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Am I Doing My Planning Correctly?


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Ok so this is my first post..I hope I do it right!

I have to resort to asking everyone for advice on here as am currently incredibly confused! I finished my NQT year in Jan (very much missing my NQT time). I am in a 78 place Nursery attached to a school. I have 46 children in the morning and 46 in the afternoon. There is always 4 members of staff present at anyone time, all of whom are very experienced, however they have been working at the school for a long time, so have become stuck in their ways a little.

My current planning has been adapted from the Reception planning as my Head wanted it to be similar but my problem is that I don't feel we follow the children's interests enough. I do my planning every Wednesday, and sit in my office trying to think of ideas (which I'm quickly running out off!!), my staff give me ideas but its always very tried and tested ideas. Unfortunately I've tried to change this by providing information to my staff about how I feel an ideal Nursery has run but this has not worked, so now I feel I need to take a stand as the teacher and say 'THIS is how we are going to go it'....but I don't know what this is??

Have read abcdoes blog and it sounds fantastic, however with such a large setting and number of adults, I need to be very specific in my planning so everyone knows what they are doing.

Sooo... the long wind of this is, could anyone give me advice on planning, perhaps look at how I could alter my weekly planning. I have two sets of planning, an A3 piece that goes on my wall and then another planning format with my early learning goals on


I would be eternally grateful to any advice

Thank you

p.s this feels very strange letting unknown people look at my planning but strangely liberating!





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That seems like a lot of planning for one week. The first plan where you have put in exactly what is happening where and when seems fine, and like you say you need it so everyone knows what they are doing. (although we arn't so rigid in our setting and in most areas the children choose which resources they use and therefore follow their own interestd.


I think your other plan is very indepth (far more than mine is anyway!). I just do one or two short activity plans each week which link into the EYFS which certainly don't cover all of the 6 areas (although will do over a half-term). I am confident though that children have the opportunity each day (through our continuous provision) to access all 6 areas.


I will be interested to read what other think....


Also, just to add, I am my own bos so have no head teachers telling me what is expected!

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That looks a lot of work - very detailed and must take a long time!


I planned in a very similar way to this, but it took me too long and was often wasted when children led activities down different routes from those I'd planned. Now I just plan the adult directed bits like Letters and Sounds and anything I particularly want to cover. I look at their next steps and plan things to cover those that generally involve other children in some way. It really frees up my time!


Having said that, I'm only responsible for 10 children in my key group, not the whole 34, so that makes a lot of difference.


CONGRATULATIONS on your post - and yes, it's really liberating!!!

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Fabulous planning but what a lot of hard work. I pick one area of learning a week eg this week is PSRN and plan in some activities based on this and then pop in some Letters and sounds and the rest is left for staff to put in their individual planning for key children based on childrens interests. Occasionally I plan some topic based activities and less individual eg. we looked at chinese new year over the last couple of weeks.

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Our weekly plan is similar to the first document but it has days of the week down the left side and across the top the areas of learning ie PSE/ creative/ CLL etc.


All staff can and do write on it and theres a coloured dot alongside the activity to show if it was outdoors/ planned/ child initiated or the focus activity.


I may be wrong but it seems to me your second plan shows the first in more depth with your areas of learning covered on that one.

Maybe you are making yourself extra work if they could be combined on just one plan?


Our focus activity sheets are where we would put in the "goal" we are trying to reach for the focus activity.


Not sure that made any sense!!!!!


Well done for posting though!! :o

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Me again. Sorry!!


I just noticed as I was navigating away that you asked if you were planning correctly. . . .


I dont think there is one correct way to plan!

Everyone does it to suit their children, themselves, their staff and their setting I think!!


I believe it has to be manageable and flexible!!

Edited by Scarlettangel
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Welcome Sam, well your planning looks very thorough, but as Scartlettangel suggested are you able to combine the two to save you time.

I do also feel planning should reflect a settings ethos, family groups, staffing, facilities and most importantly a child's interest thats why they will all or should look somewhat different. :o

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I loved all your activities and can see how much work you put into your planning. You say the other teachers have been there a long time and might be set in their ways, well you should try to see it from their point of view. You have come in all fired up and enthusiastic and with tons of ideas to 'change things'. If you put that much effort into your planning, they might feel you expect the same level of effort from them. This might 'get their backs up' rather than elicit their ideas and cooperation.

Can't you have a meeting and discuss the topic and see what they have done in the past and incorporate your own ideas into that? This will let you relax a bit on the detailed planning aspect and allow you to grow into your new position.

You need to enjoy being with the children and follow through on their interests a little more rather than focus too much on introducing lots of experiences/activities to them.

Sorry, I guess this is rambling a bit, but basically don't stress out on too much detail.

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Congratulations on making your first post :o


Can't offer any advise re the planning but you said

sit in my office trying to think of ideas (which I'm quickly running out off!!)
Just wanted to draw your attention to the topic support areas of the forum;


Topic Support


Activity Support


Both of these have downloadable resources you can print off and use with staff. They could be given the information as a starting point and asked to plan their own activity from them....as practitioners we often give more if we have ownership of the task instead of just being told what to do. Even if they add very little to the information you give them it will be their thing to do if that makes sense.


Topics and Activities ideas Subforums


This forum area is filled with masses of useful ideas that you could skim through for inspiration and if you can't find it then just ask....tell the members what you are thinking of doing and they will soon chip in and tell you if it sounds good or not....it can save time planning an activity, getting the resources and then it not being successful.


Best of luck with it all,


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Everything that i saw in your planning, just skimmed alittle of it. You will achieve in an everyday stimulating environment.


my staff plan individually for their children (i understand this may not work for you) so it is led by the childrens interests.


How about asking them 'what they want to do?' You may have a topic in mind but how about asking the children where they want this to go.

As Cait says we do not do such indepth planning, dont have time or space to keep it. The only adult led plans we have are welcome time and story time the rest is child led


Perhaps involve your team in looking at new ways, but sometimes it does just come down to 'we are going to this this way' sometimes staff (not all and hopefully no one will get upset at this) are bit like men (sorry men) you have to make them think it was their idea, just plant a few seeds and let them ponder.

Every setting is different but as Sue pointed out there are loads of ideas on here good luck

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Thank you so much to everyone's replies. Extremely interesting. I will try and see how I can combine my two plans together, to make one simpler and easier way.

Also thank you for the information about the topic ideas on here, very useful as well.

Hope perhaps I can be of help to others now too

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