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Child initiated planning- Project approach?


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Wow not been here for a while, so glad to be back!


We are currently adapting our planing to more of a child initiated approach! We have been inspired by the Reggio approach and I've decided to do projects based on the children's interests as well as introducing festivals and celebrations etc throughout the year.


Does anyone do this? Or have any advice on child led planning?


I was thinking these steps-


1. Decide on a project based on children's interests,

2. Gather resources and meet to write ideas and starting points

3. Mind maps with children's for their ideas

4. Begin with a starting activity and then plan all next activities based on what children have done or said

5. Document in a project folder to keep, add examples of work, photos, contributions from parents etc.

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Very similar to what we do, we have a weekly project as such that changes over the week depending which way the children take it, this is often extended into the following week or if it has come to a natural end we start with a new project. Often our children suggest to us can we do xxx next week so they know that we value their opinions and they can shape the setting.

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Bubbles00 - sounds similar to what we do. Have you thought about putting the work, photos contributions from parents etc onto a display? You could put it all into a project folder afterwards - we would then put contributions into learning journeys after taking a photo of the 'learning wall' - just a thought!

At the beginning of the week I start with a blank PLODs sheet - divided into areas of learning. Over the week, we all add notes and observations. When I have PPA time I look at what the children have done picking up on any outstanding PLODs then record this on the planning sheet; I also add the PLODs and interests which have been covered - just for the record. So, on Monday, I have the blank PLODs sheet for the coming week, alongside my plan from the previous week. We try to do PLODs as they arise - desirable but not always practicable!

The planning sheet will also show support groups, 'home/school links', EAL children, SEN, L&S aspect to be covered, planned cookery activity and what we will be tasting for the week.

The staff all plan for their own 'key' children - based on their knowledge of 'next steps'. It sounds a bit complicated - well, at least it's not easy to explain - BUT it works for us!

Hope that helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...


very excited to read your post. I have just started the same with my afternoon group of children. Also started documenting with photos and explanation of process and stages.

We don't have to do the same amount of planning as you guys (I am so very happy to say that) and it works well.

Hope you have as much fun and satisfaction out of following a more Reggio approach as I do.

Good luck


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