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Plods Aren't Working What Else Can We Do?


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OK so we have had PLODS in place for a year and they just aren't working and so we need to try something new for September. Many of the staff have struggled with them and want to go back to topics as they feel more secure and think the children get a greater breadth of experiences from topics, which I don't agree with. I have read some of you plan for the 6 areas of learning and I would be grateful if you could let me know how you have found this in practice and how you link it to the children's interest - examples would be great too :o

Thanks

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Hiya Vicky, not sure what you mean by PLODS but there are planned stuff relating to six areas in the resources area on the forum which you could have a look at whilst awaiting responses from those in the know !! Good luck, Im still trying to work out what to do after daily diary/link to six areas then ? :o

 

hope this helps

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We don't actually use PLODS as they are shown on the EYFS disk, but we do plan for next steps with CI as well as AI things. We don't use topics, but use 'Interests' instead. At the moment there's a two-way split, with some children thoroughly 'into' exploring paint and what we can do with it, and the other children enjoying farm animals following our summer trip to a farm park. This can change from day to day, and a child who was investigating paint one day can be using his knowledge the next to mix colours to paint a picture of a cow. So our planning for the next steps follows their changing interests! It can be challenging but hey - that's working with children, isn't it!?

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We use kind of 'mini themes' rather than topics, these run over about 1-2 weeks and are based on the children's interests and also on any areas we feel are weak.

 

Recent mini themes have included:

 

- Pirates

- Numbers

- Hotels/holidays

 

These themes are not used for all 6 areas, just where they fit in naturally, so for instance our climbing frame became a pirate ship and we made pirate flags, but we still had lots of non pirate related stuff out.

 

We use the sheet below for planning.

 

BLANK_no_name_continuous_provision.doc

 

We put some stuff in beforehand, the obvious bits like 'turn climbing frame into ship' or 'make telescopes' and then we add stuff as it happens during the week, and record any particular interests observed as we go along. Staff are getting used to just scribbling on this, it is very much a working document.

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by Guest
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I use topics and I also have mini themes whoich go with the children's interests

 

I still feel it is nice to have topics as it allows you to introduce new ideas to the kids as well as new activities and gives a broad range arcoss the curriculum, my planning reflects this and it also reflects children's interests too.

 

I was Ofsteded in Sept and the inspector even said topics were nice to have

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Hi,

As a Foundation Stage Unit (along with SMT) we decided to keep 'themes' which are very open-ended and allow us to follow the children's lead. As Sazzj said - the themes allow us to introduce new things to the children but are certainly not set in stone. They are also mainly seasonal-based to include things that are most suited to certain times of year. Not everything is related to the theme - we often have mini-themes running alongside or always have unrelated resources out which follow individual next steps. Our yearly overview of themes does NOT include any mention of objectives or skills - this is determined as we go through the year and changes according to the current children's needs. I'm sure there has been a long thread on here a couple of years ago about topics/no topics where someone pointed out that nowhere in the EYFS does it say that you are not allowed to do topics, but what it does say is that any practitioners must be aware of children's individual interests. I think the example is of a child looking at a frozen spiders web in the playground - and I'm sure you and the rest of the staff would support this learning at the time of it happening and extend where necessary the following day etc. A book I have about using observations reminds practitioners not to forget spontaneous responses to observations that we do on a daily basis - everything doesn't have to be responded to the following day or week. As we know, children's interests are often short-lived and we can work really hard to find something to extend their interest on the following day to find that they are no longer interested! Our LA supports this mixed approach of open-ended themes alongside following children's interests.

 

We also found that PLODs didn't work for us very well - not all the staff were confident to fill them in and we found that some children openly expressed their interests more than others. We were also repeating ourselves a lot - writing the same as what was on an observation. We now have space on our plans to highlight where an activity/resource has been included due to individual/group interests.

 

Green Hippo x

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