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Focus Activities/next Steps - How Often?


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I am almost there with my planning formats (hurray!!!) but I have a query regarding focus activities/next steps.

 

I was wondering, how often do you do these types of activities and how do you decide which children to focus on? The problem I have is that some people are focussing on the same children all the time because their next step observations are giving them something else to think about, however, other children are being left out because it's the same children all the time.

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I feel that most 'next steps' can be covered within continuous provision, by enhancing what is already there, or doing some sustained shared thinking with a child, or group of children. Some 'next steps' may take a long time to achieve, like a child understanding about taking turns or sharing, others are more long term anyway, like 'continue to provide opportunities for Jimmy to interact with children around him' or whatever. Quite often in a planning meeting we'll say what we are going to enhance and someone else will make a suggestion that sounds good and before we know it, all the children are involved in one way or another.

 

Do the children who are being 'left out' have unreasonable next steps planned? Why do you think that their needs are not being met? Could you focus on these children specifically next week and see what they need that could be met by either some SST or group activity?

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Hi Clare,

 

What we do is have a keyperson week, when the planning is done for one particular group. Each of the children have activities planned for their needs on days we know they are due in and full observatiuons/specific targets are addressed then. These are highlighted to ensure everyone is aware, so if the Keyperson is absent - perhaps sick- another member of staff will make sure it's done. We also have a 'Learning Tree' - the brainchild of my brilliant Manager - which is a large tree shape with 'leaves' that display areas we need to support or know more about for each child in the room. As anyone notices something they jot it down on the leaf and drop it into the child's learning journey ready for the keyperson to update the records. At the same time Focus activities are going on, one a day, for the whole group in order to ensure a balanced curriculum.

 

Yes, Cait, I tend to agree with you that most next steps can be covered through continuous provision, but there's always room for specific, tailored provision.

 

Sue

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WHAT WE DO IS DIVIDE THE CHILDREN UP OVER THE COURSE OF A TERM THEN ONE OR TWO CHILDREN WILL HAVE A WEEK ALLOCATED TO THEM WHERE ANY EXTENSIONS TO CONTINUOUS PROVISION ARE TAILORED AROUND THEIR NEXT STEPS.

ALTHOUGH NOT EVERY CHILD IS PLANNED AROUND EVERY WEEK IT ENABLES US TO ENSURE ALL CHILDREN ARE COVERED EACH TERM. WE WOULD FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN ANY OTHER WAY AS ALL OUR CHILDREN DO DIFFERENT HOURS AND DIFFERENT DAYS

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I have a next step for each child in each of the 6 areas of learning displayed on an A3 sheet then as somebody notices that they have met one they highlight it off. I also have 5 focus children per week to ensure that nobody is left out - then I have a box for each area of learning to be observed.

 

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