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How Do You Plan?


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I don't mean using children's next steps etc, I mean do you plan so you have an activity for each area of learning inside and out or by the areas of your indoor and outdoor environments or by actual types of activity?

Let me elaborate....

I have come in as manager of a preschool with 61 children currently on role. I have more or less sat in on the planning for this first half term and am now at the point of questioning and re-evaluating what is done. Although learning intentions are set and children identified it has recently turned into 'all children' as we have so many to list. This can't be appropriate surely?

The plans list malleable (which so far has always been dough and total free choice which to me seems to be a bit of a wasted opportunity...) construction and small world (which so far have been free selection anyway so seems a bit pointless HAVING written down :/) messy play (which is usually a painting or sticking activity), role play, mark-making and puzzles and games. Outdoor we have role play, small world, construction, yellow tray (which is a sand/water tray), drawing table, physical and books.

Often these areas just have 'selection to suit all ages/stages' written which I suppose is valid but seems kind of common sense and a waste of ink!!!

This week I passed on a comment from school (we are overseen by the school whose site we are on) that we should be planning to the AoL and we tried to do this but the staff felt that the learning intentions covered these anyway. Then a couple got stressy because it wasn't clear where activities should go when they are setting up. I'm wondering if it would be clearer to have the areas of the environment on one planning sheet such as 'wet area', round table, carpet area, decking, grass and have it as a plan purely for setting up then have the AoL on the other sheet with learning intentions on as the proper short term plan...

I'm really confuddled!!

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Im not in pre school but yes would be my answer, the way you suggest sounds more comprehnasive and purposeful.

 

Is it possible to split the planning into teams so that everyone contributes but by doing their own little bit? That way maybe the planning would also have more meaning and be relevant to the children as teams could plan for next steps learning too. I have worked as a supply teacher in a very successful nursery where planning was approached in this way and each team spent the first part of the morning working within the planned area and then all areas were opened up to all. The focus area changed every week. Observations also took place in the focus area which meant all children were monitored every week with a different focus unless they were absent!

 

Good luck.

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Good idea Susan but only my deputy and I work full time. We then have 3 level 3s and 2 unqualified workers who come in to cover our lunch breaks.

They have been without a permanent manager since I originally left at the beginning of 2007 and have had various temporary arrangements and have had conflicting direction from them and the early years advisers so are just totally fed up and I can't blame them. I just feel that at the moment the practice is great, they see what children need and act upon it but it isn't recorded anywhere to show how well they do actually go with the children's interests and needs if that makes sense.

I need to go in with a very clear 'this is what we're doing. End of' and I know they will do what I say as they just want someone to do that! I was just so wishy washy last week as I hadn't thought through HOW to plan to the areas...

The current plans have the week on but they write in Monday what will be out for the week and I'm thinking we should be writing in each day the day before... so after teh session on Monday we either put an arrow from Monday to say it's satying or write in how it will be changed... oooh it's coming together now!

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Hi firstly don't get confuddled everyone does them differently, whats more important is how it works for your provision. We have our long term plan broken down into 6 half-term plans, within them all six areas of learning are covered. From those we pick two from the development matters statements each week to work with and make observations on.

Each member of staff/keyperson will then work with the children both indoors/outdoors to determine whether the child/ren have achieved them, and next steps.

Some of these may come from core provision, adult led or child led or spontaneous activities, as a spin off from a child's interest.

From this we plan for the next week.

Do hope that makes sense. :o

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Have a look at abcdoes.typepad.com

 

Alistair is a consultant who is currently writing a blog and has posted some plans that record reflectively what learning is taking place. From what you have said you want I think they may suit you.

 

It is in a thread on this forum, if I can find it I'll bump it up for you.

 

As Bridger rightly said this us a path we all cross at some point. I believe it's about finding your style and being able to justify it!

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Hope this works. We had same problem as you free choice for most things.

 

All staff contribute down the left hand side.weekly_plan.docx

 

buttercup

 

 

Thank you Buttercup - this could be just what we're looking for!

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Glad you liked my plan. Cannot take the credit adapted from here a few years ago. I find it great as we are following children's interests each week. It is a working document for all staff to add to. Shows we are covering all areas of learning. If they are specific for certain children I put their initials on it. eg physical using using one handed tools. It may be this is related to a few children from last weeks obs but All children will have oppotunity to do cutting activity if want to. I highlight the areas of learning on the elg overview sheet to keep a track of areas covered.

 

What we find most difficult is planning for every child because some children come one day some children come five. All we can hope for is they access a variety of learning opportunities over the year. The children who only come for one day generally go to nursery or childminder as well so will be doing stuff there.

 

hope this all makes sense.

 

I have realised its not worth getting stressed about. I know I am providing a range of activities for all needs.

 

Buttercup

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I may be asking a silly question Buttercup but was just wondering once you have planned your activites for the week, how do the staff know what activities to put out on each day?

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