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Do your staff do their own planning for Key Children?


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Hi all.

 

I do the planning for children's interests but as I'm not getting much in the way of observations or notes from some staff, their children are missing out in the planning as they're only getting anything I happen to observe planned for. (I hope that makes sense)

 

Do your staff do their own planning for their own children.. how does it work, do they link up or is it just a different planning sheet for each person, separate from the general planning?

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All staff have to add a next step or interest to planning sheet for a focus KC, they and other staff then add in any other children that would benefit from/be interested in that activity/resource, we then have an interest sheet on planning board that any general interests shown or requests made are recorded, saying who/what/how/when, it might be something as simple as a child wanting something out just as lunch is about to begin, it gets added then pm staff can see what so and so wanted and ask if they'd still like to do it later on, or if it needs more planning/time it will get added to planning sheet.

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Guest griffclan

I also do all the planning but the key workers give me an individual planning sheet each week for their key child/children (not all their children each week!) On this they put and PLOD's etc from the observations and then I draw up a weekly plan for the whole group based on the key children for that week and adding in anything else that may be appropriate/relevant e.g. Christmas. Sometimes it's been quite easy to group the PLOD's for several children together and provide an enhancement in the C.P. for them or a focused activity etc but at other times I've felt like there were too many things.It's been much better since we started just focusing on a few key children each week

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In the setting where I used to work each member of staff had a week for specific keyperson planning. They would observe their child in that week and the lead up, plan an experience for ALL children, but for them focussing on their own then in the diary for their next week would note any next steps or things to 'follow up'. This also meant that the planning for their next week was half-done in the diary! In effect this meant that the planning for that week was mainly done by them, with some things added by the children in a weekly discussion session, or to follow up specifics, such as a visit or such. The fifth week was a catch up week to allow for anyone to plan for a child who had been 'missed' during their week or who was perhaps on holiday or sick. If the staff member was off the others would cover for them. This was great because the Room Leader didn't get all the hassle of constant planning, everyone planned so learnt how quickly, and the children had a say in planning and also got their fair share of specifically planned activities. The Keypersons did most of the main observations (except, for instance, SENCO follow ups to expressed concerns) but ALL staff kept a general eye out for all children, using Post-its if they saw something of interest.

 

Something the Manager introduced in the last eighteen months which has gone down well with Ofsted and at other 'inspection' type events such as ITERS, ECERS or visits from professionals has been the Learning Tree. This is an outline of a tree (in Toddlers and Pre-school) where staff add 'leaves' detailing areas of the DM where they have sparse evidence. Because the staff and parents are aware of this, they keep a special eye out and report by writing on and dating the leaves, which the keyperson then files ready to update the child's Learning Journey. Needless to say, this is also very helpful, and adds to Partnership working!!

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Staff do their own. I provide blank planning sheets and staff will add things throughout that week for the next weeks activities/provision. It works really well. I do a topic plan for the pre-schoolers to offer a broad range of outcomes but other than this, staff do all their own planning.

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Could I do a bit of a hijack and ask Sue R more about her Learning Tree? Were the leaves for specific children or where you had less evidence of a DM in general? How did you word the leaves and how did parents know where to look / write? I've used a similar idea in the past but used the leaves for children's achievements rather than gathering more evidence. I'm intrigued to know how yours worked.

Thanks

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Hi - sorry to be a bit vague, it was just something I put in for good measure!

 

The leaves were child-specific and quoted from DM - either generally by area or one of the descriptors. e.g. "Sally X - M 22 - 38 months Begins to use the language of size" This would be up on the tree for everyone to see so that if this was noticed during the day whoever did so would note it on the leaf, sign and date it and give it to Keyperson. (The particular example I used would not usually be there, of course - that's quite easy to pick up!)

Parents knew because we had sent letters out introducing the idea and also encouraged them to look for their child's name on the tree. If they weren't sure what it meant they would ask :1b It was made quite clear that this was for our benefit in completing Learning Journeys, not a comment on any child's abilities. The tree had lots/not so many of these leaves on, depending on how well staff had evidenced the Learning Journeys from observations and parental input.

The Learning Journeys were shared regularly (six-monthly or more frequently if asked) so parents could add their piece as well as discuss progress/next steps.

 

Does that answer your query?

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I've just been having a conversation about this with my staff! I also feel that most of the weekly next steps that I plan for are from observations or things that I have noticed other staff doing. We used to write all our observations down on one sheet of sticky notes and I used to use them to pick out next steps from those but now we have changed our system slightly so it's not so easy to get a quick overview of all the observations done in that week.

Anything that happens from day to day/moment to moment is written up on our record of CI play. It's just those next steps that might take a bit more thought and planning and those that are more focused on staff support as opposed to offering differing experiences/provision.

I wondered whether we could add to our obs board, next steps on post-its to the child's card, then we could take them down as children have 'achieved' it. Therefore, it wouldn't need constant writing up each week, just sticking in learning journal when taken down.

How do you work having 'focus children' - do you have just one or two next steps to concentrate on over the week? What about other children who are not focus children but you feel has a 'next step' that needs considering? Can anyone post their sheets that their key workers fill in to note this information? I am finding that my staff are a bit overwhelmed with all the different bits of paper especially those that are part-time.

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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