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Hi all


Started a new job in January. The new school wants me to plan from a book each week. Every area should stem from the book in the enhanced provision plus many of the focused activities. I was also asked to follow a timetable eg RE Monday morning, Art Monday afternoon etc, etc. I found the whole planning business exhausting creating activities from a book rather than children's interests. Also they wanted long term topics decided at the beginning of the year. I was used to shorter topics/themes following the children's interests. Also for ppa my cover is the music specialist coming in for an hour one session and PE for 2 40 minute slots. I am finding it too over prescriptive and exhausting!


Have any of you planned this way ie from a book and how useful have you found it.


Any thoughts would be welcome - I find that I stay until 7 0'clock on Fridays to enjhance the areas and then there is the focused activity planning and resourcing, Learning journals etc, etc . I cannot continue to work at this level.

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I don't work in a reception class but I am in a school nursery and I know from the staff meetings that life in the FS2 can be demanding and that you have to stand your ground and explain that life is not like this anymore for our youngest children in school. I know that this is easier said than done though!


There does not appear to be any built in flexibility, no child initiated time no children leading their own interests in the planning you are expected to do!


I believe further up the school the planning from a book has been tried to get more cross curricular working going on but I believe that good early years practitioners plan holistically anyway and whilst occasionally a book might be totally what the children are in to I think it's wrong to expect planning in this way all the time.


Who is directing you to plan like this? The Head or a FS co ordinator?


Do you have good early years advisors to talk to?


I don't know what to suggest really! Do you have a nursery? If so are they expected to plan like this?!! Our plans are similar to receptions but not the same. We do try and gr together though about planning though. . . Could the nursery staff help you here?


I feel bad for you and the experience you are having, reception class should be a joyous place!

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Maybe you could also have an indepth look at the new EYFS. To see if you can locate specific things written in this statutory document to help your case?


If you are in nursery I am presuming reception is the same?


If the teacher in there is decent surely she has issues too?

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Yes, Reception the same!!!! We are great support for each other! Does anyone out there plan always from a book planned in advance - not child initiated. Wonder if it has come from up the school as you said or if it is a way some Nurseries are planning?

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If I were you I would give them a copy of the new EYFS framework, with the bits highlighted that show what they are telling you to do is not in the best interests of your children e.g.


1.7 Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.


If you are following a whole school long term plan it is very unlikely that you will be able to do this for your class.


I have created a long term plan for Nursery and Reception to use in my school and put in the whole school topics and a selection of celebrations and festivals from around the world that we may look at but i have written at the bottom that EYFS planning is based around the individual needs, interests and stages of development of all children and so may not follow those topics.

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We have 5 or 6 books on our plan each week - we then plan our focus activites out of this - but we also have continous provision and a visual choice timetable for the the children if they don't want to do the focus activity - the focus activity might only take 5 mins anyway and then we're following the children's play ideas. If the children want to do something different after listening to the story then that's fine too for example - a couple of the books this week are (we're Olympic theming):

The sports day - with activities and opportunites related

My body - with healthy eating activities related


Groups today had a 3 way free flow going with 1) sporty stuff going on in the garden (or their own garden games) - we had a torch relay after some children had made torches; 2) continuous provision indoors 3) making healthy dinners out of whatever they could find (playdough, snippy bits, clay etc etc)


We find the book keep us 'grounded' but don't affect our ability to follow the children's lead - we find that the books, especially as we choose books they don't know so well, enable the children to come up with things they wouldn't have thought of.


pw x

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I am entering a school where the Reception timetable is very formal and old school with Maths, Eng in the morning and then art mon, science tues etc. I am going to turn it completely on its head and scrap this kind of timetable. It is expected that on mon all the children get through a focused art activity, tues a Science activity and often things aren't linked.


After the settling in period I plan to do a topic called Bears and base it a round the books goldilocks and bear hunt-but will obviously roll out activities around the children's interests in relation to the topic e.g. poss activities such as junk modelling baby bear's chair, finding out about bear's around the world etc etc

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