Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Topic Planning Of 3 Different Grade Levels


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi!

 

I wanted to know your opinion based on your personal experiences.

 

In our school the idea of working as a 'unit' from BTTM to Reception seems to be coming, not completely as a real physical unit.. but in the planning. There is the idea of using the same topic for 3 years in a row... not only on special holidays like Welcome Back to School, Harvest, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day or Father's Day... but also in themes like: Bears, Minibeasts, The Zoo, The Sea/Under the Sea, and the seasons.

 

My worry is the following: If the topics are used 3 years in a row... have you experienced that when they get to Reception they get tired of the topic? I have thought that, if we do work with the same topic for 3 years, that at least we should sit down together and see that the activities are different so that they don't repeat and loose interest at the end of the Foundation Stage/Reception. Would you use even the same books? Let's say: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dear Zoo, The Rainbow Fish, several of the books of Eric Carle?

 

Thanks in advance,

a worried Reception/FS 2 Teacher

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How is your unit organised. It strikes me that if you are all working in the same area doing different topics would be hard to organise so differentiation at each stage would be necessary. If you are in different areas at least having discrete texts for each stage would help to avoid the 'we've done it all before' syndrome. On the positive side the children would be developing increasing expertise and see themselves as experts on the subjects concerned.

 

The school where I work reviewed it's curriculum map last year. We begin at Reception level. The management was definitely concerned that subjects and even texts shouldn't be repeated. My own feeling was that it probably wouldn't be appropriate to have a huge focus on the same text, but that if it was far apart in time the approach would be very different, with completely different objectives. In that case I couldn't really see a problem!

 

 

Hope those thoughts are helpful. :)

 

What are your thoughts about it?

 

Angela

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Smiley

We've devised a two year rolling programme of themes/topics for nursery and reception so that apart from seasonal topics such as Winter/Christmas etc. the children don't cover the same thing twice.

BUT we don't always stick to theme and try to go with the children's interests as well. Also the two reception classes don't necessarily do the same activities - they have the same learning objective but again gear their activities to their children's interests and the staff's own strengths.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be easier like that... working Nursery and Reception as a team... since we use the FS Curriculum, but the BTTM teacher does not like the BTTM programme and now the Curriculum is being extended from BTTM to Reception.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personaly think that topic based planning is too restrictive for BTTM ( Birth to three matters). I am worried that our youngest children will become "followers" of adults ideas rather than "explorers" of the very new world in which they are in.

 

Active, spontaneous, exploration using all their senses within a familiar routine ( for sense of security) with adults responding to the childrens interests and needs ( not the other way round) is the basic framework of BTTM. The experiences must be within the context of what the children already know, what is relevant to them. For example; Topic "The Zoo" is irrelevant to a 2 yr old, ( even a couple of visits to a zoo does not equate to a concept of what Zoo is). The same applies to "under the water". Their context is plainly "water" To discover what it feels, tastes, smells, looks, sounds like.

 

Some people are also of the opinion that topic based planning is not necessarlily conducive to the FSC either because of the above comments.

Moving from Long & medium term planning as very, very general to a much more focussed time on the short term child interest led, weekly/ daily planning.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Peggy,

 

First of all, thanks for your reply as well as that of all the others here.

 

I don't know how the teacher who works with the 2-3 year olds works the topics. I do know that she does a lot of child-initiated activities, exploring and discovering on their own and herself responding as well. If the children play with sea creatures in the water tray, I suppose she can help them use their senses and learn new vocabulary. Maybe it is just to learn the names of the sea creatures, together with all that you have said she can do with the water, contrary to a more profound exploration and learning with 4-5 year olds.

 

Through out the years, it is through topics that I have seen my children respond with mayor interest. They ask questions about things they see in non-fiction books! In these days, on of them just came to me and said "Miss _, can I find insects here?" He was in the index page and pointing to the pages that corresponded to the "insects" topic. I was amazed and said "Yes! Well done!". I gave him a hug and he went to search the information by himself.

 

Surely enough, if I see that the group has a special interest towards a different topic that I had planned at the beginning of the school year, then I will change it as I did during the Sring Term. I have lots of boys and they were interested in constructing and imitating Bob the Builder, so we had a hands on experience with the carpenter at our school. They loved it! Then we went on with the "Transportation", since they showed a lot of interest in the vehicules used to construct. Both of these topics were not in the original year plan of September and I had not used them before in the past 4 years. Flexibility :o to the interests of the children.

Edited by SmileyPR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi SmileyPR,

I agree with you that topics can be a "springboard" to focus on new ideas and to enable the use of different learning styles and teaching methods. We use non-fiction, reference books alongside our topics, for example a child looked-up, in an art book, some ideas of how we could make a Dragon for Chinese New Year.

We also changed plans when the local council arrived outside preschool to build a path. We had lots of role play with diggers and shovels and "Tarmacers" sweeping the pretend tar into a path.

 

I think AOB makes a valid point about organisation and differentiation for each year.

I agree with your concerns about repetition of a topic using the same activities. Planning together will be imperative to ensure stimulating interesting experiences for the children. Joint review of how the children developed each year within a topic would also be required, and possibly some adaptation will be necessary in the consequant years, because of this review.

What is it about the BTTM programme that the teacher doesn't like?

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see why she would think it "vague" because the idea is that the children are developing their own learning styles at this stage. Concepts are emerging and therefore not concrete or necessarily measurable.

 

Hopefully she will find the books I suggested in the other post useful, and more important is that she doesn't worry about needing the children to "perform" to specific criteria. This is a critical stage of enabling children to have a positive, attitude/disposition to learning and discovery, therefore it is really important to be child led and not adult directed.

 

Lots of stimulating opportunities and experiences as previously discusssed which are "supported" by the adult through providing resources and "sensitive" interactions. If this is planned well, her observations of the children will indicate her next planning needs.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)