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Cct's -what Advice R U Giving Re Topics & Medium Term Planning


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Dear all,

I am new to the forum. I would appreciate knowing what advice you are giving settings regarding planning. In particular regarding whether settings should continue to have topics and medium term planning.

It's such a sea-change for me to abandon these as I finished my Foundation Mainstream school post after many years last Summer and love all my topics, which were very much those that interest children. They were broad, flexible, included celebrations, seasons, growing, and were cross-curricular. I also had weekly continuous provision planning(which was called CIP Planning of-course). All observations were followed up, either by immediated extension of provision/support for that child/children. The weekly CIP plan was modified if we felt that the children needed to pursue this interest.

I am finding that staff in some of my settings are using their observations to record what children can't do and then recommending that children need more support in, for example fine motor control. The intials of this child are then put on the CIP sheet. Is this right?

I have so many more questions about this that i don't know where to begin!

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Hi CCQT, and welcome to the forum. Thanks for making your first post; the first of many it looks like! xD

 

My own view is that topics still have a place in early years settings, but perhaps not in the same way as they once had, where all activities were "squeezed" in, however loose the link was! The best practice I see is in those settings that have a topic as a hook to hang certain adult-led activities from, and then children are able to develop their own play from the continuous provision resources, their learning fully supported and scaffolded by the practitioners. The continuous provision may or may not have anything to do with the selected topic, and the topic is very definitely a "background".

 

As for recording what children can't do, that's a real no no in my book, and goes against all advice and recommendations from the EYFS. :o Observations need to show what children can do, with a separate section for "What next?" or "Next Steps". The staff that you mention could be helped to write that information in a different format, perhaps?

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Hi CCQT, and welcome to the forum. Thanks for making your first post; the first of many it looks like! xD

 

My own view is that topics still have a place in early years settings, but perhaps not in the same way as they once had, where all activities were "squeezed" in, however loose the link was! The best practice I see is in those settings that have a topic as a hook to hang certain adult-led activities from, and then children are able to develop their own play from the continuous provision resources, their learning fully supported and scaffolded by the practitioners. The continuous provision may or may not have anything to do with the selected topic, and the topic is very definitely a "background".

 

As for recording what children can't do, that's a real no no in my book, and goes against all advice and recommendations from the EYFS. :o Observations need to show what children can do, with a separate section for "What next?" or "Next Steps". The staff that you mention could be helped to write that information in a different format, perhaps?

Thankyou Helen, I feel reassured by your views which I totally agree with. I love that word 'scaffolding' it brings back memories of a very hard but good read by Bruner, I think!

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I just think if you use topics that are pre-planned that it's more difficult to prove you are following the children's interests. We cover key events eg Chinese New Year, Xmas but in a broad way. The rest comes from the children's interests. They generate the topics themselves. Sounds similar to what you have already said.

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Hello CCQT, welcome to the forum, I hope you are settling in already.

 

With regard to what you are supporting your settings to do re planning, depending on how your LA works, it might be worth making contact with your advisory team if you have one to see what they are saying to settings. It is really helpful if those that are in a a position of supporting setting are singing the same song. Something I saw a fair bit of in a previous job, was CC teachers telling settings one thing (based on coming from the classroom in many cases) and the EYAT saying something else. Result? The setting throws their arms in the air and says who are we supposed to listen to then?

Its also really important that you support settings to develop something that is workable for them, and to do this you might want to talk through what they do already, what works well for them, what doesn't, etc.

 

Its a really big learning curve isnt it?

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I am with all of the above, especially to make sure you are giving the same messages as the EYAT.

 

The EYFs disc give lots of good guidance under 'Observation, assessment and planning', and you could also look at 'Creating the picture' (Google it).

 

Finally, just to say we ask the children for what topic they want to think about, what questions they have and what activities they would like to do. They have really good ideas. We evidence all this on a learning wall and are hoping Ms O will see that shows good 'sustained shared thinking'!!

We do use the topic very loosely though, as described above

 

Gruffalo2 :o

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