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Okay so I was informed just beofre the holidays started that I have a job as a foundation stage teacher until December. I am an NQT but 2 years after I qualified. Obviously we did not look at the foundation stage and I know a lot of people are in the same boat especially teachers who have been in the early years for a long time. Anyway, when I was in my day nursery as a nursery nurse, we had to observe all the children and plan from their experiences and never had topics or anything of that sort as it is the new curriculum. So I got used to this method. ANyway when I went to my training day in July for my new job in the foundation stage they are still looking at topics - which confused me because I thought this was not allowed anymore.


The first topic is Ourselves - obviously. I have gone the old fashioned way about it, thinking of activities and sorting out my weekly/medium term plans kind of. However, I dont know what to do about daily plans? Because we can not have them any more according to the private nursery I was in. Also I cant go into school and ask because their is building work and I have not even been able to see my classroom right yet! I will see it on Thursday at which time I will have training all day then have to make my classroom look presentable. I have not been able to do anything for my classroom yet as I have not been able to get in.


Its my first job, Im stressed before I start and I just dont know where to go. Do I individually paln or what? argh!


Sorry for the rant but I hope someone can give me some words of wisdom! Plus my computer is running out of ink and Word died! Whoot what a summer I have had - not!

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didnt want to read and run as you obviously feeling a bit stressed and beginning to dare I say panic and doubt your own abilities.


firstly, I was not school based so cannot comment on what schools do, however there is nothing in eyfs that says you cannot or must not use topics or have daily plans... it was probably the way the nursery worked and wanted to work... thye are still ok to have if it is the way you want to go.


Many start a topic and then go with the children once started so that you have a compromise on the follow a topic the school wants and the way you have been working by planning from the children with no topics.


at the moment everyhting will seem a big issue, but once started I am sure it will all fall into place. You are lucky in that you have knowledge of working within eyfs and understand how it is ment to work, many are struggling with that as well as a job in FS.



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Knoksk- don't panic.....


Some settings use topics some don't its an individual preference. If the school you are working at uses topics then use them as a loose coathanger to hang activities and ideas off of. You can still observe the children and find out what they already know- maybe brainstorm the topic with them... from talking to them and observing them you will find out what they already know and can then build your dailt or weekly plans from that.


Remember they are new to school too- so the first couple of weeks will be about establishing routines, knowing where things are and generally getting to know each other. What I usually do for the first week or two is use some familiar stories as starting points for the day or a couple or days so books like Elmer, Dogger...... you can read them as a class and talk about them and then maybe have a follow up or maybe not- when readinf elmer my follow up was to pint elmers to make a birthday chart, have the linking elephants out to play with.....


Also have a daily circle time- playing simple name games- roll the ball to.... pass toy around and say your name.


Rememebr that planning is for you- you could put a rough plan together and just fill it in retrospectively as opportunities and activities happen.


Do you have a parallel teacher to work with? Have you met your mentor yet?


Try and remember to pace yourself. Being an NQT is hard work... make sure that you try and take time for yourself to relax and time away from school activities.


Good luck... let us know how you get on.



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Thankyou for those comforting words guys. I just looked through a few topics here and paniced a little...okay a lot lol.

And thankyou Lorna for those ideas, they sounds great I will have to do that.


My mentor also takes my class once a week but it is her first time in the Early Years (She taught year 6 for several years) after being off for a year for maternity leave so we are both starring at the head lights.


I think ill be fine but like you say it will take a few weeks to get used to my children and my children get used to me.





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Good Luck! And congrats on your first teaching post!


Just wanted to say that I did my NQT year last year so know how you feel! But as already said you very quickly settle into things! I think it is hard going into a new setting and getting used to the way they do things, but in time you'll get to know what works well for you and can make changes.


For example last year when I went to my school, they were very structured in reception and had all the topics pre-planned, re-using plans etc, which didn't feel right to me at all. I was able to gradually make changes and this year have totally changed it! I am starting off with 'All about me' as a loose topic, I know I want to cover other themes like autumn, christmas etc but have lots of blanks so I can plan a topic that interests the children once I get to know them.


Planning can be done in lots of ways, just find a way that works for you. EYFS is very flexible!



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Hi, i just wanted to say good luck too and please try not to panic too much. As Lorna said the children will all be new to school as well, i try not to plan in anything much for the first couple of weeks (my children come part time) and i just go with the flow putting out interesting things and going with the children's lead. I also use the time to put out games i want the children to become familiar with - number bingo, shape matching simple lotto games as myself and my TA have much more time with the children when they are part time to show them how to use these games and where all the resources are. Sorry to ramble, but i am sure you will be fab and the first few weeks once you get back into it are lovely as they are so much more relaxed! ems x

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Hi Knoksk

Maybe you should use a daily plan from day one if it gives you the security and confidence you need . Plans are helpful if you are nervous (and if you aren't) and they give others working in the room with you an idea of what you have got planned and what you want them to do.

Remember you are in charge now in your classroom and so do what feels comfortable and good in the first couple of weeks to build up your confidence. You can do it and after the first morning you will love it.

I have been teaching for many years now and I still get nervous and don't sleep too good at the beginning of the year. I always start the year with as much PSHE as possible..making that relationship with your class is essential key to the rest of the year.Tell them lots about yourself and encourage lots of talk about themselves and as others have said..you will probably find that they will lead your planning if you let them.

Good luck for next week.


Redbase :o

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