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How to ensure you Plan for all Children


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Hello all....

 

I am currently in the process of totally re vamping our planning system, and would really appreciate any help/guidance/advice on what you all do to ensure that all your children are planned for.... :huh:

 

I am aware all settings approach this in very different ways, but would love to know if anyone has a relatively simple system in place.

 

does everyone do individual planning for their key children every week, or rather do you all contribute to one plan for the room, if so how can you choose and ensure all children are equally considered.

 

any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks... :D

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We have a half hourly meeting each week, where we reflect upon what's gone on during the week, what's been a real magnet to the children and what hasn't and take that forward for the whole group if interests are still engaged. Key persons put forward ideas for the individual children too from their observations and possible lines of development. We would also discuss any child causing concern, or groups of children, and if there has been any emerging talent which needs to be embedded!

Edited by Panders
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hi Camilla..we plan for all of our children on a fortnightly basis and then create an envronment plan from that (which may also include follow ons/threads from previous day and current interests) the keyworkers write 'next steps' (or plods depending on your POV!!) these are then fed onto the plan into general'areas' so that if i have 10 children who need to do fine motor skills then the environment is changed to fit their needs.Ive posted my planning before so try a search...if you can't find it i'll try and post again(if you're interested ;) )

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

 

We've scrapped planning!! (As a trial)

 

Just enhancing things from day to day according to interests and lines of development and noting retrospectively. Christmas will be the big 'plan' things and we'll just see how we go. We have such a diverse group this year that it just doesn't seem sensible to try to plan activities for everyone in advance.

Edited by Cait
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Oh Cait, that is so funny, i have barely done any proper planning for a year or so (and guess what - the sky didn't fall down, and the children still learned). We have just begun to put it back down on paper in a very simple way things we might do next week if all goes well type of stuff! Key persons do their best to persuade their children to have a go at what they think they might enjoy, based on their interests and record any "wows".

 

What I like about the summer hols is the children who return, for the first week, we are forever saying, wow he's....., wow, she's doing that now, have you noticed so and so they are ....... When you are with the children day in day out some wows just creep up on you, you may even miss them until you look back.

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That sums up what we're doing really, Panders. Like you say, the sky hasn't fallen down and I find we have much more freedom to do what we came into the job for, which is to get down on the floor with the children and be properly involved with what's going on in their heads!

 

You're right about those WOWs!!!

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Hi all

As you may know I'm not a great fan of individual next steps for all children all the time! However, I'm thinking that I've understood how people use the individual plans (e.g. the ones with all areas of learning around the edge and interests etc in the middle). I've previously understood it that all areas were filled in at once then over the course of the half-term/term these would then ben fed into planning? But... have I understood this wrong? Would these be filled in as you go along e.g. week 1, you may only fill in a 'next step/PLOD!' for one or two AOL depending the current need of the child - then this is fed into weekly planning. I can (just about) see how this could be a manageable way of doing things which would also keep things up current - supporting the children in what they might need this week not 6-10 weeks ago?

Thanks,

Green Hippo x

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Go Cait, Go Panders! xD

 

Haven't quite abandoned all planning - have stopped faffing about with as much as I used to though :ph34r:

 

Welcome Camilla and I have to know is it your cat?

 

If you have a good look round the forum - try forum search - you will find that we are always discussing planning and most of us have no idea whether or not we are 'doing' it correctly - my poor staff have had to put up with so many changes from me - honestly I get on my own nerves! :blink: xD :lol: xD

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Guest sn0wdr0p

I used to spend hours completing planning sheets based around a child's interest completing a next step for every area and then the child was no longer interested in that topic anymore and didn't want to do anything I had planned. Now we have a massive whiteboard in each room where we note any PLODs, achievements etc no longer having to search for each childs sheet. Every Friday staff transfer the notes into learning journey and leave ideas still to be actioned on the whiteboard for the next week and for all staff to see.

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I used to spend hours completing planning sheets based around a child's interest completing a next step for every area and then the child was no longer interested in that topic anymore and didn't want to do anything I had planned. Now we have a massive whiteboard in each room where we note any PLODs, achievements etc no longer having to search for each childs sheet. Every Friday staff transfer the notes into learning journey and leave ideas still to be actioned on the whiteboard for the next week and for all staff to see.

 

Now that sounds like a sensible solution.......hmmmmm - got me thinking now! :1b

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We've just about abandoned planning. I got fed up with wasting all of my PPA time planning for the following week, when by the time we got to the following week the children had moved on to something else. Then somehow I ended up feeling guilty for not doing what was on my plans! Decided that the children can plan their own learning far better than I can. I evaluate at the end of each day and then note down how we can enhance/support any learning that had taken place for the following day, noting down groups of children. I will write a simple overview if we want to introduce a new story such as The Three Pigs etc. I now use my PPA time planning retrospectively. I write up all the learning that had taken place, include photographs and link this learning to the EYFS and bullet points next steps in the learning. I feel we have now closed the gap between planning and showing all the learning that has taken place that hadn't been planned for.

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I haven't planned for years and stick by this saying which is prominently displayed in my office.

 

"Planning is what you fall back on when no better learning opportunities present themselves"

 

...don't know where I found it though to give credit for the quote.

 

Well I really like that (can I have some of whatever you've been drinking ;):D )

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Bellevue - I'm assuming that you don't do individual plans then!! When you say that you bullet-point next steps in learning - do you mention individual children? Or groups? Or for the whole group? Do you not worry if every child has not had a next step if their needs seem to be being met? I.e. their next step is 'more of the same'

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Wow. Thanks for all your great replies. And just to clarify unfortunately that is not my cat.... Although I do have a lovely (pampered) old black and white moggy who would defiantly not let me any where near her with a razor ?

 

It really is v frustrating not to know what the "right" method is but I suppose that is the conundrum of early years :-) great to hear all ur opinions though and thanks for sharing ?

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No! I don't! In a previous very long post/rant on another thread I explained how I have tried so many different ways of implimenting next steps/plods for all children - from taking a few children each week to trying to take account of all the children all the time. I find it all pretty unmanageable when in actual fact this is what we do day in day out as experienced, trained, up-to-date practitioners - i.e. we know our children, where they are up to in their learning, what their interests are, where and how they like to play etc and within our daily interactions we support them in the best ways we can to take their learning forward or (dare I say it) allow them time and space to ENJOY EXPERIENCES!!! Why do we have to write everything down that we and they think and do, have done yesterday and will possibly think/do tomorrow!

At the moment I'm trying to come up with a system that allows me to record our responses to the children's needs but in some individual way - I am mulling over the idea of filling in a individual planner to show how we have supported children as they show needs in different AOL.

X

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No! I don't! In a previous very long post/rant on another thread I explained how I have tried so many different ways of implimenting next steps/plods for all children - from taking a few children each week to trying to take account of all the children all the time. I find it all pretty unmanageable when in actual fact this is what we do day in day out as experienced, trained, up-to-date practitioners - i.e. we know our children, where they are up to in their learning, what their interests are, where and how they like to play etc and within our daily interactions we support them in the best ways we can to take their learning forward or (dare I say it) allow them time and space to ENJOY EXPERIENCES!!! Why do we have to write everything down that we and they think and do, have done yesterday and will possibly think/do tomorrow!

At the moment I'm trying to come up with a system that allows me to record our responses to the children's needs but in some individual way - I am mulling over the idea of filling in a individual planner to show how we have supported children as they show needs in different AOL.

X

 

I too have all but abandoned real planning - its mainly all retrospective now and so much simpler.

At the moment we are using post its on a large room plan to show what has happened in each area...and using these notes to consider what to do the next session / day and to monitor the effectiveness of our continuous provision.

Mostly the planning for individuals is spontaneous...'planning-in-action' if you like.

 

Recording evidence of this day to day moment to moment enhancement and interaction in a way that others who may need / want to know what we've done and why is the main challenge for me too - that and monitoring that all children are supported as their needs demand. Still very much a work in progress.

 

If I didnt feel the need to be 'proving' to others (parents, advisors, ofsted) that we are doing more than 'just playing' I dont think I'd need to do any planning paperwork at all. As it is I try to keep it to a minimum.

I can see the progress and I know basically what the children are moving towards and how to suppport that. I have had several years to witness our leavers heading to school perfectly capable and confident - so thats all the 'proof' I need that this approach works - unfortunately it has not been easy to convince some staff, parents and committee.

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I too have all but abandoned real planning - its mainly all retrospective now and so much simpler.

At the moment we are using post its on a large room plan to show what has happened in each area...and using these notes to consider what to do the next session / day and to monitor the effectiveness of our continuous provision.

Mostly the planning for individuals is spontaneous...'planning-in-action' if you like.

 

Recording evidence of this day to day moment to moment enhancement and interaction in a way that others who may need / want to know what we've done and why is the main challenge for me too - that and monitoring that all children are supported as their needs demand. Still very much a work in progress.

 

If I didnt feel the need to be 'proving' to others (parents, advisors, ofsted) that we are doing more than 'just playing' I dont think I'd need to do any planning paperwork at all. As it is I try to keep it to a minimum.

I can see the progress and I know basically what the children are moving towards and how to suppport that. I have had several years to witness our leavers heading to school perfectly capable and confident - so thats all the 'proof' I need that this approach works - unfortunately it has not been easy to convince some staff, parents and committee.

 

 

Firstly Hello

 

I'm quite new to this site, but I'm finding it a very helpful resource :) thank you all.

 

 

Have you had an OFSTED since planning this way? If so what did you get? Thanks

 

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we had ofsted a couple of years ago when we were still introducing / trialling / tweaking this approach...and still trying to get all staff on board :huh: .

We were using the post its to record what had actually happened and making changes on a sessional / daily basis.

We did have a weekly planning meeting where we reviewed all the info and noted whether there were any children who might need more support in any areas and what the main interests were that we wanted to 'take forward' into the next week - but we didnt really do alot of pre planning. The inspector looked very briefly at our retrospective plans and planning wall - didnt flag up anything as lacking there and we got a 'good' - which was better than we'd had when planning in a more structured way.

 

Then again it all depends on the inspector of course...she identified that the children were very happy, independent and all engaged and commented on the effective 'play based learning'.

 

I would like to think we've become even more flexible since then and i can see no reduction in childrens progress - they have even more quality time with staff and that makes all the difference - not written plans.

The revised inspection approach does say that inspectors "should not routinely expect to see detailed written plans for the activites they observe" but will "focus on the overall quality of the approach" - they will also be looking at the quality of adult interaction ...sooo I think we can safely continue the way we are... and really I'd find it hard to do it any other way now. :D

 

The retrospective plans are less wastefull (paper wise and time wise) than ones done in advance - so many used to get abandoned or got in the way of what children really were interested in doing.

One benefit of the written notes after the event is that they really help to demonstrate how much more than 'just playing' has gone on in a session...it gets staff to think - what difference have we made? - so in a sense we are evaluating at the same time.

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  • 3 months later...

Staff training tomorrow... I'll be scaring them witless with the 2 year check paperwork ;) I think it';s just what we were doing anyway but you know, they hate change *shrug LOL Anyway it got me to thinking about planning again!

I visit settings as part of another job and I'm yet to see two that have the same system. Ours has developed and evolved so much and yet I still don't see it as effective. We do it because we're told we have to but actually in the day to day running we go with the children's interests like we're meant to and only really look at the plans when we set up at the beginning of the week... I'm planning a rebellion... muhahahahhaha

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We too have planned retrospectively for years now and are now following ABC's objective led planning (with a bit of tweaking to make it fit us)

 

Basically we assess at the end of term, write the summary and identify next steps for each child.

 

We see 'planning' for groups so identify all the next steps that have several children in common and plot these on the weekly sheet. We then enjoy being with the children, keeping the 'objectives' in mind and differentiate our play accordingly.

 

Yes, if it's minutely analysed, there will be children we are involved in play with whose next step is not identified but as someone else said we are professionals and i'm sure we can look at what a child is doing in that moment and support as necessary. We also know that in the daily routine stuff much of the 'learning' is supported without needing to 'plan' for it so I can happily say that all children are learning at all times and we know this as they are making progress and as Trekker said we've waved many a competent child off to school and feedback from the parents tell us how well they are doing with reading etc (why is this the first thing that is always mentioned! lol)

 

short obs of relevant stuff are added to their LJ ( not them orrible long winded ones we were forced to do at college!)

 

lo and behold isn't it amazing that although we 'plan' for specific areas, so much more is 'ticked off' when it comes to assessment so the children must be learning other things at the same time

 

Love that comment that they come back from school holidays and we notice so much 'growth' in terms of learning - have the parents been planning in our absence? I bet not and they still manage to learn! shock! :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have weekely planning, where each key person has one focus child for the week, and may add seom key points for one or two children based on the previous week. We've been having the discussion of how to evidence how we plan for all children. i've created a format which we're going to take on board, which basically looks like this:

 

Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri -

 

Child A playdough, bats and X 2D 3D shapes X X

balls leaf painting

 

Child B X bikes,gruffalo story

sack

 

 

 

We basically reflect on the resources that are out and that are on our planning, and as it is written for the next day i add in the details for my individual key children. I always have at least one opprotunity from each area of the setting they use (2 rooms and outside). It just evidences what is provided for the individual children for each session they are in.. as we could not possibly include all 32 children for each session on the planning.

 

Hope that makes sense

x

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