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Child Led Or Initiated Or Independent!


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does anyone know the definitions of some of the terms in EYFS? We have just had an advisor in who tells us there is no such thing as child led activities they are independent tasks which are set by the adults for the children to practise the skills they have learnt from the focused tasks. I am very concerned that everything will become far too structured if we go along tis route. Help! any thoughts wou;d be gratefully recieved. XX

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Marion always used to be very good at providing definitions of the various activities---you could try searching for posts by her?

 

I do think though that there is a general misunderstanding of child initiated and that we need to make sure that children are learning appropriate skills. Child initiated should not mean a free for all and maybe that was what your advisor meant?

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Thanks for the link again LJW, spread the word, (I mentioned this document in the 'hot of the press thread' earlier in the week) its a really good read and does contain some definitions.

 

People will always disagree on what terms to use and what they mean, and what they should be providing. For me, I have always said and will always continue to say its about balance. On the one hand, I don't believe that everything you do would be independent activities designed by an adult with a particular intention in mind, although you may sometimes do that especially in reception year and there may be an expectation from HTs to do that more (and for that balance to vary slightly as children get older.. you might do this more in summer of reception that you did in the autumn of nursery year)

On the other hand, as Susan said, CI activities are being interpreted by some people (and Im not suggesting this is the case here, just that it does sometimes get some bad press) as a free for all, which isn't the intention either. The EYFS is very clear about this balance and so I wouldn't want a completely CI environment either.

 

Kathyscitt, I'm guessing that your adviser comes from a KS1 type background maybe? Is it possible for you to go back to her to clarify what she means, and showing her the bit in the EYFS about CI activities and asking her how you can cover this?

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Advice for a Luddite please...

 

I love reading documents like the one LJW has linked to but can only really read and save it meaningfully in hard copy. But lots of these publications say only available to download. If you print it off it is 61 pages of ink and paper!.

What does everyone else do? Is there a way to order it?

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Not a luddite at all Edlee!

 

This book should be available shortly for you to order and I would highly recommend it. It was only published in the past week or so, and the downlaod version always goes online first.

 

In our LA we tend to order for our settings all new documents as they come out, but obviously perhaps not all do?

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In our LA we tend to order for our settings all new documents as they come out, but obviously perhaps not all do?

I love it when my development worker comes bearing gifts - perhaps it depends on how many settings the LA supports. Ours doesn't usually order on our behalf, so your groups are very lucky!

 

Maz

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I'm a sucker for a good document and can't wait! I've printed this one off in fast draft. Sometimes I print off just the pages I particularly want. This time I also emailed the link to my colleagues as I can't afford to print it off for them. At least they have access to it if they want eh?

 

Incidentally, teachernet publications keeps denying me an order saying I'm not eligible or something similar. Does anyone else have this problem? It happened again yesterday when I wanted the latest Every Child a Talker stuff...... Maybe I've exceeded my limit for the year! Anyhow, I emailed an order in the hope that works, lol!

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LJW I often have that problem. If you call them they can sometimes over ride the system for you. Other publications are restricted to schools and even though their content is clearly aimed at EY practitioners we can't order them. I have a local friendly school who will let me have them delivered to them but you have to order over the phone in this case.

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thanks to everyone here. Always good advice! I did mention said document to the advisor and she hadn't yet heard of it which I found very amusing and jotted it down to get herself a copy! Unfortunately she is an early years specialist so I am slightly worried when she insists we should have themes and not to go with the children's learning and ideas since this is an 'old idea' of Shirley Clarkes. I just think the more people who get involved with EYFS and meddle with good practice the more confusing it all seems to get. Every time i think, yep I've got it! Something else comes along to put a spanner in the works. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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Coincidently I am re reading "Like Bees not Butterflies" (child initiated learning in the early years). Interesting reading for anyone interested.

A chapter by Jennie Lindon ~

" Words matter, and a primary school definition of "child initiated" has slid unannounced into some early years thinking. In the more structured primary school day, small windows of choice are sometimes called "child initiated time". ...

The school model leads to a working definition of "child initiated" that includes as given, a great deal of adult input."

She goes on to say

" Initiate means to begin or start, to enter upon an action or activity, to introduce or set something going, to originate. So to be truly child initiated experiences and activities have to be genuinely chosen and organised by children.

However, when early years practitioners accept the 'primary school' definition described above they open the door for a disruption of early childhood."

 

Penny Tassoni says

 

"Child Initiated activities where children are actively making choices and designing their own play, can be very creative and are therefore an important way to support children. It is vital that adults take an interest when children are playing this way, but that they do not change the nature of the play or seek ownership.

 

 

I think this is the key to your difficulty. CIL requires children to choose their own resources (from a selection that are always readily available plus enhancements provided by an adult to extend play) and to choose how they use those resources.

 

 

It is not truly CIL when adults

 

* set an agenda or suggest what children are to do

* send children to a particular area

* limit what they can use

* organise groups to "play" together

* limit the time children can spend in an area

* rotate groups around provision

 

 

When children are initiating their own learning they decide

 

* where to go

* what to do within boundaries of expectations of behaviour

* who to collaborate with

* how long to be there within the boundaries of the day

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