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Plods And Next Steps


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We had a visit from our Early Years Advisor recently to introduce us to a new way of recording children's next steps and progress, it should apparently reduce the amount of paper work we currently create in our learning stories. The format is this: One 20 minute observation of child initiated play each 1/2 term, develop one next step from this observation, and record it on the PLOD in the relevent area of learning. This is the next step that the child should be working towards during the next week, and should be noted in the weekly plan. When this next step is achieved it should be crossed off and a new one implemented and noted on the PLODs appropriate area of learning and the next weeks planning sheet. We should be working towards a new next step each week and each time a next step is achieved we should evidence it with either a photo or brief note. The next steps are supposed to be very brief and tiny steps, an example given was 'play with dinosaurs.' We should end up with one sheet (the PLOD) containing the next steps which is hung in the setting so it is easy to access and cross off the next steps as they are achieved, and at the end of the 1/2 term this should be stuck into the learning story book with the evidence of achievment following on the next page. This seems like a good way of recording next steps but not sure it is going to mean slimmer learning stories - we don't currently have a photo each week for each child, and with 52 children on roll, thats a lot of photos we will be printing. She did say that it doesn't have to be photographic evidence, sometimes a written account would be fine but even so, seems like a lot to me. We can play with this idea and create a method that works well for us, but just wondering if anyone else uses this method and if so how do you get on with it?

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I haven't really got any advice as we are currently re working all our planning at the moment (and struggling with it!!) However two things have struck me

1- a week isn't particularly very long for a child to achieve a next step and 2- Not sure how playing with dinosaurs is a next step?? Unlless of course it is a child that wont play with anything at all?

Sorry none of which is very helpful but I will watch for replies with interest!!

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Hmm, it all sounds a bit prescriptive to me. I'd rather have a few really good WOW observations from my staff than a prescribed amount per haft term or whatever. I feel that they'll be rushing to do this specified observation to get it done with, so that they could say 'well I've done one this half term for xxx I needn't look now' (Not that I'm saying my staff would do that!, it's just that some might see it that way)

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My thougths exactly lynned55. My next steps currently tend to be things that might take several weeks to achieve, particularly those that fall into physical development like progressing from propelling a trike with feet on the floor to pedalling. I think I am going to find it hard to find small enough steps to aim for, but I guess it's just a matter of getting used to the new method and perhaps it will all fall into place nicely. She did say that some might take longer to achieve but that we should be setting new next steps each week. She stated that all of the next steps must always be based on the child's interests, and it might be that a child shows an interest in dinosaurs after a family outing to the dinosaur park which they maybe mentioned to you and a next step to play with dinosaurs could be developed around that. It is supposed to result in easier planning too because each keyworker will write their next steps onto the planning sheet, or the resources needed to achieve it, with the child's initials next to it. Continuous provisions are just listed at the bottom of the sheet along with any adult led activities for the week. Can I also ask if you include photos of children in groups in your learning stories? Apparently if we do we should be blanking out the faces of other children. Up until now we have not done this, we get some great photos of children working together to create something fantastic and it seems a shame to remove faces from images like this. We obviously get permission to photograph children but perhaps we need to be more specific on our permission forms about how the photos may be used?

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I've added a bit on my form about permission for their child to be in group pictures in other children's files. If they don't give permission, then we blank the face out or cut them off

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sorry I am a bit confused here...one 20 min ob should lead to a next step, then each week a further next step? Sounds barking to me.....the 20 min ob may highlight one or two small things, or one big thing that might just need to be broken down into several smaller steps, but a whole half term's worth? Surely, regular post it type obs with next steps is a better way to work?? Am I missing something here? Take for example a new child...wks 1 -3 might be settling in type next steps, but surely after 2/3 weeeks that initial ob is almost defunct....please enlighten me those who know better.

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sorry I am a bit confused here...one 20 min ob should lead to a next step, then each week a further next step? Sounds barking to me.....the 20 min ob may highlight one or two small things, or one big thing that might just need to be broken down into several smaller steps, but a whole half term's worth? Surely, regular post it type obs with next steps is a better way to work?? Am I missing something here? Take for example a new child...wks 1 -3 might be settling in type next steps, but surely after 2/3 weeeks that initial ob is almost defunct....please enlighten me those who know better.

Barking??? Couldnt agree more! Who are these people? and WHO is advising THEM??? Arrrrghhh. Must be great sitting in an office playing with formats!! :)

....and regarding group learning stories we too get parents permission for their child to appear in them....I hate that blocked out face thing, makes the fabulous look frankly creepy :(

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eyfs1966 I am confused by her suggestion too, glad I'm not the only one. I don't think she meant that all next steps for the next 1/2 term should come from the initial 20 minute ob, just the first one. She said that after that we shouldn't be referring back to the initial ob. I think she is indicatiing that the ob gives you an initial interest to work from and a second next step will become apparent during the next week, maybe linked to the first ob but maybe from just observing play or something the child brings or shares from home, or even something a parent tells you about. This next step can be focussed around the interest initially found. I think she must me indicating that there is no need to write down the following obs, just create a next step from it and note it on the PLOD in the releveant area of learning, it's supposed to be a working document that is displayed in the setting so that all staff can access it (covered for confidentiality though) and cross off the next step if they notice it being achieved. Following this method, at the end of each PLOD (roughly each 1/2 term) you should end up with seven completed next steps. We only had this suggested to us on Thursday, and we are having a staff meeting on Monday to discuss it and see how we can make it work for us, I will let you all know what we decide to go with but I can see already that there is lots of uncertainty about putting it into practice.

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Guest griffclan

Hi, this is my first time posting as I've only just joined!

I've recently moved to the UK from NZ where I trained and worked as a teacher in early years.... I'm teaching a nursery class here as well as some overlap with Rececption in the afternoons. i've got to say I've been quite lost in terms of trying to make sense of the how to record assessments/ follow next steps/ interests. I understand the thinking behind it because the philosophy is the same in NZ BUT.... we didn't have to document with quite the same volume of paper work that seems to involved here!!

Anyway, my comment on your post is ... do you all usually just limit next steps to 1 at a time for each child? I know we couldn't possibly plan for every single next step across all areas of learning for every child especially if you have a large group of children. Would you limit to 1 just to manage the planning and if so how do you ensure that over a period of time you are considering all areas of learning? do you focus your obs if needs be ? Maybe I'm a bit confussed but any enlightenment or help gratefully received :huh:

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

 

I often have several children who need a very similar next step - so it might be that I've identified that I want to see 5 particular children exploring capacity and there may be another group who I'd like to see counting so they can all work at the same activity. This same group of children will have other steps I want to see which could be putting their own shoes on or whatever, and that could just be recorded on a WOW! slip on the wall when it's achieved. I'm really trying to pare down the paperwork, and as long as things get recorded somewhere - be it a photo, wow, observation, plan or in a home diary then I see no sense making more work.

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  • 1 month later...

PLOD stands for POSSIBLE Lines of Development.It originated in Pen Green and is very much a product of NZ curriculum Te Whariki. It is a misuse of a really powerful process to add 'next steps'. Any observation should inform a PLOD by uncovering interests and learning behaviour patterns. The PLOD is then a negotiated array of activities or provision enhancements that may 'possibly' enage the child in new learning and development (half termly is impressive). The notion of the 'next step' is guessing what a child might learn next. Any reference to the revised Development Matters makes it clear that such approaches are inappropriate.

 

I do worry about such ill informed and anappropriate practices being fed into overloaded practitioners.

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Our kw's add one of their key children to the planning each week with next step, kw's have their own number, for example kw1 adds their kc & next step, we then have boxes 1-6 on plan sheet so other kw's add in any of their kc that would particularly benefit from or enjoy focus child's next step, its down to kw's to ensure the children they have added actually get encouraged/observed to participate planned activity or use intended resource during the week, that way we cover quite a few kc each week, we are intending to move away from a formal approach as to who the focus kc are each week, as some need more next step planning than others, and we found children in larger key groups were not having as much next step planning as children in smaller kg's that rotated quicker.

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Three times a year- Oct. half-term, beginning of January, Easter each key person has a good look through all the obs. in their child's folder and at what they have been doing that term. From this we fill in a sheet (3 columns). The column headings are 1: Possible next steps, 2: Included in planned provision? 3: Progress.

In column one we put a next step for each of the 6 (currently) areas . If a child is doing really well with their maths but still needs lots of support socially then we might put 2 PSE targets and no maths ones. or we might suggest that alot of their learning in other areas takes place through the context of maths.

We always have these sheets with us at our weekly planning meetings. So a few of us might say 'I've got several children who need to develop their knowledge of 3D shape. I noticed them naming lots of 2D shapes recently..etc' WE might then decide to include some activities around shape in our provision the following week. On each child's sheet where that was a target we would write 'week beginning 31/7/12: Shape hunt.

The next week we would continue to informally observe all children. If we caught them playing in this shape area we might write a quick obs or take a photo which gets stuck in LJ and numbered chronologically. When reflecting back through the folder again, maybe in a couple of weeks we could write in column 3 against progress; Obs. 52- achieved. We might want a few obs before we say they have actually achieved this.

 

So each child has 6 next steps focuses each 3 months, 18 in total in a year plus any adhoc stuff we might add along the way.

 

For us it seems to follow the correct cycle. We observe, suggest possible next steps, plan in provocations to help that along, observe, make next step, plan again etc.

Also means weekly planning is always focused on next steps.

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