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Help With Planning For English And Maths


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Hi Everyone


I am currently doing my PGCE course and I am based in a Nursery which is completely play based. In my previous setting while 90% was play once a day they would complete a small group activity, so going into the course I had this in mind.


OK my problem is I have 2 complete 2 English 2 Maths 1 Science and 1 ICT plan per week. However, I just don’t see where or how I am going to do it, especially with regards to English as they have no alphabet system (such as letter land) what so ever. All of the play areas stay the same as they believe it’s important for the child to have continuity, so apart from putting objects in the sand I am lost what my options are. What makes it worse is that while there is a PC present they haven’t used it yet, therefore, don’t know the programs and they also lack the interactive whiteboard which became my best friend in my previous setting.


So I guess what I am asking is do you have any tips or websites for planning through play, I do realise play is a big big part of early years but I would at least an Anne apple to help me on my way.


Thanx Guys



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I pasted this here after answering the post in the other thread!!!!


We recently had a teacher training student in nursery with us.

Once she had talked with her tutor she felt better...... because the curriculum in nursery, is not the same as how you will have planned before.


You can't plan "lessons" in nursery the way you might elsewhere in the school system.


You need to get looking at the early years foundation stage guidance which gives examples of effective practice at each age stage and for each area learning.

Your post made it sound as though no one ever plans activities around communication, language and literacy, problem solving reasoning and numeracy or knowledge and understanding of the world! These are maths, english, science and ICT.


In early years ICT is not just about computers and whiteboards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You could also take a look at phonics stage one.


I think actually you need to go and talk with the person who you will be working with in nursery and actually get a better idea of planning an appropriate curriculum for nursery.

Much of our work is holistic and so plans might cover a range of areas....


I hope you find your way through this one!

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I think you need to have a chat with your PGCE mentor about planning and meeting your targets for your course in the EYFS, as what you describe sounds more applicable to KS1/2. Then talk with the nursery teacher about how s/he organises the day and planning for learning. As Scarlettangel has said English Maths Science ICT etc is within the 6 areas of learning for the EYFS but they are not called that. For example a science activity might be planning for the water play area or planting bulbs outside. ICT might involve the children using a digital camera or a CD player. I think you need to look at the documents and practice guidance.

You will find a lot of help here including the documents you need.


As a very brief summary the children in Nursery will be having a play-based curriculum and the space will be organised into areas of Continuous Provision such as malleable, construction, role-play, writing, book corner, etc. etc. CP areas have the same basic items available every day. These areas will be enhanced with equipment based on the children's interests. There will be indoor and outdoor play which is usually free-flow if possible. There will be short group times for activities such as music, stories and some Letters and Sounds activities. I would expect to see a focus/adult directed activity planned for small groups of children based on interests or identified needs but only one or two of these each week. The way this is organised will vary from place to place.

Best of luck with you PGCE.

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Hi Danielle


If you think of it as planning for resourcing to develop the children's interests, rather than planning for a lesson or activity, you will start to understand the EYFS.


For instance, you might plan to extend a role play area, in response to the children's interests. Let's say they are really into the idea of playing 'shop', then your extensions in the role play area might include resources such as a till, some play (or real) money, some note pads to write shopping lists, and so on. From this, you might engage the children in talk about money, counting skills, etc. and also early mark making on the note pads. If you had a child who was quite advanced in terms of recognising letters, you might ask her to find some items in the shop that start with the letter sound 's' or whatever.


So, the planning is more to do with thinking how you can respond to and extend children's play, rather than the teacher thinking ahead of time what they should do.


I hope that helps. Do get a copy of the EYFS and read it asap if you haven't already.



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Firstly thanx for all the reply’s. Also am really sorry it came across the way it did, I think I was just flapping as this nursery is so different to the one I was previously in and also they told me the tend to do a broad plan then work backwards n fill in the plans after the activities have taken place which freaked me out a bit more. I am sure when I actually get the chance to look at their plans and how they set them out etc I will feel more at ease even after posting on here on Friday I did take a look at some other posts on plans and I felt a lot more at ease.


Over the weekend I actually looked at the EYFS and Phonics and have a much clearer idea of how I am going to do it, unfortunately my tutors off sick at the mo so will have to wait till Friday to double check with her am going about it in the correct way. Totally agree with you on the way its set out though, the same work pack is given right throughout from EY to end of primary and I really don’t think a lot of it is relevant to EY and actually makes its more confusing.


Thanx again for all you help and I again apologise for the way I wrote it I know you all work hard I have volunteered in a nursery for last 3 years, its just I have never been involved in the planning and when I have looked at the plans it was always mostly divided into group activities and PE, however, this nursery has neither of these activities so it is just a completely new experience for me, so I once again apologise.

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There's nothing for you to apologise for, and there's also nothing people on here like doing more than sharing advice and ideas, so no need to worry on that score. I'm looking forward to hearing how everything goes. Enjoy yourself :o

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I'm so glad to read about the planning for Nursery I was beginning to think I was going mad and not doing my job. Having just started in Nursery, I spend alot of the day worrying that I have dione no input for their learning and trying to 'capture' learning on those horrid post-its while feeling incredibly guilty that I am not extended the children's play as there is so much paper work to do. Ideally I see Nursery as little pockets of learning in a broad play based setting. I would love to just focus on small groups of children and gather them together for what they need rather than feel I should give the children whole class input. I am being observed next week and am really worried that i am not doing enough. I know in my heart that being with the children and extending them is more important than anything! I'm getting in a right panic about it.

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