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What To Do.....


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Hi

Each half term we have a topic. It is a loose topic that gives us a starting point but flexible enough to incorporate interests and needs.

With the new EYFS I am just wondering how you will be planning

Thanks. X

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We haven't used topics as such for a while now.

 

At the start of term I will be spending time getting to know the children and seeing where their interests lie and building on that.

 

We loosely had the Olympics as our topic before we broke up, including sports shop and outdoors an Olympic stadium where different sports equipment was out every few days for the different events.

 

We always have an indoor and outdoor home corner and we just see where things go.

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We are still doing 'projects' not quite 'themes'. For example, a few children were suddenly interested in pirates so we built a ship with the big wooden blocks and they asked if we could make pirate hats the next day, so we did. Then they asked for eye patches and to make little boats for the water tray...... And it went on. It was all child initiated and the whole group were really interested in it. We got a lot of learning out of it too.

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We are still doing 'projects' not quite 'themes'. For example, a few children were suddenly interested in pirates so we built a ship with the big wooden blocks and they asked if we could make pirate hats the next day, so we did. Then they asked for eye patches and to make little boats for the water tray...... And it went on. It was all child initiated and the whole group were really interested in it. We got a lot of learning out of it too.

 

Ditto - strangely Cait and I were 'doing' pirates at the same time........mine came about because a few children were drawing treasure maps! :1b

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Obviously a trend going on here, we've been making pirate ships with the loose parts equipment and then making hats, patches and cutlasses. buried treasure in the sand and treasure maps in the writing area. Brilliant fun and so much better with the sun shining

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Oh yes, mine enjoyed hunting for diamonds in the sand - tesco table decorations. We made treasure chests too with small boxes! Oh it was enormous fun!

 

But back to your original question, we pirated your thread a bit there! Haha.

 

Are we planning for themes? I think the answer would be 'no' I'm waiting for the children to throw me a project idea, they are much more fun! Obviously there are things that we do, Hannuka, Diwali, Christmas whatever, and I will still plan for those.

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skippy , why do you feel that you need a topic? I often feel that staff feel they need something to plan to but really we should be planning for the next steps for each child. I planned for topics for years but now wonder why on earth i did it! Children have the most amazing capacity to learn and will pick up things quickly, they will take you in unexpected avenues if you let them....mini projects this term include bones in the body...shrunken heads....peter pan....pirates (!!!) gardening....snails.....stag beetles.....birds.....water.....tubes and tunnels.....car races....and trains traiins trains!!! some have lasted a couple of hours, some a couple of weeks.....

Would i have planned to any of this, i doubt it but has there been lots of child led learning ...absolutely.

Oh and having just done my end of year assessments my children are way above the levels that previous more 'structured' year groups . My creative area has had very few organised activities...just lots and lots of provision available the standard of drawings/writing etc is much higher across the board.

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Thank you for your replys. Themes give us a starting point as we rotate areas of learning for a year covering six (now seven) each half term to ensure coverage. Then we weave in children's interests. I'm not sure how to get started really on no themes. I do do weekly plans but to encompass 40 children a week with their interests is difficult, when they are all in different days and time. So on a Tuesday am when the pirate Gang is in will be different to a tuesday pm when the trains gang are in. Does that make any sense? Patents also like to know what we are doing each half term. So a theme plan of each area of learning will a few suggested ideas/activities is given to the parents to allow them to see some of the things going on.

Confused .com!!!!!! :-//

 

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it's so difficult to get your head round it isn't it. I have 60 children in (sessional care) some do 2 sessions some do 5. I don't plan around seven areas (i have 8 zones inside and 6 plus outside) they change depending on what the children need at the time of year (so perhaps lots of sensory play at the beginning and lots of fine motor skills at the end) ...i decided some time ago that planning for the 6 areas meant nothing because the children dont just do creative in the creative area or numeracy in the numeracy corner. planning around interests comes after planning for next steps in my setting so if i know little johnny needs to do more fine motor skills...but he's into pirates then i might try to put out things for him to draw treasure maps...or i might draw a treasure map and get him to fill in the treasure. This may be planned just for him but lots of others will do it too. There is a risk that you get lots of children doing lots of different things but that's up to their keyworker to ensure their next steps happen (even if not in the way you've planned!) so little johnny might decide that he no longer wants anything to do with pirates...but he really likes ben 10...fine we know his next step is fine motor skills so we just get him to draw ben 10 monsters instead!

we plan next steps every fortnight which gives us 20 sessions to ensure everyone gets seen and worked with....we normally find we can do their next steps several times in the 2 weeks to ensure progression is being made.

You have to find what works for you (and the children) it's taken me 13 years to get to this point and i'm still changing things for september.....especially now i am taking funded 2 year olds who work so differently to 3 year olds!

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We were told on recent revised EYFS Implementation training to plan for the four specific areas only - the Prime areas would then naturally, as a result be covered, so that is what we are going to do, using the children's interests and needs, we will plan activities in the 4 specific areas only and see what happens

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It's strange isn't it that different authorities seem to be saying different things - our authority told us the opposite to yours Panders - plan for the prime areas and the specific areas would dovetail in around the prime area planning, when the children were ready and confident in the prime areas. :1b

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Ours was also delivered as 'focus on the primes and then look at how dm statements in specifics cross referenced to the primes' in same age bands........and it did make sense, though I don't remember seeing any type of planning sheet just an attempt at an ob sheet that must have taken all of 30 seconds to prepare.

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any area of continous provision in your setting will cover the 7 areas, there is your starting point as you get to know you children interests will emerge also you will be enhancing the areas too

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