Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

No Next Steps


 Share

Recommended Posts

Next steps have become the bane of my life! Several of my team really struggle with them and we've tried lots of different ways of recording them and feeding them into the planning. I've even put together a folder broken down into areas of learning with every next step I could think of in that area, but still we struggle. It always seems to be next steps that are causing issues!

I'm pretty sure I saw a post on here from someone who doesn't use them and I wondered what the alternative is? If you don't record children's next steps, what do you plan from and how do you record their progress.

I'd be really interested in hearing from anyone who doesn't use next steps. :o :1b

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our next steps are pretty very basic :o

Quite frankly I'm sick to the back teeth of writing up stuff just for Ofsted - on the off chance you may/maynot have an inspector that likes 'your particular way' of doing it or not!!

Funnily enough we talk directly to the parents, and each other, and we know what our children need-- without writing reams and reams of 'stuff' that's more or less out of date by the time the inks dry on the multi signed sheets of wasted paper.

........... and breath.. :1b :1b :1b

xx

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had my rants in the past (please see previous posts!) about next steps.

My problem with them are that every child has a next step in every aspect and not just 1 next step. So if a child is emerging in an age and stage, there are lots of next steps that might be worked on at any one time to get them to progress through the age and stage and into the next. Yes, of course, there may be more obvious areas that need 'working' on but it can put so much pressure on us that we narrow down what we are doing with the children. What really annoys me as louby lou says above, is that as practitioners we know where the children are and because we have a good understanding of the EYFS and how children develop we know what we need to do next whether that is embedding existing skills or introducing new ones. WE DO NOT NEED A PIECE OF PAPER TO TELL US THIS. Indeed the children's next steps are written down in the EYFS! Ok, so we don't use a tick list approach to the statements but we know what the children need to be able to do within the EYFS on their journey to achieving the ELGs.

However I have tried doing next steps it has seemed awkward, time consuming, not to mention stressful. It stresses the staff out, makes us think we are constantly not up to date and me always attempting to do more (enhancements etc) than is physically possible.

Currently (as you may have seen in other posts) we do Objective Led Planning - we take 2 aspects per week which have been identified as areas of need and plan a next step for each child around each of the 2 aspects. We usually have 3 or 4 differentiated groups - we state what they are currently able to do and what their next step is. In addition to this, we have 3 focus children each week, who have their own extra completely individual next step and are then given another one, if necessary, at the end of the week. These next steps are kept in a jotter and are used to inform future planning of objective led planning or focused activities.

It has taken the burden off but I'm not totally happy with the individual next steps system at the moment.

Green hippo x

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see two things really when thinking about next steps. I see where we are going next from learning summaries, which are often shared with parents and it makes sense for these to be written down, (whether paperley or electronically)unless you and your parents all have perfect memories (sadly I dont !)

Day to day more formative assessments next steps (eg enhancing an area) should be feeding into planning and these can be recorded anyway that suits. They don't have to be written down all the time, they should be an aide memoire really, to help you recall what needs to be done (which could be gathering resources), and it then allows you to look back over time at what you have done in the past, which helps reflection on any gaps in your provision. It really depends on your own circumstances. They are not for OFSTEDs benefit, they are for yours and your childrens', and that's why whatever you do needs to meet your needs in order for you to meet the needs of your children

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our next steps are pretty very basic :o

Quite frankly I'm sick to the back teeth of writing up stuff just for Ofsted - on the off chance you may/maynot have an inspector that likes 'your particular way' of doing it or not!!

Funnily enough we talk directly to the parents, and each other, and we know what our children need-- without writing reams and reams of 'stuff' that's more or less out of date by the time the inks dry on the multi signed sheets of wasted paper.

........... and breath.. :1b :1b :1b

xx

I totally agree with you, louby loo, my thoughts exactly.

 

Unfortunately, this wasn't good enough for Ofsted at our last inspection. We were told that 'knowing our key children' our conversations with parents and our team work were not sufficient and that we needed a more robust system of recording and tracking children's progress. We were downgraded from 1 to 3 in Enjoy and Achieve because of this. So we have spent the last 3+ years trying different ways in an attempt to 'get it right'. I've come to the conclusion that if there is a right way, I can't find it.

I just want it to work for my team and it would be a bonus if Ofsted were happy with it too. We have done endless in house training about how children learn, how to write next steps, how to make them skills based rather than activity based e.g. 'develop fine motor skills using malleable materials' rather than 'make cakes with the playdough'. It continues to be a barrier and a big headache.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

However I have tried doing next steps it has seemed awkward, time consuming, not to mention stressful. It stresses the staff out, makes us think we are constantly not up to date and me always attempting to do more (enhancements etc) than is physically possible.

Currently (as you may have seen in other posts) we do Objective Led Planning - we take 2 aspects per week which have been identified as areas of need and plan a next step for each child around each of the 2 aspects. We usually have 3 or 4 differentiated groups - we state what they are currently able to do and what their next step is. In addition to this, we have 3 focus children each week, who have their own extra completely individual next step and are then given another one, if necessary, at the end of the week. These next steps are kept in a jotter and are used to inform future planning of objective led planning or focused activities.

It has taken the burden off but I'm not totally happy with the individual next steps system at the moment.

Green hippo x

Yep, that pretty much sums up how I'm feeling!

 

...But if with your OLP you are creating two next steps per child, per week, isn't that even more pressure to 'keep up' with it? We currently have 55 children on role in our Pre-school Room (26 places but a varied attendance pattern from 3 hours to 50 hours a week). So that would create 110 next steps... :o. Maybe I've misunderstood. Or maybe I need a month in Barbados. :1b

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Much as I would like to) I can't really imagine a 'no next steps' system being practical.......however 'my' children don't have a 'Next Step' recorded for each of the seven areas of learning - I just concentrate on areas where they haven't made any measurable progress from one assessment period to the next........

I'm working on a LJ review and Next Steps sheet as we speak (no I'm not I'm actually putting it off and writing on here!) but anyway - this particular little girl has not made any progress in PSED, Lit, UW in the last 3 months so those are the areas I will be concentrating on........

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel they may be only me who likes next steps (just hiding in corner now feeling like I'm doing something wrong as others don't like them) I love being able to look back and see progress with tracking and knowing I'm getting it right, boasting our attainment levels and questioning areas we are not so good in and working on these. We have ensured it suits us and works for us as others ways may not work in our setting and I don't like tracking/NS being the forefront of our lives so it isn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stargrower, the OLPs do essentially create 2 next steps per child per week. However, because they are all linked to the same aspect, we have been able to enhance for this particular aspect in a number of different ways across the setting and they are SMART targets, so supposed to be achievable within the week or 2 if necessary, it doesn't such a complex task. When we have 2 individual next steps per child (so essentially we could have 60 completely different next steps), we had to keep the 3 sheets with them on with us all the time. As I said above, I never knew where to start with enhancing as I felt if I didn't do it for everyone I was somehow failing the children who didn't get their next steps enhanced during that particular week. Now, each adult has an objective led plan or the focus children next steps to focus on for that day (of course there are a few crossovers) and even if we put our sheet down, we know what we are focusing on and can (mostly!) remember where children are up to and therefore what their next step will be on the sheet.

Foreveryoung - you don't need to hide away! It's good to know that you've got a system that works and you are happy with. I have to plan in the medium term, do focused activities for all areas of learning (apart from those on the Objective Led Plans) as well as next steps each week. The medium term plan is based on next steps across the cohort so they are all covering their next steps within this. So, doing more next steps on top of this makes me want to hide away! It already takes me about 3 hours per week to plan! Please could you describe how you do your next steps.

Thanks,

Green Hippo x

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are term time only and run for 7 x 3hr sessions so this needs reflecting in what we expect paper wise as we found we was doing too much making it unachievable. We now set 2 next steps per child which are changed as a child achieves them if they are on too long then staff are questioned why? Is it that targets are too big for the child? Is it because it's not been planned effectively etc etc staff must answer this as parents are fully involved in next steps and I tell staff if a parent questions you about time frame, you need to have the answers. Putting that aside each key worker plans 2/3 activities per next step these activities must be about the development of the skills needed to achieve the next step and not be a test of the next step outcome. The key worker sheets are used to plan weekly marking each activity off as they are planned for, as the next steps are done on a rolling basis there is a constant flow of activities to plan for and each child has something about them on the planning reflecting a consistent coverage.

The targets are put on tapestry with ideas for learning at home and also put on our display board, as a child is observed as doing the next step the child puts a sticker on their next step. As a rough!! guide it's 3 stickers or if key worker is truly confident the child has got. The children love it asking what their learning is, this means the children take some ownership over their learning and are involved. Each observation relating to the next step is branded with an abbreviation in the title then on completion an observation is added commenting on the child and how they have achieved the next step. The whole process starts again! This way we can track the full cycle covering next step identification, planned for opportunities, observed outcomes and next step completion. in addition to this we do NS and/or interests from general observations as anyone would.

Hope that makes sense, it's scaled back lots and everyone can help each other as all staff can see what next steps are for every child in the setting.

Our key worker planning sheets are our medium term planning don't bother crossing them onto other sheets, then we have our weekly planning. We do cover odd things such as Easter which are planned for by staff and go with the key worker sheets again creating medium term planning.

 

We do learning groups in addition which are based on setting objectives or from key worker activity ideas.

 

That took longer than expected to write x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for going into so much detail for us, Foreveryoung. Your systems sounds like it runs very well. I agree that it is important that the interactions or activities that the children are involved in to do with their next steps are not for assessment but for the development of the skill.

When you said: "each child has something about them on the planning" - would this be every week or across a couple of weeks?

Do you keep you next steps on a print out so that you always have them with you or do you just use the wall? If you use the wall, do you find yourself having to keep checking or do you have a better memory than me?

Also, are your 'activities' for the specific child/ren whose next steps it links to and any others that are interested or do you expect everyone to do them. Our group activities are focused activities which we want all the children to participate in. With also do phonics or finger gym in groups. Any other 'activities' are mini, often teacher initiated activities for specific children but of course, any can join in. We try not to plan anything that will keep an adult away from the CI play for the whole session as I feel this is where are best, most targeted interactions happen.

Thanks again.

Green Hippo x

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each child appears on the planning over half a term at least once the area leader ensures even coverage as she signs off the activity when actioned as this way we can trace directly to the week it was planned for helping us to track the cycle. Where possible we group on the plan the children who have similar next steps, the activities are out for everyone to access but we name who are the main child/ren but also it could just as easily go into group work when we do our larger groups. It completely todapends on the activity and needs of the children. In addition to the activities we do carry out group work with children in this sept cohort and next years cohort which is led either from next step information or from pre school data tracking and the general needs of the children. We only do registration followed by group work (younger children have a much more reduced group and based on three prime areas where as school leavers focus on more learning based group around things such as phonics) then we have large group at end of session which is story/singing/group games etc etc etc

 

Our next steps are only on our display board but our current layout allows for this to be used easily it's also very much in the faces of all parents :)

Think my brain is fried so this may not make sense...... Sorry.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think it's depends on what kind of setting you are each age range could have 3 levels of ability (or even more!) never mind how many children are actually in the class.

If you are a school nursery you could just have 3 - 4 year olds - locally some schools have 13, 26 & 45 children

Day nursery rooms are quite often split into ages too - sometimes small groups due to the room sizes

Packaway settings could have 2, 3 & 4 year olds in one room - so that could be over 9 different levels of children to differentiate for!

 

We are a mixed age group all in one room so my Reception age leavers have an adult led activity every day to help gain skills with their next steps

My 2-3 age school nursery leavers have an activity once a week based on next steps - usually Prime areas only

My younger 2 yr olds who are staying next year are basically being supported within Child Initiated

 

You can only do what is achievable :1b

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It became easy for me where I changed to planning next steps for me not the child, as we have no idea what they will learn from our continuous provision and interaction with their peers. Next steps for me could be to bring in an item connected to a child's interest, or to give more support with behaviour or settling in, or to change some of my continuous provision depending on what I have observed. I use the Surrey Individual child's observation sheet and termly summary planning sheet. Each key person knows what their child's needs are and progress is shown on a tracker that has the developmental bands. I hope that helps rather than confuses everyone.

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/learning/early-years-and-childcare-service/early-years-practitioners-and-providers/early-years-foundation-stage-paperwork

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)