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Don't Think I'm Doing It Right - Want To Overhaul!


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I've been thinking today about the practice in my nursery class. I'm not happy with what we're doing at the moment - I don't feel that we're using the environment to its full potential at all, and I really dislike using pre-planned topics rather than going with the children's interests.

 

First I'll get to the issue of the outdoors...

 

I was reading 'Outdoor Learning in the Early Years' by Helen Bilton and was struck by this quote:

 

"The use of bikes outside is a classic example of poor child-initiated activity, where the same children jump on the same bikes, ride round and round every day and learn very little. Children are choosing to do this and it is not an adult-directed activity. But that does not make it worthwhile. For child-initiated or adult-directed activity to be successful it needs to be worthwhile. Worthwhile can only be measured by the learning which takes place, not as generals ('Oh they are learning to pedal') but as specifics ('They learnt to pedal yesterday, can pedal backwards today, tomorrow they may be able to pedal round a coned course'). So many children come to an early years setting and simply practise what they can already do."

 

What a fitting description of our outdoor area! We put bikes out most days, mainly because I feel very uninspired with regards to our other resources, and I feel at a loss as to what else to put out (it doesn't help that our EY coordinator informed me yesterday that we've just got lots of nice new resources for the outdoors, but we can't put them out until the weather improves because they'll get muddy...). I'm stuck in a rut, and I don't feel that we're challenging the children enough. We don't have a lot of money to spend, so what kinds of resources would you recommend for the outdoors that are cheap, easy to get hold of and likely to inspire and challenge boisterous boys in particular?

 

At the moment a lot of children in the afternoon session like digging in the grass and dirt (although their parents don't like it very much!) and building camp fires with sticks and twigs, and many of the morning children tend to engage in imaginative play and act out their own narratives using few resources. This might sound like a silly question with an obvious answer to some of you brilliant practitioners (I'm embarrassed but I feel as if I'm starting from scratch again), but how might you challenge these children?

 

Onto the indoors now!

 

How many tables do you have in your setting? At the moment we have a table in the mark-making area, a table in the creative area and a table in the maths area. I feel that the maths table in particular takes up a lot of space in the classroom, and I've noticed that the table-top activities I put out for the children aren't engaging them. Would it be worth taking the table away and having floor-based PSRN activities instead? (I feel that this might be quite a strange move for my support staff to understand, but it may be a necessary change!)

 

How do you approach handwriting with your nursery children? I've continued the system of the previous nursery teacher of having handwriting books in which the children practise writing their names once a week, but I'm not sure that I'm entirely comfortable with my children doing these formal, 'sit down at a table' activities. I feel pressure to keep it this way because it's how it's always been done before I came along, and I've had questions from parents about when and how the children practise writing their names during our sessions.

 

Sorry to introduce a third issue, but it's another big concern for me... groups! My children are currently split into ability groups and taken aside during child-initiated learning time for PSRN and phonics activities. Is this how it should be done? I've got a niggling feeling that it's too formal for this age group, but again it's how the school has always done it in the past and I'm reluctant to change things too drastically. I'm also concerned about interrupting children and taking them for adult-focused activities when they're engaged in their own play. What do your nursery timetables look like? Any examples would be greatly appreciated! :o

 

What about topics? Does anyone still use them? How do you plan otherwise? Any advice for someone who wants to try and ditch them in a school where topics have always been used...? :(

 

Sorry for such a long post, but I really am fired up for change! I just need some inspiration and words of advice first...

 

Thank you very much in advance xD

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cannot answer the school ones..but outdoors comes back to the freebies we all beg for which in our setting were constantly in use..

 

tyres.. local garage.. they have to pay to dispose of them and were willing to give us as many as we wanted!

guttering and piping.. go to a local window/ gutter replacement firm and ask if they have any offcuts or we asked for the old bits they removed from houses when replacing them.. a good scrub was all they needed.. ours even cut them down to different manageable sizes for us.

crates... our local dairy gave us some and some bread crates too..

 

all of which give a base of materials for building balancing, dens with sheets added..

 

add balls or cars and in warmer weather water -

 

hoops were another thing ours loved to use for different things..

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Ride on toys can be inspiring if used well - drawing parking spaces with numbers in chalk on the ground. Or timing to see how long it takes to complete a circuit.

 

Tuff trays are good - a block of ice, with leaves frozen in it, a pile of stones, some dinosaurs and some piping to experiment with water falls.

 

We have a chalkboard on our barriers.

 

Also a large set of drawers with natural materials, outdoor mark making equipment, buckets, etc.

 

We have a garden area, digging is popular, I'm planning to plant some peas with the children shortly. They can label them with their names (that's a good and interesting way to practise writing names - where there's a purpose to it, it has real value).

 

We also have lots of cones, hoops, etc. for obstacle courses and sports activities.

 

A tap and some water are of course great!

 

Hope that helps, will let someone else do indoors.

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Hi there browneyed girl, your questons are not unusual ones, we've all been there at some point, wanting to do the best we can with what we 've got.

 

I would think about which you want to tackle first, its isnt good idea to try to change everything in one go, especially if you need to get colleagues on boards (are your staff alongside you with this?).

 

I never taught letter formation in nursery although Im a big fan of write dance. I never did dotty names or names in yellow to 'write over'. Funnnily enough my children still learned to write! Is the pressure coming from your head or the parents?

 

I never ability grouped children in nursery, we did try it once in the very distant past, but we quickly moved on to family group time (now keyperson time) which was planned by the keyperson..this was a set time each day, and so should satisfy your leadership group.

 

Topics..well I dont see any reason not to have a broad theme to begin with, preparing to be flexible and move off in whatever direction the children want. If school are adamnat about this, then just go with it for now, and be flexible accoridng to what you see the children showing interst in.

 

Indoors, people dont like removal of tables sometimes, but try it and see what difference it makes to your provision. Personally whe it comes t PSRN, Im not a an of a PSRN table as such, preferring to enable PSRN throughout the setting..there is probabaly more PSRN going on everywhere BUT on that table.

 

Outdoors.. would be tempted to sort out inside first, but good ideas from Inge, boxes and crates are often free or cheap and the opportunitis are endless. If some chidlren are engaging in imaginative role play, watch and listen to what their narratives are about and resource accordingly.

 

I dont know if that helps, Im sure others will have different views so you can read and make your own mind up.

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take all the tables outside and make dens ! then put all the inside activities at different levels ( we had to think about this carefully last year to fully include a little girl with us who had a lot of mobility issues)

i bet you dont have to spend any money you probably have masses of stuff already but its just inside!

as to the writing etc ...i assume you are school nursery but not sure of your age group....i suspect though that you have already answered your own question. the fact that you are unhappy about the provision would tell me its probably not right. How about a months trail doing it a new way ( your not going to scar the children for life!) i bet you get masses more writing practise if the children are given the right resources (clipboards/notepads/diaries/old calendars/envelopes/xmas cards etc etc etc). i have had more writing in my current group than i can ever remember one or two are already putting cvc words together.

challenge the staff get them and the headteacher fired up with your enthusiasm...show them the book and tell them you want to give it a go...record the childrens reactions then feedback to the head. it will take a bit of time but just because its always been done like that doesnt mean its right! :o

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Im glad to know its not just me.

We had our devlopment officer in today on my request as i feel our planning and assessing need overhauling big time!!!.

 

We then got on to enabling environments and it got me thinking . the tips given abve are really good. and I will try them too.

 

I am going to spend tomorrow convincing my staff team that we are doing away with themes and being more child focused!!!! good luckl with your overhaul

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tyres.. local garage.. they have to pay to dispose of them and were willing to give us as many as we wanted!

guttering and piping.. go to a local window/ gutter replacement firm and ask if they have any offcuts or we asked for the old bits they removed from houses when replacing them.. a good scrub was all they needed.. ours even cut them down to different manageable sizes for us.

Thank you for the tips :(

 

 

hoops were another thing ours loved to use for different things..

Some of our children really love hoops, which we also put out most days. They either use them for traditional hula hooping, or for trapping bad guys in 'prison'. :o

 

 

Ride on toys can be inspiring if used well - drawing parking spaces with numbers in chalk on the ground. Or timing to see how long it takes to complete a circuit.

 

Tuff trays are good - a block of ice, with leaves frozen in it, a pile of stones, some dinosaurs and some piping to experiment with water falls.

 

We have a chalkboard on our barriers.

 

Also a large set of drawers with natural materials, outdoor mark making equipment, buckets, etc.

 

We have a garden area, digging is popular, I'm planning to plant some peas with the children shortly. They can label them with their names (that's a good and interesting way to practise writing names - where there's a purpose to it, it has real value).

 

We also have lots of cones, hoops, etc. for obstacle courses and sports activities.

 

A tap and some water are of course great!

Thanks for your help - I particularly like the ideas of timing a circuit on the bikes, and writing names on plant labels (like you say, children are typically more engaged when they can see a purpose for doing something).

 

We also have a chalkboard on the fence - our problem is that the chalks keep going missing! :(

 

Our children are really enjoying using water and paintbrushes outside at the moment, but we don't have an outdoor water supply. On a couple of occasions when I've sent the children inside to fill their pots up at the sink, they've come out and said one of the NNs told them they're not allowed to do that... Always an awkward situation when I have to override her :wacko:

 

 

I would think about which you want to tackle first, its isnt a good idea to try to change everything in one go, especially if you need to get colleagues on boards (are your staff alongside you with this?).

I haven't consulted my colleagues about any of this yet... It's always difficult to get together and discuss things - I have two NNs working with me in the mornings, both of whom arrive just before the children, then leave as soon as they've tidied up and the children have gone. The afternoon NN also goes pretty quickly after the children leave. I know this shouldn't be an excuse - we'll have to find a time to meet. To be honest, it doesn't feel like we've gelled much as a team. I'm always welcome to new ideas but my colleagues rarely try to suggest anything, preferring for me to give them the planning for the following week once it's done. I know this isn't the way we should be working, but I think everyone's very set in their ways...

 

 

I never taught letter formation in nursery although Im a big fan of write dance. I never did dotty names or names in yellow to 'write over'. Funnnily enough my children still learned to write! Is the pressure coming from your head or the parents?

What's write dance?

 

I feel the pressure more from my colleagues than anyone else. The support staff and the supply teacher who covers my PPA and NQT time are often telling me that we need to do more work with so-and-so, and so-and-so needs stretching because they're not reaching their full potential. I get the impression that their idea of stretching a child is to sit them down to more formal activities, and I find it difficult to come up with many creative alternatives.

 

 

I never ability grouped children in nursery, we did try it once in the very distant past, but we quickly moved on to family group time (now keyperson time) which was planned by the keyperson..this was a set time each day, and so should satisfy your leadership group.

Hmm, this is something else we're not doing. When I started at this school, I spoke to the previous nursery teacher about key person groups. She said she'd tried it before, but she was embarrassed to find at parents' evenings that she had varied amounts of knowledge on the children in her class rather than having a clear picture of where they were all at. Therefore she abandoned her key person groups so she could get to know all of the children equally (and again, I just continued with this practice because I was unsure about how to change it). How would you suggest introducing key person groups in a school setting? What exactly do the groups entail - is the key worker responsible for all the planning and assessments for the children in their group? I'm not sure how prepared or able the support staff would be to plan for their key children - I feel as if planning's seen more as the teacher's role.

 

 

take all the tables outside and make dens ! then put all the inside activities at different levels ( we had to think about this carefully last year to fully include a little girl with us who had a lot of mobility issues)

I like the den idea xD How did you manage to put things at different levels? The only pieces of furniture we've got inside are tables and a few of these shelving units, but nothing else at varying levels.

 

Thanks again! :(

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hiya browneyedgirl

 

you do have it tough if your staff r not on board!!

 

outside area we have milk crates (loads) we get ours off the milkman as we get it delievered 3 times a week, asda food crates as our shoppin gets delivered (they never ask for them bak), tyres, we have prop boxes that always get used and loved!! examples are decorating, dens, windy days box, planting box could go on!!!

You could also have a digging area, planting area, sensory area, dry white board outside(that can be your mark making practise)

 

write dance is excellent, its a cd and a book that gives you stories/songs and the children act it out with you, they are doin all big movements then after the children do the big movements on paper an that is the start of mark making (I HOPE THATS RIGHT) havent used it for a while!!!

handwriting is always around, the children need to build muscles first, do activites like cornflour, playdough, ribbon dancing just a few for you and if its the childrens interest in mark making you an extend it, i also use laminated name cards and they see them every time their in.

 

indoors we have also 3 tables and we do lot of psrn around our whole room not on tables alot, we do have area where the children sit on the fllor and choose their own activities focused on psrn but do hav alot goin on around the room!!!

 

we dont do topics, its all round the childrens interests and extend it as much as we can and just continously doin next steps to develop them.

 

hope that helps a little

 

(im in a pre-school of nursery)

 

louisa

 

:oxD

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browneyed girl - we used anything and everything we had to hand bits of the home corner furniture were turned on their side or back and covered with material. lots of floor play with rugs/blankets cushions etc if you have staging at school then pieces of that would be ideal. your shelves could be used for a play space too if you clear the top ...a bit like this...http://www.playbasedlearning.com.au/2010/03/magnificent-mice/ oh and take the chairs away! i find most boys really dont want to sit down! :o if you have a tuff spot do you have anything you could put underneath to raise the level a bit (bricks/tyres etc) if possible try for floor level /knee height/waist height and full standing

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I am echoing pretty much what everyone else has said...........

 

We had a water butt outside so the children could access water when they wanted..... only a little one......... actually not a butt more like a wine barrell!!

 

Lots of pipes, bits of guttering, 3 or 4 tubs, and trays that hold water, crates, small chairs lots of old home corner equipment and we recently had a flood and our home conrer furniture has now rotted around the bottom and the backs of the units (all wooden!) but for now because its a 8 week delay to get new stuff (once we have had ok from insurance), we put it outside to use.

 

The children are nejoying that bit of variety.

We use crates to make tables........ we have cafes out there with the home conrer plates etc

 

We have boxes of resources for children to access easily............... boats, diggers and construction vehicles, sand equipment etc.

 

I think we all struggle at times and have to find our own way to what suits the children, the setting and us as practitioners.

 

I wouldn't be doing handwriting books with nursery!!!!!!!

Those who show an interest in writing letter & formation etc we work with and examples of their new skills go in the learning journeys!!

 

I think you should tackle one job at a time. Good luck :o

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Hi i think bikes do have a place in your outside area alongside lots of other opportunities to explore and make sense of the world.

With the bikes aspect you say they learn to pedal both forwards and backwards but it really is more than that, they learn to negotiate available space, take turns, learn concepts such as fast, slow, exercise, and it can be expanded by parking, mending, cars being filled with petrol etc.

As previous posts have already said when one area feels like it lacks sparkle you begin to look at all your provision, take one area at a time and let the children lead the way with their interests.

We used our bikes, cars to make a car wash the children had to buy a ticket [PSRN] to have their cars washed with sponges, water, cloths,the children also role played mending them with relevant tools [using imagination].

As for handwriting it certainly wouldn't be something we would do with our 2.5 to 5 year olds, but give opportunities everywhere for children to mark mark, both indoors and out with an abundance of tools, pens, pencils, chalks, paint pots with water in, cards clipboards, envelopes, to extend children's skills if they show an interest such as writing their names, making labels and signs.

Whatever you have take it outside our children love it. :o

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Hi there again.

 

If your colleagues aren't quite with you yet, then even more reason to make small changes than try to solve everything in one go.

 

Its particularly tricky if you have different staff for the pms, mine were always all day, so we met once a week at lunch time to discuss planning. Our family groups evolved over the year I did this job and across different schools I worked with, but I cant ever recall a time when we didn't have family groups..it was a responsibility my NNs took. We often planned similar activities for the chidlren, then added our own 'spin' according to their needs. Sometimes as the chidlren settled more, we did activities with all the groups (so that I could ensure that I knew all the children, as the teacher). Could you ask your staff how they would feel about having their own key person group..they should have a named key person anyway, but if it isnt embedded yet, could you make that your first key focus?

 

Write dance is a dance and movement programme, to support pre writing and writing skills, based on the gross motor movements required for writing. I love it! There are many threads here about it, try a search and read a few if it interests you.

 

 

By the way how many chidlren are you talking about?

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cant answer this all or read it (really must do some work) all but your answer to bikes is simple if they choose them then they need them how you enhance their learning is upto you as a practitioner. OUr children choose from the shed and we have an array of resources and some will want bikes or scooters this is fine because the wont ride for the whole time they are out and next term they will be into something else by not offering the bikes and ride ons they become something of a treat and when they come out then they will scramble fight and not share them because they only are allowed them now and again.

 

will read the rest promise

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handwriting is always around, the children need to build muscles first, do activites like cornflour, playdough, ribbon dancing just a few for you and if its the childrens interest in mark making you an extend it, i also use laminated name cards and they see them every time their in.

Thank you for the ideas xD There are a few children whose fine motor skills need to be developed before they start writing. We have playdough out all the time, but I can't think of many other fine motor activities that we currently provide. A nice messy activity in the tuff spot, like cornflour, would probably benefit the children.

 

 

indoors we have also 3 tables and we do lot of psrn around our whole room not on tables alot, we do have area where the children sit on the fllor and choose their own activities focused on psrn but do hav alot goin on around the room!!!

I'd say we also have more PSRN going on throughout the rest of the room than we do in the PSRN area. I didn't want a dedicated PSRN area at first; I also feel that it should be addressed in all areas. But our room is quite large, and I was left with excess space and furniture to make use of...

 

 

browneyed girl - we used anything and everything we had to hand bits of the home corner furniture were turned on their side or back and covered with material. lots of floor play with rugs/blankets cushions etc if you have staging at school then pieces of that would be ideal. your shelves could be used for a play space too if you clear the top ...a bit like this...http://www.playbasedlearning.com.au/2010/03/magnificent-mice/ oh and take the chairs away! i find most boys really dont want to sit down! :o if you have a tuff spot do you have anything you could put underneath to raise the level a bit (bricks/tyres etc) if possible try for floor level /knee height/waist height and full standing

Thank you for the inspiration. My ideas are (embarrassingly) quite limited to tables, chairs and floor, but now that I stop to think about it, very few of my children ever actually choose to sit at a table (apart from those who regularly visit the mark-making and playdough tables).

 

 

We had a water butt outside so the children could access water when they wanted..... only a little one......... actually not a butt more like a wine barrell!!

 

Lots of pipes, bits of guttering, 3 or 4 tubs, and trays that hold water, crates, small chairs lots of old home corner equipment...

 

We use crates to make tables........ we have cafes out there with the home conrer plates etc

 

We have boxes of resources for children to access easily............... boats, diggers and construction vehicles, sand equipment etc.

I love the water butt idea! Our school's KUW coordinator is developing gardening throughout the whole school, so it might be something worth mentioning to her as a possible resource for us.

 

 

I wouldn't be doing handwriting books with nursery!!!!!!!

Those who show an interest in writing letter & formation etc we work with and examples of their new skills go in the learning journeys!!

That's what I thought... I think abandoning handwriting books is the way forward!

 

And while someone's mentioning learning journeys, I may as well say that that's something else we don't do. Throughout my training I was so used to doing learning journeys, but when I started at this school and had a meeting with the F2 teachers, I was told that there was no need to do learning journeys at all. Instead we keep all the children's observation sheets and photographs in their own separate plastic wallets in a big evidence folder xD

 

 

Hi i think bikes do have a place in your outside area alongside lots of other opportunities to explore and make sense of the world.

With the bikes aspect you say they learn to pedal both forwards and backwards but it really is more than that, they learn to negotiate available space, take turns, learn concepts such as fast, slow, exercise, and it can be expanded by parking, mending, cars being filled with petrol etc.

We used our bikes, cars to make a car wash the children had to buy a ticket [PSRN] to have their cars washed with sponges, water, cloths,the children also role played mending them with relevant tools [using imagination].

I agree with what you say about bikes. I don't mind putting them out as long as the children continue to benefit from using them, but I'm concerned that the children's learning on the bikes isn't being sufficiently extended.

 

 

As for handwriting it certainly wouldn't be something we would do with our 2.5 to 5 year olds, but give opportunities everywhere for children to mark mark, both indoors and out with an abundance of tools, pens, pencils, chalks, paint pots with water in, cards clipboards, envelopes, to extend children's skills if they show an interest such as writing their names, making labels and signs.

Whatever you have take it outside our children love it. :(

Thank you for the ideas :( I do believe that mark-making opportunities should be everywhere, but I seem to have neglected to put that belief into practice :wacko:

 

 

Its particularly tricky if you have different staff for the pms, mine were always all day, so we met once a week at lunch time to discuss planning. Our family groups evolved over the year I did this job and across different schools I worked with, but I cant ever recall a time when we didn't have family groups..it was a responsibility my NNs took. We often planned similar activities for the chidlren, then added our own 'spin' according to their needs. Sometimes as the chidlren settled more, we did activities with all the groups (so that I could ensure that I knew all the children, as the teacher). Could you ask your staff how they would feel about having their own key person group..they should have a named key person anyway, but if it isnt embedded yet, could you make that your first key focus?

I think we should definitely introduce key person groups, and it's something I'll put to the support staff. At the moment, we have the whole class together on the carpet for register first thing, and then we go off to 'choose' and I pull out various ability groups throughout the session for phonics or PSRN. I don't feel that this is working particularly well.

 

 

By the way how many chidlren are you talking about?

31 AM children and 24 PM children, with more due to start in our Easter intake.

 

 

your answer to bikes is simple if they choose them then they need them how you enhance their learning is upto you as a practitioner. OUr children choose from the shed and we have an array of resources and some will want bikes or scooters this is fine because the wont ride for the whole time they are out and next term they will be into something else by not offering the bikes and ride ons they become something of a treat and when they come out then they will scramble fight and not share them because they only are allowed them now and again.

This is definitely a good point. The children already argue over the bikes even though they're out every day, so I dread to think what would happen if I only put them out occasionally. While I continue to be asked for the bikes most days, I'll continue to put them out most days :(

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And while someone's mentioning learning journeys, I may as well say that that's something else we don't do. Throughout my training I was so used to doing learning journeys, but when I started at this school and had a meeting with the F2 teachers, I was told that there was no need to do learning journeys at all. Instead we keep all the children's observation sheets and photographs in their own separate plastic wallets in a big evidence folder :o

 

In this they are actually right. There is no need for learning journeys they are just a nice extra. I know of many outstanding settings which don't do them at all. Lots of good advice has been given on all the other points so far and I probably don't have anything better to add but on this one I would say please please don't go introducing them either this year or even next year. It sounds to me like your staff are very set in their ways. They need slow and gentle changes to be made and if you try to introduce a time consuming exercise like learning journals at this stage you will only build up bad feelings at the extra work load staff are suddenly having to do. Also you may find yourself in the worse situation of having to do them all yourself which will take up valuable time that you need to spend planning and sorting out the environment. Learning journeys are probably the least essential thing of all the areas you've mentioned in taking the children's learning forward so long as you are using the obs and things that you are collecting in your planning. You need to work on the other changes first through a slow and steady system of change to make sure your staff stay on board and perhaps put learning journeys aside as something that would be nice but that's not going to happen for a year or two.

 

With regards to the staff not staying perhaps you could set a date for a meeting with them. So "next tuesday we need to have a staff meeting so please plan to stay for an extra half hour after the session." If you don't feel you can do this then you need to go to your head and mention that you aren't getting the proper time with your staff to do planning or discuss changes and see if perhaps your head can give you some cover in a session when you have your meeting (just as a one off thing). If your head isn't on board then I have no idea what to do, but at least you will have aired the problem so that you can't be blamed for it at a later date (especially important to cover your back when you are an NQT I'm afraid to say!)

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Hi there, I think we have all been where you have been. I'm not going to add more advice as think it will just confuse you more and there have been some wonderful ideas already.

 

I think you need to trust your instinct! Believe in yourself and what you think needs to happen and begin to put little things into place first. Try and speak to your staff about their views. They may actually think similar to you, but are afraid to say anything too?! I am very lucky to have two very good TA's, but they are only on board with my ideas because they can see my enthusiasm and why I am doing something, and see what the children can produce/do/ etc... from innovative things.

 

I've recently been inspired by the following blog. A lot of what is written is a stripped back view, you don't always need the best resources to get the best results. Children's imaginations are much more successful!

 

http://abcdoes.typepad.com/abc-does-a-blog/

 

Have fun implementing lots of new things and try planning your environment first. (see abcdoes) If you can tell your staff why you are implementing something, perhaps they will see the value just as much as you :o

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There is no need for learning journeys they are just a nice extra. I know of many outstanding settings which don't do them at all.

Thank you for the reassurance. I'm also of the opinion that we don't need to do time-consuming learning journeys, as long as we're keeping and acting upon our observations of the children. However, I've been told by other practitioners that Ofsted like to see learning journeys, which is why I was worried.

 

 

I've recently been inspired by the following blog. A lot of what is written is a stripped back view, you don't always need the best resources to get the best results. Children's imaginations are much more successful!

 

http://abcdoes.typepad.com/abc-does-a-blog/

Thank you for the link :o I've actually been following Alistair's blog for a few months now, and feeling continually inspired by his work!

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Hello Browneyed Girl

You have so many fab responses already, I don't have much to add except to recommend a book called A Place to Learn - Developing a Stimulating Learning Environment. Its published by Lewisham Early Years Advice and Resource Network. ISBN no: 090 1637106. Its been around a few years now (pre EYFS) but its really good for developing the environment both indoors and outside. It has loads of really inspiring photos and ideas about how the areas of the classroom and the areas of learning can be combined.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

Beehive

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You have so many fab responses already, I don't have much to add except to recommend a book called A Place to Learn - Developing a Stimulating Learning Environment. Its published by Lewisham Early Years Advice and Resource Network. ISBN no: 090 1637106. Its been around a few years now (pre EYFS) but its really good for developing the environment both indoors and outside. It has loads of really inspiring photos and ideas about how the areas of the classroom and the areas of learning can be combined.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

Thank you for the recommendation, the book looks very useful (albeit a little too expensive for me at the moment :o ). I'll definitely try to get my hands on it.

 

I intend to have a major think during next week's break, maybe see what I can pick up on Freecycle, and begin to implement some changes next half-term. I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes! xD

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