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Firstly happy new year to you all

 

Secondly its that time when I have to do a planning review- we are definitely overthinking this

Can you tell me how many planned activities you may do in a day- I think our staff don't look at story times etc as activities

do you link all your activities to learning intentions?

 

Do your activities just 'happen' through the session or does the group stop to do?

 

Can anyone share a planning sheet for activities?

 

Sorry Ive asked so many questions this is already getting me down and Ive only be here a couple of hours!

:)

 

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OK first don't let it get you down, it's a new term, start it with optimism!

Right, this is what we do. We are a nursery in a school. I have myself (teacher) and two Level 3 nursery nurses.

Every child in the class has their own next steps identified. For most children they have a next step in all areas now (last term is was Prime + Literacy & Numeracy) but for some of my youngest and some of my children who are at a development level significantly below their actual age they have next steps in just the prime areas.

These Next Steps usually last for the half term but some may be carried over and equally they can be updated sooner if necessary.

On my wall I have 7 sheets, one for each AoL. There is a table on each with all the next steps listed and children next to them. I do it this was as it is easy then to see that if James needs to work on a certain area there are also 4 other children with this next step so it makes sense to involve them.

This table of next steps is our master document. All staff access it and annotate it every day!

As a team we talk about what we could do to meet facilitate the children with the next steps. This may come in the form of providing different resourcing, supporting their child initiated play, planned adult led activity or direct input for example during story times, circle time or whole group carpet times. By far and away the majority of our work on Next Steps comes via the first two of those; resourcing and supporting their CI activities.

So as children come in they may find we have set up some activities which we feel will offer opportunities for them to work on their next steps (but we also leave some areas un-setup so they can access their own choice of resources and activities.) We will have a brief carpet session when all the children have arrived and this sometimes has a short direct input element to it but more often than not we greet the children, recap any exciting things that have been happening which they might want to continue, talk about class rules and get going!

Early on in the term we will take a back seat, observe the children as they play and then take a look at what we could do to facilitate any of the next steps by joining in, extending ideas and posing thoughts or questions to the children. Anything that has been done that works on a next step is then annotated on the master sheet on the wall, by whoever did it. As the days progress we review what has already been done and identify if there is a particular child, area of learning or skill which has not been focused on and we will either try to work it into their CI play or plan an activity to address it.

Aside from my next steps sheet we have a half termly "interests" sheet from the parents which not only keeps us up to date on their interests but also demonstrates parental involvement which of course Mr Ofsted loves, and a weekly enhancements to the continuous provision sheet which is an A3 sheet which records what we put out in the different areas and in a different colour what they children choose to get out.

I think I made it sound more complicated than it is but it works for us. I sometimes see my KS1 colleagues planning and feel ours is really minimal BUT the guidance says "Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan an challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development." and since switching to this way of working we are far more focused on what the children need rather than planning endless adult let activities based on the topic!

 

In answer to your question our planned adult led activities are a small part of the provision mainly used for addressing things that are hard to work on in CI play (not many children stumble across a great which involves splitting 3 or 4 animals into different groups and recognising that the total remains the same!)

Mel

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Edited by Melcatfish
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I work in a Reception class in a small village school, and have been trawling through lots of different ideas for planning arrangements, just to see if what i'm doing seems to be 'right'. My recent previous experience has been KS1, though I taught and led EY in a previous post for a number of years. I'm finding it hard to 'let go' a little bit, and come away from the idea of having a SET weekly literacy plan with 4 or 5 set sessions, same for maths, and just go with the flow and take my lead from the children! Thank you for sharing!

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This is my fourth year in Early Years within a school and my previous experience was KS1. On reflection my first two years were far too "schooly" - e.g. Our topic is mini beasts so on Monday we will all make this, on Tuesday we will all go an look at that and on Wednesday we will all make a folded painted butterfly!

Last year I swapped to the method above, it took a while to get into but I have found progress is more consistent as I am planning to meet the childrens needs not just ideas linked to a topic. We may very well still offer the chance to make those folded butterflies but it would be more likely to be in response to a coment a child has made about butterflies and linked to a next step about exploring pattern, colour etc...

Good luck with it all, there is no universal right way, just finding a way that works for you and *really* meets the needs of your children.

 

Mel

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