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Next Steps


Guest Wolfie
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Guest Wolfie

I'm curious to know what exactly people understand by the term "next steps" when they are planning for individual children in their setting and how next steps are phrased when written down....

 

We recently had a development day for the staff at our Centre and did a lot of work around the observation-assessment-planning cycle. As part of this, we watched a ten minute clip of a child at play, following this up with discussions about evidence of learning observed and then suggestions for "next steps". All the suggestions for next steps were phrased along the lines of what the PRACTITIONER should do to develop the child's knowledge, skills and attitudes, e.g. "provide more....", "encourage the child to....", etc.

 

However, our head of centre, who has a health background, questioned this, saying that the next step should be a statement of what we want the child to be able to do next, and that these statements merely addressed the "how" without clarifying the "what" first! She argued that the statement should begin with "the child will be able to.....", rather like an IEP.

 

What does everyone else do??

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I shall be watching this thread with interest!

 

Currently we work along the lines of ...... 'provide more opportunities for/to'........'continue to encourage'........etc.etc.

 

Always looking for ways to 'improve' our practice!

 

Sunnyday

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I feel its simply how the health visitor worded the 'next step'

 

My view of next steps is what the child is able to do on their own and what they are able to do next with practitioner support ie Jonny is playing with playdough, he enjoys squiging the dough and watches me rolling a piece in my hands (modelling) Jonny attempts to roll a small piece of dough in his hands, but is finding this new skill difficult. My next step then would be to scaffold Jonny over the comming days to roll dough in his hands, gradually reducing the scaffolding a little each time.

 

The Health Visitors wording

The above is how we plan for next steps, had I put 'Jonny playing with playdough, he is squidging the dough, which I have observed each time he is playing with dough. He watches me rolling a small piece of dough and attempts to do the same, however his is finding this difficult. Jonny's next step is for him to be able to roll dough, I will plan for this next step by scaffolding jonny on the playdough table and gradually reduce the scaffolding as he masters this new skill.

 

 

Neither of the above are wrong, just worded differently, as with all next steps, they need to be developmentally appropriate, theres no point trying to move a child onto a next step when they may not be ready. Some next steps are tiny little steps and some are great leaps, it really depends on the inidivual child.

 

However, I dont feel next steps are about what 'I want the child to do' but more about what 'I have observed the child attempting to do on their own' but needs support to get there. Through careful observation and a knowledge of child development, we are then able to see which children need more support, as in (SEN) and children who need challenging (gifted and talented) and children who are progressing within the development norms.

 

Hope this makes sense

Edited by cupcake
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when planning next steps for children I note down what I have learned from my observation of a particular child and then decide what I am going to do to extend the activity/learning for the child. This may involve providing different/extended activities which allow the child to repeat or practice the skill observed or just put things in place to scaffold their learning. I then decide how the environment needs to be changed to allow this to happen and how best I can support the learning. Finally I decide if there is a particular focus for the child's learning and development which I link to the 6 areas of the curriculum.

mrsW.

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When I am completing the next steps for a child in our setting I have the Practice Guidance for the EYFS with me and the child's observations.

 

I then go through the 6 areas of Learning and Development and when I come to something the child hasn't yet achieved I put that as their next step.

 

The next steps are then given to the parent/carer for them to sign to say they agree with what I have chosen. I usually go through them with the parent explaining my choices.

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mary60, this is what we were doing but soon found it was may have been the wrong path to take, Next Steps are how you can extend the skills children already have and move their learning forward, as in the examples with the playdough already posted. You would identify what the child can and cant do and then make plans to extend the play and support new skills and experinces.

 

The process you describe is what we now do, to identify areas where we may need to plan some adult led activities in order to introduce some new areas of learning to the children, from any of the six areas of learning and development, this would then lead to you observing, identifying what the child can do, what their next steps need to be and planning how you will support the child in their next steps.

 

There does seem to be many different approaches as to how settings are planning for ext steps and actually what they identify next steps to actually be.

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I'm with MrsW.

 

I've been doing this for 14 years and my 'next steps' always involve what I think the child can achieve next and how to extend on their existing skills. For example if I have observed a very young child doing 2, 3 & 4 piece puzzles independently, then I will note 'next steps' to introduce a 6 or 8 piece puzzle to ?? and allow them to explore. It's all about extending their learning and providing opportunities for their continued development. If they can thread, introduce sewing, if they can cut along a line, introduce zig zags... blah blah blah

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Next steps are only a part of what we all do to help children achieve their goals.

 

When we are planning for the term all the childrens next steps are taking into considerations and plans are made accordingly.

 

The best person to tell you if you are on the right track would be your EYIO.

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