/she also really enjoys that type of play.

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Could I ask what is KUW?

 

Sorry- KUW is short for the area of learning--Knowledge and Understanding of the World. The other replies have explained it better than me- sorry

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KUW Knowledge and understanding of the world.. one of the six areas of learning....

 

Continuous provision is more planning for what you have our everyday... a long term plan of expected learning.. not something which is filled in every day..

 

Profiles or learning journeys are a record of the child's achievements, and if used effectively show progression of learning, and next steps of learning to be added into the weekly plans.... ours contained incidental observations, pictures, notes from parents, children's work, an overall picture of the child

 

Inge

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These replies are really helpful, many thanks.

 

This might sound stupid, but from what I'm gathering you can't 'plan' in the traditional sense, where you might reuse plans from one year to the next? Would that be right?

 

Could I also ask what kind of balance of teacher led and child initiated activities you're meant to use?

 

Thanks again.

 

I do have an up to date copy of the EYFS and statutory guidance, it has already made my brain begin to melt trying to make sense of it all ....

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no ..can no longer have plans that are used each year....have to plan to the children you currently have using their interests and skills they need to build on.

 

However sometimes you may be using a suitable topic to extend their learning..... but it will be aimed at eh children you have so unlikely to be the same each time.

 

Balance of activities, is one which is not set in stone... some say 80% child initiated , but we used to use the needs of children to decide ....

 

Inge

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The guidance askes for 80% child led, 20% adult led. Allowing time for register, snack, tidying up etc that's just about all the adult led time gone. Just set up adult led activities and step back and see where the children take it. I promise it's not as scary as you may think. After all who wants to see 3/4 year olds sitting at a table- one to one counting when they can be rolling around the floor-counting their toes!! It just makes for a slightly louder morning but with happier children. ( and staff with headaches) Oh no- I can see that red wine and chocolate calling again.

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Hi all, I'm brand new to this forum, and after some help if you don't mind!

 

Here's the situation - I've just started as chair of the committee for our village pre school. I'm actually a qualified teacher (3-8 years) but haven't taught that age range for a while and don't teach young children anymore. I want to help out our leader with her planning, and she's happy to get the help. But I'm very confused about how and what you're meant to do these days for early years.

 

Could someone let me know:

 

- What is meant by 'continuous provision'?

- How you're meant to balance 'planning' (i.e. for future activities) with the idea of following each child's own interests?

- Whether it's okay or to use themes and topics like we did in the old days?

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Sue.

 

Wooo hooo!! An interested chair! Sorry! :o

 

Welcome to the forum!

The use of topics is a hard one to answer to. We know we are not supposed to do them however, its nice to start the children off with something. Generally at the start of the half term we pick our background theme...last half term transport...this term dinosaurs. It starts us off with some ideas for eg craft and to talk about at snack time but if the children take it off somewhere else (last time ended up with vegetables and the giant turnip....dont quite know how we ended up there!) then off we go!

 

We are a put up and take down setting so normally get the children to choose 5 activities for the next day which we put up on our board and then we do the rest of the coninuous provision planning around that and ensure the areas that need to be covered are. Hence planning for us gets done the day before or in the morning while setting up! We then enhance eg dinosaurs in gloop yesterday and see how that goes. Then during the session children go where they want to whil we are doing photos, playing, supporting, post it obs etc etc and checking all the while to see if our "target children" access any areas where we need to do a more detailed obs for their next steps. If this is observed and noted then we tick off that area on a tick sheet that has their names and the areas so we know it has been covered (we try not to all pounce honest!). If it isnt then it gets transfered over. We sometimes do a special focused activity with a small group eg number game, phonics or jigsaw and depending on numbers storytime is split to little ones and bigger ones. Then at the end of the session we evaluate what worked well, what didnt, why we think it didnt and even put things down on the evaluation about staff issues etc etc. It all sounds confusing but as a small team of staff we understand it.

We are just getting to grips with our scrap books which I love (lots of photos, post it obs, pieces of work) and then the learning journal has more detailed obs, with next steps and references to the scrap book as evidence (parents also have a go at filling these in...not convinced that they need to supply evidence themseves tho :(xD:( :( ) . I just panic if a parent keeps hold of the file for too long in case it gets lost.

Edited by marley
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Okay, thanks for all the brilliant advice, I think I am slowly getting to grips with this.

 

Good to hear you are pleased to have an enthusiastic chair on the forum! I think it does help that I have some inkling of what it's all about, I can imagine for a non specialist it must be terribly confusing and off putting with all the paperwork involved.

 

I do admire you all for the amount of work you're obviously putting into the job.

 

I have one more question (well a million, but one that's really puzzling me). We're looking at filling out the SEF shortly (I know, I know, I've seen the posts about this!) Knowing as a teacher how obsessed Ofsted are that you prove that you're covering the whole curriculum, how does all this fairly haphazard, follow the children approach allow you to do that? Or are you not expected to cover every area of the EYFS with every child?

 

I have my suspicions that this is like a re-run of when they brought in the original National Curriculum, they are getting you guys to test it out so they can tweak it according to how you get on, i.e. making you do all the work for them. Or does that sound too cynical?

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The guidance askes for 80% child led, 20% adult led. Allowing time for register, snack, tidying up etc that's just about all the adult led time gone. Just set up adult led activities and step back and see where the children take it. I promise it's not as scary as you may think. After all who wants to see 3/4 year olds sitting at a table- one to one counting when they can be rolling around the floor-counting their toes!! It just makes for a slightly louder morning but with happier children. ( and staff with headaches) Oh no- I can see that red wine and chocolate calling again.

 

Moomy I don't suppose you have the page ref for the 80.20 balance do you? I just did a search of my e-copy of the eyfs guidance under 'adult led' and could only find the following on this - ie that it is up to providers to decide on what the balance should be:

 

"The EYFS requires providers to ensure a balance of child-initiated and adult-led play-based

activities. Providers should use their judgement and their knowledge of the children in their care in

deciding what the balance should be."

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Moomy I don't suppose you have the page ref for the 80.20 balance do you? I just did a search of my e-copy of the eyfs guidance under 'adult led' and could only find the following on this - ie that it is up to providers to decide on what the balance should be:

 

"The EYFS requires providers to ensure a balance of child-initiated and adult-led play-based

activities. Providers should use their judgement and their knowledge of the children in their care in

deciding what the balance should be."

 

I can't find it either- that's what I was led to believe. I wonder if I got that info from the training course? I'll keep digging.

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welcome to the site and congrats as chair , I wish my chair had taken such an interest, my best advice is to attend some foundation stage training in the 6 learning areas, ask your local training co-ordination or your local authority for guidance as well as all the good advice your get from here. break it down into small managable section so that it does not seem to be over whelming. good luck

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I Essex that is what we are told on training 80/20%... not sure if it's in the actual guidance though.

 

 

xx

 

Sorry- welcome to the forum susieCB

Thanks louby loo for confirming that I'm not going mad. Thought I'd got it from somewhere! Good old Essex training eh! They tell us one thing then we find out that it's not compulsory.

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Wooo hooo!! An interested chair! Sorry! :o

 

Steady on people! I was Chair of our Playgroup and had such an impossible time trying to employ a new Playleader that I have ended up doing the training myself and taking it all on. xD

 

You have obviously had some bad experiences with your respective committees but good ones do exist you know! :(

 

Welcome to the forum Suzie, I am new here too and it is proving a very valuable resource.

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