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Planning From Children's Interests


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Hi,

I have changed schools this year and my team still can't come to a decision whether to use themes to hang our planning on, as in medium-term plan or just do it weekly following the change in the children's preferences. This is not only about cnild-initiated activities but adult-led as well. I am getting quite frustrated with not knowing which is the right way.

Thanks.

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I think in a school you should have some planning in place to ensure skills coverage but that you can then be flexible and follow the children's interests.

 

Have you looked at the Ofsted guidance re EY inspections?

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I'm pre school but had a similar concern when I came into this.

 

Our approach has been to do kind of 'mini projects', so you don't plan everything around a theme, but you do have various projects running alongside the children's interests, so that you introduce them to new ideas and experiences.

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We use loose topics in our reception class such as All About Me, Nursery Rhymes etc. But not everything is based on this, we have a topic table and some topic based activities, but we do mini topics running alongside the main topic if that makes sense e.g.our investigation table is based on what the children want to find out more about next week will be toys and we have lots of dinosaur mad children so we have a dinosaur area etc, our loose topics last between 2 and 6 weeks, and our mini topics vary in length as well dependant on childrens interest etc Don't know if thats right or not but thats how we do it!

Edited by Guest
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We use loose topics in our reception class such as All About Me, Nursery Rhymes etc. But not everything is based on this, we have a topic table and some topic based activities, but we do mini topics running alongside the main topic if that makes sense e.g.our investigation table is based on what the children want to find out more about next week will be toys and we have lots of dinosaur mad children so we have a dinosaur area etc, our loose topics last between 2 and 6 weeks, and our mini topics vary in length as well dependant on childrens interest etc Don't know if thats right or not but thats how we do it!

 

I can't imagine how it could possibly be anything but right. It sounds ideal to me. A bit Reggio-ish?

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Guest tinkerbell

Hi

I teachR/yr1 and the year1 are split so the next class has yr1/yr2...for that reason we have a 2 year rolling programme of topics.

I do also go the pattern of the year and with some of the interests that the children have and have mini topics where we will follow something for a week or how long it still interests the children.

I find I need the topics/themes because I need to get the resources together and have some idea of coverage for the yr1.

Tinkerbell

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I would argue planning works if the children develop the skills, knowledge or understanding you set out for them to develop!! If not then it needs evaluating to see why you are not having the planned impact.

Alongside that there are the things that children are interested in that would be supported and developed through additional provision, adapting contexts for learning etc which run in tandem. That way you can develop and enrich the children's experiences - keeping a professional eye on the balance is key I think.

Cx

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We use loose topics in our reception class such as All About Me, Nursery Rhymes etc. But not everything is based on this, we have a topic table and some topic based activities, but we do mini topics running alongside the main topic if that makes sense e.g.our investigation table is based on what the children want to find out more about next week will be toys and we have lots of dinosaur mad children so we have a dinosaur area etc, our loose topics last between 2 and 6 weeks, and our mini topics vary in length as well dependant on childrens interest etc Don't know if thats right or not but thats how we do it!

I think that's just the answer I was looking for. Thank you very much!!!

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