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Learning Intentions


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Hi

I apologise for bringing this up again but I'm tired and confused!

I went on a course this afternoon on outdoor play. We were given some possible planning sheets both of which had the AOL and 'learning intention' down the side then space for the suggested activities, evaluation and next steps. My query is: should we be writing specific learning intentions for the continuous provision each week? I have a separate sheet for my adult-led/initiated activities which have learning intentions on and long term planners up for all the provision areas indoors and outdoors.

As I plan for the continous provision, of course, I have the 'intended learning' in mind but this is sometimes different for different children, the resources I put in an area might be to encourage children to go into that area that don't usually access it or to see if a different resource alters how the children play etc. and there is sometimes a number of learning intentions that I have in mind when planning each area. My concern is that by specifically selecting a number of learning intentions to promote the learning will be narrowed and the child-initiated element will be weakened as the adults will always be trying to bring the learning back to the identified learning intentions. Each child also has their own specific learning needs which may differ from the general learning intention.

Sorry to ramble on - I hope it all makes sense. Can I ask others' to share how they plan for continuous provision?

Thanks

Green Hippo xx

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Hi - in my view the EYFS has taken away the "learning intentions" - each child has their own next step. How we run is this our continuous planning is up for each area so all adults can refer to this - our continous plan runns and we make enhancements due to childrnes intestests - your cousre seemed to be the old way of thinking and not EYFS - as an example - we just happened to have loads of cut out triangles in our junk box remnants from our community carnival - one little girl came over and said "Oh goody, I can make a kite" - well what she created was just wonderful - so to add to my continuous planning I am going tomake sure that I have lots of large pieces of paper cut out in different sizes - taking into account little girl on 2 - I would extend older chilcren if they wanted to make a kite to begin to use scissors & cut one out. Hope my little view assists Dot :o

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From what I can gather, a lot of the 'planning' will end up being retrospective. For instance, you plan an area outside for mark making and put some chalks in it. The children end up drawing roads and driving the ride on toys along these. You original intention was just to get them doing some mark making/drawing in an interesting way; you then make a note of how they responded and perhaps extend this by giving them some bollards to add to their roads.

 

Also, from what I gather it is fine to scribble notes on plans, add stickers with observations of children, whatever you need to make it into an effective working document, rather than focusing too much on planning for stuff ahead of time.

 

I hope that makes sense.

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Hi, thanks for the replies. The examples that you have given are exactly the sorts of things that I feel should be happening and are true child-initiated. I understand and agree that planning should start with the 'learning' that needs to be promoted and the context can change depending on the interests of the children, however, I am still reluctant to spend by time typing out a learning intention for every area of provision. I just don't want us to be involved in some fantastic child-initiated learning then think "that's great but should I be stearing them towards our learning intention?". I know it's our job as practitioners to help the children acheive their next steps and to provide the environment and support that will help them best acheive these but I still want to maintain true child-initiated play.

There is such differing advise out there - especially between school based nursery and reception settings and non-school based settings. I notice that the continuous provision planners on the EYFS website don't have any learning intentions on!

Help, please!!

Green Hippo xx

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I couldn't agree more with what you have said about the differing approaches especially between school/ non school based settings.

I think this is a massive grey area almost and only recently read an OSTED report of a school Nursery where the teacher was criticised for not sharing the learning intention ( which presumably she would have to have decided and may not be appropriate to all the children at the activity) with the children at the start of the activity and then she was further criticised for not ensuring that all the children made progress towards the intention during the activity.

How can EY work like this when the children are all so different with their differing interested/ choices etc. The only way I can think of that you could ensure they all made progress towards a specified learning intention would be if you put them into ability groups and heaven forbid we should be doing that with 3 year olds.

As you say, EYFS kind of ducks the issue about learning intentions by not providing any mention of or guidance about them. Also ,there seem to be as many different takes on this subject of "teaching" versus "learning" as there are advisors, so quite often, they are not much help either.

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