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We operate all year round and have quite a few children many only do 1 session a week. We don't work in terms we work in 2 monthly cycles

At the end of the 2 months we write a new next step plan (which is a piece of paper with all 7 areas on it and it has a next step written under each area, ie Physical- support copying letter, PSED support settling from mum, and so on.

Up until now we have split the children into focus weeks, where we focus on their next steps during that week from the next step plan that we have written. We aim to cover all children twice over the 2months so we split them into weeks 1-4 then focus on them again the same in month two.

We have recently been speaking to lots of different settings who seem to be planning for all the children all the time and from current observations.

I think this is where we are getting in a mess we are planning from what we have observed ie children really enjoyed feeding teddies in home corner so we might plan a teddy bears picnic and add picnic basket to the home corner but we are also trying to look at our focus children (which could be about 10-15 children ) for next week and aiming to cover all their next steps.

(Just typing this I can see this is too much0 I am finding we seem to be so bogged down that no real learning is happening!

I want to plan from our observations but notice not all the children have observations each week, (which is one of the reasons we decided to focus on each child during their focus week.

Can someone explain how they plan for their key children, ie during a focus week all the children all the time

  • Can anyone attach a sample keyperson time planner please?
  • Are you planning in small groups with your key children or just offering an activity throughout the session and encouraging your key child to take part?
  • Do you do adult led activities in addition to keyperson planning ?
  • Could someone share an adult led plan?

I'm sorry there are so many questions for a Friday afternoon but I am desperate for some help


Thank you and I hope all this makes sense

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Hi there RBear,

First, I'm not familiar with your name (been a VERY hectic time here recently!) so Hello!!


OK - when I was working (Daycare, 52 weeks. I was based in Pre-school, but Toddlers were similar) we had four key groups, so we split the time into a five week rota (week 5 to 'mop up' any children who had been absent or otherwise uncooperative!!). In addition to normal planning for the group of Focus activities, the Keyperson would add activities to the weekly plan, indicating which of their children were targeted by this activity (for 'next steps'). Thus it was an activity offered for all children, but particular attention was needed for the identified child/ren. It wasn't necessarily the KP that ran the activity, although obviously for 'targeted' children the KP would need an observation, however brief, to make anything of it.


I am unable to attach any form of planning as I no longer work in that (or any) setting, but can assure you, it worked well.


I hope this makes sense? Get back to me with queries :1b



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Ok so we (try) to have a focused activity each day.

Try being the operative word though and it might be that the children's own areas of interests supersede it!


We would encourage all of the children to have a go and we would differentiate it to suit their needs.

This might take all of a session or part of a session.


There are only two staff so whilst one is doing this the other "floats"


We would both observe and make post it notes and take pics where applicable.


I work all day (both sessions) and I have one level 3 in the mornings and a different level 3 colleague in the afternoons.

We each have our own "key" children and we write up their learning journeys.


Two big A3 planning sheet shows a weekly over view with each learning area


One sheet shows the week we are on and another is ready for the next week, and all staff input onto it things they want to do for the children's next steps.


This allows us to plan for the children who aren't in every day so it might be the following week when you get chance to do extra cutting experience or more counting opportunities etc

The activity would be open to all the children not just those who needed the next step


We are all together over the lunch period and we talk about the children and plans on an informal basis.


Don't know if this helps you or not but it's what we do.

The focused activity would have a separate planning sheet which would have noted on it what the children did or said etc.... The observations are often stapled to this sheet!

Edited by Scarlettangel
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OK so we have a Monday to Friday planner - we were told to add enhancements into the cp or record on the planner what we are putting out each day in each workshop to meet children's next steps ie

Workshop area Mon Tues wed thu fri

Malleable Gloop (Daisy)


Then it was suggested to write in what we were focusing on as well as the name ie Daisy - early mark making

Then someone came along and said get rid of the Mon-Fri and just have 1 box and leave the gloop out for the week so all children could revisit the activity-- your thoughts please?

Then someone else comes along and says you need to change the activity so you do need the Monday to Friday. (Our other problem is that our staff really do need guidance and need things written down).

So maybe reflecting on your comments above - where you say the KP plans to meet more than 1 child's needs in an activity you would then have to leave it out all week as not all children are in everyday? .


In addition to this we would have a focused activity each day - (1 inside and 1 outside) where all children can visit although we would 'encourage' the targeted children to have a go as we have planned this in response to meeting their next step- (we may repeat some activities) - what do you think of this?


Will we ever get this planning sorted aarrgghh!

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We have focus children each week, 2 for each key worker for whom they plan an activity based on their interests from the previous week (but is accessible to all children), this is done on a rota system so that all children are catered for but we also have spaces on the planning sheet for incremental planning from spontaneous interests. However, we don't plan for next steps, they are overarching aims and are loosely based on an area we want to focus on for each child over a 3 month period, we just note evidence for them as we see them and incorporate activities into our enhanced provision for all the children which might aid a child to work within the appropriate age band. By keeping it very loose we avoid a 'tick chart' ethos and allow children to develop into their next steps naturally by providing an environment which supports this

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I think it is very important to revisit, for children who perhaps think tomorrow when that's out I am going to be confident enough to have a go - o can't because it has not appeared again, missed learning opportunity

And also


For learning to make a difference to children they need to repeat, repeat, repeat for it make an inroad on their brain




If you only have it once how can u extend into other learning or know what route to take, so their learning can be taken to another level.

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Hi RBear,

I used to drive myself mad filling out continuous provision planners with all the areas of the classroom and the days. I've tried it with learning intentions, having different things out each day - you named it, I've tried it! I have since stopped doing this and simply put in italics any enhancements or changes to provision beneath the focused activities, next to the weekly learning intentions. Any enhancements goes in a box at the bottom of my planning and I simply outline the children, purpose, AOLs, and resources. This has helped me to come away from what I felt was a box-filling exercise and allows us to keep flexible with what we have out and for how long. I simply note when something has been continued or if not mentioned on the next plan then it has been used-up or removed. I think that room-planners for CP are helpful to see what is out and where but I just felt like I had to fill every box with something different when it is not always necessary.

I went on a course last year and the lady said "if you can't think of an enhancement to put out in an area then you probably don't need to put a new one there yet". She also said that some enhancements may be out for a few days, a week, 2 weeks or longer. Indeed, some of my enhancements are so successful they are left out indefinitely and amended/re-stocked etc to follow the needs and interests of the children. I agree with Suer above - children need time to access, re-visit, practise and then extend their learning with that resource.

Good Luck

Green Hippo x

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi there.

just wanted to tell you what we do.....we are a pre-school term time only and our planning consists of a whiteboard which we start at the beginning of the term...children's interests/chosen activity is written on the board with child's initials and date next to it, we then put an arrow showing the PLOD and enhancements with the date when this is planned for, ie next time the child is in..when the board is full we take a photograph for evidence then wipe it and start again......its so very simple but has been greeted with applause by improvement advisers....continues provision is on-going.....next steps are individual therefore focused.....who knows if its going to meet the approval of OFSTED, but it makes sense to us......saves on paper too :)))

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