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Hi, I am trying to get my head around planning around childrens interests but not getting it at all!

We have 70 children who come on different days/sessions. We have around 25 children each session. We only have a small hall so equipment is planned so that we provide all the areas we are supposed to e.g sand/water, painting, free craft, smallworld, book area within our hall. Even if we planned for each childs interests and also asked them what to get out we could not actually get out 25 different things as we simply don't have the space!! Also we would have to pack away everything at the end of the morning, get different stuff out again in the afternoon as we have 25 new children join us then and then at the end of the day have to pack it all away again. this just seems like chaos and pretty dangerous as we would be loading/unloading big boxes from our cupboards all day!

At the moment if a child shows interest in something, like last week a child asked for a tent so on our evaluation sheet I wrote this and the next day and next week we had tents in our outdoor area. We do try to do this as much as is possible but there are times it isn't feasable e.g if a child asks for playdough and we have oats in our tactile area then the next week I will make playdough but I don't really agree with obeying childrens every request and whim then and there so that they think they say it and get it especially if you don't have the stuff to make it. Staff also fill in a next steps sheet for every child covering the 6 areas each term and I use this to form the weekly planning so their needs are met throughout the term.

We have an EYFS advisor coming in next week and I will aim all my questions her way but hoping someone can help me in the meantime please.

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Hi Tomberley, we are also a packaway setting with 65 children doing differing sessions, 30 max children per session.

We have the core provision like sand,a form of painting, role-play, writing area, book area, PSRN, small world, large physical, these may all be indoors or outdoors or sometimes both, mark-making all around the building in/out and a junk modelling / creative table. Then as our week progresses we will have observed, listened to and engaged with our children which enables us to plan for the next week.[A sheet is on our learning wall for staff to make a note].This will make the starting point for the next weeks plan.

As you obviously cannot cater for every child's interest per se, generally a group of children will be keen on the same thing at the same time.

So for instance we know our children well enough to know that they love to make the play-dough, so each week they make it choosing a different colour [exploring texture, change, colours, smells].

We are also open to change equipment even if the planning states................thats what makes each day special, unique and most importantly great fun, [all changes are also noted on the sheet]. We do however put something away if nobody is showing an interest after some time, or the children are requesting a particular piece of equipment thats not out if its feasible to do so otherwise tidy up time could be chaos, I don't see it as obeying but more that children are confident to ask and you can explain if their request is not reasonable at that time.[ maybe making a note of their interest].

When your advisor comes in do show them how you plan, do ask questions, that is why they come to help and advise.

Best of luck :o

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