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Medium Term Without The Topic?


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Could anyone tell me how they plan medium term without a topic basis please?

 

We have stuck with the topic approach, using it as a basis for adding new stimulus really, but recently we've found we use it less and less. Although this generally means that the children have been absorbed in their own play, it does mean that we can be lacking in the adult led area. If I haven't planned in advance I find it difficult to set up an effective adult led activity.

Its getting the balance right.

be interesed in anyones ideas - please!!!

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Hi,

I'm not sure what type of setting you're in, I'm in a school nursery. We medium-term plan by carefully considering the next steps of the children as a group. We do have very loose themes which really coincide with what works well at different times of the year e.g. looking at things outdoors this half-term (plants, mini-beast etc). Our loose themes allow for following the children's interests and we focus on 6 individual children each week who we plan individual next steps for which can be covered through a focused activity, individual support, enhancements etc so everything within the setting does not follow one 'theme'. The medium-term plan focuses on the learning and not the activities, so the teacher-led activities and enhancements can be planned to follow the interests of the children.We ALWAYS cover more than the learning identified in the medium-term plan but it is a working document so is scribbled on accordingly! I know that many settings do not complete medium-term plans but we find it a useful document. Not sure if this helps you at all?

Green Hippo x

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Thanks for the reply Green Hippo

just to clarify - if your medium term plans focus on learning does that mean you pick a number of statements from the 6 areas of learning to focus on each half term, then plan activites around those. Do you then focus on the 6 children each week following their interests to move them on?

 

Oh I am in a small voluntary setting -we have max of 12 children per session from 2-5 yrs

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  • 3 months later...
We medium-term plan by carefully considering the next steps of the children as a group.

 

I'm trying to do my medium-term plan for Autumn 1, but struggling to decide on any learning intentions without having yet met the children. I don't know where they're currently at in their learning and development, so isn't it impossible for me to plan for their next steps? How do you do the first medium-term plan with a new class?

 

 

if your medium term plans focus on learning does that mean you pick a number of statements from the 6 areas of learning to focus on each half term, then plan activites around those? Do you then focus on the 6 children each week following their interests to move them on?

 

I'd be interested to know the answers to these questions too :o

 

As an NQT, I seem to be taking a lot of time to get my head around everything!

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I don't know whether this will help because I am quite informal and may not have enough structure for some but this is what i do.

 

Long Term plan - the EYFS document.

 

Medium term plan - topic brainstorms that we do with the children towards the end of a current topic. when we have the children's interests and an idea of the direction we are going, all staff sit down and brainstorm possible activities, look at next steps etc. We may not cover everything on our MTP but we just brainstorm as much as we can.

 

Short term Plans - I do a skeletal plan with adult led and carpet sessions, on the whole these are followed but if we go off on a tangent I don't worry. Facilitating adult's job is to follow interests outside of the current theme.

 

At the start of the term I don't have a MTP, I spend first few weeks, playing with children, teaching routines and how to use the classroom, picking up interests along the way. I also talk to parents about current interests. Then I present our new topic to the children, model what brainstorming is and help them to contribute, heavily led by staff to show them how to contribute ideas.

 

Hope this helps.

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Long Term plan - the EYFS document.

 

Medium term plan - topic brainstorms that we do with the children towards the end of a current topic. when we have the children's interests and an idea of the direction we are going, all staff sit down and brainstorm possible activities, look at next steps etc. We may not cover everything on our MTP but we just brainstorm as much as we can.

 

Short term Plans - I do a skeletal plan with adult led and carpet sessions, on the whole these are followed but if we go off on a tangent I don't worry. Facilitating adult's job is to follow interests outside of the current theme.

 

At the start of the term I don't have a MTP, I spend first few weeks, playing with children, teaching routines and how to use the classroom, picking up interests along the way. I also talk to parents about current interests. Then I present our new topic to the children, model what brainstorming is and help them to contribute, heavily led by staff to show them how to contribute ideas.

 

This sounds great, thank you :o It's particularly helpful to know what you do in terms of medium-term planning at the start of the year, as this has been confusing me for a while! I haven't been given any instructions by the head about how much planning to do before the start of term, but the previous nursery teacher said that I should do a long-term plan for the year, a medium-term plan for the first half-term and a short-term plan for the first week. My assumption therefore is that I'm expected to have my MTP completed by the time the new term starts, but as I said before, I'm at a loss as to how to do this without knowing the children.

 

So do you literally have no MTP, or do you at least have a list of the DM statements you hope to cover (although I realise that even this involves making assumptions about the abililities of as-yet-unknown children)?

 

Also, while getting to know the children and making initial assessments over the first few weeks, do you do any adult-focused activities or is it all child-initiated? Are your resources and activities (if indeed you plan any) quite generic before your topic is decided upon?

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So do you literally have no MTP, or do you at least have a list of the DM statements you hope to cover (although I realise that even this involves making assumptions about the abililities of as-yet-unknown children)?

 

Also, while getting to know the children and making initial assessments over the first few weeks, do you do any adult-focused activities or is it all child-initiated? Are your resources and activities (if indeed you plan any) quite generic before your topic is decided upon?

 

I don't have a list of the DM statements other than a photocopy of them stuck on the wall. Most of my children come in at the top end of 30-50 and lower 40-60, therefore I knwo the statements inside out as i'm only having to focus on that bracket. No need to have them anywhere else, it's just more work.

 

I do have adult led activities during the first few weeks, for example

  • Adult teaches the children how to use the creative area. Children are to make a protrait of themselves. therefore the adult can asses name writing, pencil control, creativity, colour recognition etc.
  • Carpet times focus on sorting, 1:1 correspondance, number recognition. Then an adult will ensure they play with each child (in for example the role play area) and assess whether they can count accurately, sort objects, use imagination, take turns, use language etc.
  • This term I aim to focus on the chidlren and their families to find out a little more about them. So I will ask them to bring in photos of family and each child will make a family tree with an adult. Here we will asses language for thinking, conversational skills, positional language amonst other things.
  • Whilst these adult led activities are going on, the other adult will continue to show chidlren how to access resources and use room independently.

 

there's loads more but this will give you an idea.

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We have a long term plan (in addition to the EYFS document) which aims to focus our obs and also any adult led activites on just a couple areas of learning each week.

 

For the medium term we have simply identified what the children are likely to be doing / wanting to know about (according to time of year, intake etc) and basically come up with some ideas that may be implemented for each area of learning.

 

So for example in the autumn term we will have, among other things,

  • finding out about each other, developing trust / confidence, making choices, getting to know the routines PSED ,
  • conversations, sharing news, recognising symbols (pictures / words) to identify themsleves in the room CLL,
  • Self registering and maybe counting how many boys , girls etc, matching / sorting at tidy up time..PSRN,
  • exploring the immediate environment (setting, garden..) exploring construction toys, routines again for KUW,
  • drawing, painting, craft activites - using a range of 'tools', action songs, exploring the space available and equipment, hygiene routines PD
  • and finally exploring the workshop area, tools, materials, making, talking about creations , dancing, pretending etc etc..for CD.

 

Its very open ended and each term more challenging aspects are noted that we know children will be moving onto mostly independently.

 

To be honest our 'plan' is really an outline of what children are likely to do anyway and achieve through play...the aim is to keep play and natural learning at the heart of everything - we are then free to enhance and extend what happens naturally - providing the resources and the interactions that will ensure children have the opportunites to explore these areas / skills in depth.

Short term planning is the enhancements we add to the provision and the adult led activites that support child initiated activities and / or introduce areas / skills that children might not explore independently...but for me the work we do with the children as part of free play is the most valuable. We have no topics - just go with the flow and respond moment to moment.

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In my experience, the confusion surrounding planning has come with the shift in thinking of what the focus is... It used to be long/medium/short plans of ACTIVITIES whereas now it's shifted to plans of identified learning. Once you keep reminding yourself of this the thinking becomes clearer.

 

I think rufus idea of shaping your autumn term plan around supporting use of environment, seeking info from parents etc Is a great starting point as you could justify it through supporting well being and involvement due to the transition and in a short space of time you could pull out some identified learning.

 

It's difficult when you don't know your HT's expectations though. Good luck

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Thank you! You've all helped me to clear my thoughts on this issue and start to formulate a plan of action :o I think the best thing to do is to use the EYFS and my list of topics as my LTP, and draw up a very brief MTP for Autumn 1 based on settling the children in, as Rufus and trekker talked about. I'm hoping to plan using a mix of topics and children's interests by introducing either a learning wall or floor books (once I truly get my head around what they are and how to use them with nursery children!), so once I've got some input from the children I can add more detail to my MTP and start doing short-term plans on a week-by-week basis.

 

As much as I'd like to ditch topics completely, I don't want to rock the boat too much as an NQT. It's probably best to go in and use bits of the existing system while I figure out what works best for me and my children.

 

It's so helpful when other people discuss their practice, so thank you again for the advice.

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Hi,

Sorry to have taken so long to reply to the inital questions from carmen. Our medium-term plan is basically a list of DM statements that we feel we need to address over the next half-term based on observations. We have a short list of POSSIBLE adult-led and enhancement ideas but these often go out of the window as we follow the children's interests within the themes. We always do a theme discussion with the children - where we record what they would like to learn about the themes. (I think I might extend this further with the floor book idea as I have done learning walls before with Nursery children which was successful but quite time-consuming to keep on top of). Our HT is keen for us to have some sort of themes so we have very open-ended titles in order to incorporate the children's ideas. This also allows us to fit in the seasonal things etc.

Each week we plan something for the 6 key children - sometimes this is a focused activity, sometimes an enhancement, sometimes an adult working beside the child where-ever they are playing, focusing on a particular area of learning. We go with the individual child's interests so sometimes it doesn't link with the current theme.

For our first half-term we do complete a medium-term plan - mainly focusing on PSE and CLL. Like Rufus a lot of the adult-led learning is based on using the environment effectively and independently.

 

Green Hippo x

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