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Planning and next steps


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Hi we currently use tapestry which we are getting to grips with. ?

Last year each term we planned next steps for each child and shared them with parents. However it was not clear how this tied into planning. I wondered if anyone could share how they plan and if you do next steps or not. I've tried team planning for following week but they do not contribute. As room leader it falls to me to plan each week however I do not feel we have a good cycle going or obs, assess and plan. Are next steps essential? Thanks.

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The age old antics of planning, do we ever feel we have it right! I tend to change our system every year as I don't feel it works lol (staff are usually good with me and put up with changes ha ha) any way I have devised a new way for September oh they are going to love me !!! But it's less written work for them so fingers crossed they'll feel a touch of love for me too.

I am very much a manager that really puts staff with children first and have spent a year considerably reducing any written work and it's working, our last planning was working ok but not to my liking so for September this is what i have, it's not tried or tested so open to it failing just as much as it working.

I felt our planning did link between child next step, activity and planning but felt staff lacked in Truley following an interest/scheme or setting next steps too high so I've kept its basis and looked at the information input side.

AFrom sept;

A sheet on wall where under each key worker column is their key children, each child has their box split in half one is NS the other is Interest etc, when a staff member observed a child requiring a next step they put it in obs on tapestry as normal adding NS to title and a little sentence about 'how to support at home and then write it in relevant box on wall, they then speak with planning co-ordinator to explain how they will support child to continue their development or what activity they want on planning the co-ordinators job is to question this 'why' 'what are you aiming to get from it' 'does it Truley reflect the child and their next step' then the co-or donator makes a scribble note in planning book and puts it on planning in near future. When on planning it's dates in book as to which week it's on, then planning is left out at end of each session and before staff leave they must write a review comment on the planning so it's very much a working document.

My issue came when staff were planning but when I questioned why they had put an activity in say water as I hadn't seen that child access water much, they didn't know. They also wasn't reflecting on COEL enough or general interests it was all very much Drs, dinosaurs etc so generic.

My job is to look at sheet on wall and I can clearly see if a child has no NS or interest against them so I then question. The sheet will only be on wall each half term so each child will be planned for at least once per term, staff do hardly any written work.

I think I still like to see 1 x NS per half term at present but I'm more hung up on seeing an interest been planned for as if they plan for a child in a true way really focusing on their interest then the child will inevitably learn and staff will add in quality teaching to assist.

 

Obs > plan > link plan date > review/observations

Hopefully I'll see the cycle in action by October fingers crossed.

 

I've probably confused you and myself lol, trying to make planning meaningful and useful not a paperwork task is my aim x

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Ours is all change again September too, I'm also trying to lessen the pressure for staff of getting things done in a specific week so going back to using next steps/interests across a half term plan, I want them to have 2/3 NS's to focus on across the half term, I've gone with 2 large sheets, 1 each for prime and specific areas and aspects, which should also show where we have gaps...could be all change again by 2nd half term :/

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The age old antics of planning, do we ever feel we have it right! I tend to change our system every year as I don't feel it works lol (staff are usually good with me and put up with changes ha ha) any way I have devised a new way for September oh they are going to love me !!! But it's less written work for them so fingers crossed they'll feel a touch of love for me too.

I am very much a manager that really puts staff with children first and have spent a year considerably reducing any written work and it's working, our last planning was working ok but not to my liking so for September this is what i have, it's not tried or tested so open to it failing just as much as it working.

I felt our planning did link between child next step, activity and planning but felt staff lacked in Truley following an interest/scheme or setting next steps too high so I've kept its basis and looked at the information input side.

AFrom sept;

A sheet on wall where under each key worker column is their key children, each child has their box split in half one is NS the other is Interest etc, when a staff member observed a child requiring a next step they put it in obs on tapestry as normal adding NS to title and a little sentence about 'how to support at home and then write it in relevant box on wall, they then speak with planning co-ordinator to explain how they will support child to continue their development or what activity they want on planning the co-ordinators job is to question this 'why' 'what are you aiming to get from it' 'does it Truley reflect the child and their next step' then the co-or donator makes a scribble note in planning book and puts it on planning in near future. When on planning it's dates in book as to which week it's on, then planning is left out at end of each session and before staff leave they must write a review comment on the planning so it's very much a working document.

My issue came when staff were planning but when I questioned why they had put an activity in say water as I hadn't seen that child access water much, they didn't know. They also wasn't reflecting on COEL enough or general interests it was all very much Drs, dinosaurs etc so generic.

My job is to look at sheet on wall and I can clearly see if a child has no NS or interest against them so I then question. The sheet will only be on wall each half term so each child will be planned for at least once per term, staff do hardly any written work.

I think I still like to see 1 x NS per half term at present but I'm more hung up on seeing an interest been planned for as if they plan for a child in a true way really focusing on their interest then the child will inevitably learn and staff will add in quality teaching to assist.

 

Obs > plan > link plan date > review/observations

Hopefully I'll see the cycle in action by October fingers crossed.

 

I've probably confused you and myself lol, trying to make planning meaningful and useful not a paperwork task is my aim x

that sounds really good - how many children and staff do you have - how many key children does each have?

think we all change planning all the time -it seems to work for a while then it doesn't.

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We have two areas so two planning leads, one area has 12 in per session other area has 34 in per session there are 7 key workers with varying work loads so some can have 15 key kids others might have 5 as we have 1 newly qualified and one level 2 so this is reflected in work load, quality before quality lol. We usually have around 75 on roll.

Thanks x I'm hoping it works but hey we will see! Thinking the direct questioning of 'but why' will help reflective and meaningful practice embedding the quality x

Edited by Foreveryoung
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We have two areas so two planning leads, one area has 12 in per session other area has 34 in per session there are 7 key workers with varying work loads so some can have 15 key kids others might have 5 as we have 1 newly qualified and one level 2 so this is reflected in work load, quality before quality lol. We usually have around 75 on roll.

Thanks x I'm hoping it works but hey we will see! Thinking the direct questioning of 'but why' will help reflective and meaningful practice embedding the quality x

do you have a copy of your sheet that i can look at please?

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i've attached both (both are A3) the key worker list is half termly.

 

The key worker writes on note and dates it, planning co-ordinator when planned for writes the week number next to it, so we know when it was seen and when it was planned for (as well as in planning book). If possible if a child has an interest etc and a next step then these are to be linked by showing a line connecting the two. To start i'am only looking for one item in each box as a basis over half a term. These interests/ Ns etc can come from home which is indicated by a H

This is on view for parents so KW can speak with parents about it engaging them in their learning as well as putting info on tapestry.

 

The short term weekly plan is not planned for in every area of learning nor in every area, this is as our CP allows for progression and challenge in every area of learning so we do not need to plan for sake of it.

The registration group/ carrot etc groups are our adult led times and these are losely planned around letters / sounds / phonics etc.

The second page is for us to put activities/enhancements asked for by key workers or following on from reviews.

Some weeks this can have 2 rows filled in other weeks it might be half filled in, we only plan for what is identified trying to get as far away from planning for sake of it and trying to get to only meaningful planning and what that is truly informed only by the children.

 

The sheets are very basic as its also for parents to view so reducing the complexity helping parents engage.

We are pack away so limited on what we have on walls so its all squashed onto as few sheets as possible.

planning sept share.docx

planning sept share 1.docx

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Are both sheets the same? Thank you for sharing, I'm sure folk will be interested in those. If I was still working I would have looked at the possibilities of that way of working, for sure!

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Are both sheets the same? Thank you for sharing, I'm sure folk will be interested in those. If I was still working I would have looked at the possibilities of that way of working, for sure!

If I've uploaded them right then no they shouldn't be. One is key worker next step/interest log and other is weekly plan where it's fed into and reviewed.

It's not been tested yet so hoping it works as it is in my mind lol. Reducing any form of paperwork and doing only what the children tell us is the main aim whether I get there or not is something to see x

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I 'binned' all our next steps sheets a year ago as we all found we were writing so much down so many times and it was getting ridiculous.

 

We now have all the areas of learning from age 2 upwards on 2 x A2(?) sheets - the sheets that are 2 x A4 - this is used to constantly track the children's progress.

 

Every child has their individual learning story (in a scrap book) where photo's small obs, wow moments etc are all stuck/written in and each of these items link to numerous areas of learning, the dates of these are noted on the large 'tracking' next to the statement it links to, once it is clear the child has fully/regularly/firmly achieved an area then it is highlighted (highlight colours change termly so it is clear the progress that is being made)

 

So essentially although we have not formally written down next steps it is clear from the 'tracking sheet' what the next steps are, it is also easy to see at a glance where any gaps etc are.

 

Must admit I was a bit nervous about scrapping the formal next steps sheets but having shown our EYA and development worker they were both happy with what we're doing :)

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this is my latest attempt at planning sheets- the ideas is for staff to add KC's next steps, and what they intend to do, others can add their KC initials next to it, giving groups needing same NS's (rather than repeat the same thing a week later) these are enlarged to A3 so can be added to across half term ..I think it will work providing all staff have input and don't just add their KC to someones else's plan, but it will also show that...they may not work at all but if nothing else I might just put them up so we can show what we have/do already that meets each aspect :/

planning prime-specific 2015.docx

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It is very informal compared to our existing weekly sheets, just hoping it will give enough information, even though staff would have planned the activity resource to reflect the CofEL from what they know about their key child this doesn't show it...I may have gone to far the other way in trying to lessen the work load, I want to get away from trying to cram so much into one week then finding another week seems a bit flaky..I find some weeks we have lots of lovely new activities for children to try then the next it might all seem very flat and sometimes I think more children would get to have a go at something if we had longer to offer it, rather than just the few it was planned for on a specific day of the week at a specific time...

 

I'm hoping it will work like a less scruffy mind map....I need boxes

Edited by Mouseketeer
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I like those Mouseketeer! I'm quite tempted to give a copy to each key person in a plastic folder and stick in on our planning wall, so when they update their files (still on cut and stick method!) they can grab their next steps sheet, fill it in and see where the gaps are for each child. I guess the monitoring kicks in to make sure that they are actually planning for next steps rather than just writing them on, but I think it will focus them more?

 

We could then use them all at staff meetings to see if there are any bigger gaps in the overall provision for buying resources or staff training needs etc....

 

Thanks for sharing x

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Can i ask how you all ensure all children access activities? The way we plan at the mo is that we have one adult led activity each week and we use the dreaded (I'm ashamed to say!!!) tick list to encourage all children to have a go and demonstrate coverage. the rest of the time we support free play.

I've looked in to coming away form 'activities' and having something on offer to cover an area/aspect and observe the children that way. I e we 'teach' a skill and allow children to revisit if they want too. However with 35 children currently how do I ensure all children are learning that skill? Hope that makes sense?

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Hi Skippy - I don't see how you can expect all 35 children to access that one activity. This I feel is what makes practitioners tear their hair out in trying to achieve the almost impossible!

I feel it cannot be done for these (and probably more) reasons:

 

a) despite applying differentation- the childs not interested or ready

b) If its a skill your trying to teach eg (easy choice) using scissors (which isn't easy) then you would probably need to give each child a minimum 10mins of your staff members time = 35 x 10mins = 350mins which = 5 hours 50 mins!

c) It becomes a chore

 

I would make it an Objective eg This week we want to encourage and develop cutting skills.

 

Have scissors in lots of areas eg at the playdoh table, in a tuff spot with cabbage leaves/straws/spaghetti - (whatevers fun to cut)

at the creation station etc etc and then just allow children, in their own time to 'have a go'. Staff are on hand to 'teach in the moment' and if these activities are available all week you are sure to get most of your children involved somewhere!

Keypersons can monitor their group over the week. If it does'nt happen that week - it will - if its inviting!

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Talking of scissors I saw a great idea somewhere.....they'd made a hole in the side of a set of plastic bowls, hole big enough to to put string through and knot, tied to scissors and filled bowls with different materials for cutting up :) I might use tubs with lids ....just need to eat a bit more 'car door' ice cream as one of my littlies called it :-)

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Talking of scissors I saw a great idea somewhere.....they'd made a hole in the side of a set of plastic bowls, hole big enough to to put string through and knot, tied to scissors and filled bowls with different materials for cutting up :) I might use tubs with lids ....just need to eat a bit more 'car door' ice cream as one of my littlies called it :-)

i think that is very good of you to provide the tubs for your setting!

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Rafa

Thank you for your reply. I suppose its confidence in coming away from something that's always been done. How do I answer 'How do you know all children are accessing that objective?' For example we have had a discussion in my setting about coming away from such direct/next please activities and staff asked but then children aren't developing that skill as they are not coming to that area. Therefore where is the child's coverage across the areas if they are not doing what is planned?

 

I like the idea of having one objective in many places. Please could you tell me a little more about how you plan please?

Thanks Skippy

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Rafa

Thank you for your reply. I suppose its confidence in coming away from something that's always been done. How do I answer 'How do you know all children are accessing that objective?' For example we have had a discussion in my setting about coming away from such direct/next please activities and staff asked but then children aren't developing that skill as they are not coming to that area. Therefore where is the child's coverage across the areas if they are not doing what is planned?

 

I like the idea of having one objective in many places. Please could you tell me a little more about how you plan please?

Thanks Skippy

Well thats quite a question! There are so many different approaches to planning across the Early Years - some are very complex and some are very simple. We go simple - after years of going complex! Please dont assume my way is the right way - but it works for us.

Saying that, we're going even more minimalist this year - but thats another story!

 

So - how do you know all children have accessed the skill? Well, thats not our aim - our aim is to allow the children who are interested in cutting - to cut! These are 'developing skills' - developing over their time with us - we provide the resources and the support, and these skills are returned to over and over during their two years. I may be wrong but I don't think its useful to look at it as 'everyone has to do it' - as I said before - they will - eventually.

If you have a child that has low level involvement then its up to the adult to engage with them and let them see what fun it is to be able to use scissors!

 

Our 'Planning'

Last year we had a white board. On a friday we would brainstorm. - Additions to continual provision - childrens interests-and each keyperson chooses a 'child of the week' as a focus child, so whatever they want in the provision to support the next steps.

We'd have One Objective Led activity and thats about it! Oh we have two learning group circles which is adult led but interactive and whole group movement. And thats about it!

I agree it takes confidence to throw away sheets of planning - if thats what you would like to do -but I say try it for a few weeks. Its all about self evaluation isn't it? And whats the worst that can happen? We certainly enjoy preschool more now that we plan and teach on the hoof!

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Rafa I think I see a way forward, thank you.

 

So - how do you know all children have accessed the skill? Well, thats not our aim - our aim is to allow the children who are interested in cutting - to cut! These are 'developing skills' - developing over their time with us - we provide the resources and the support, and these skills are returned to over and over during their two years. I may be wrong but I don't think its useful to look at it as 'everyone has to do it' - as I said before - they will - eventually.
If you have a child that has low level involvement then its up to the adult to engage with them and let them see what fun it is to be able to use scissors!

You have summed up well their that the intention shouldn't be to get all the children to do it, but to inspire the children to have a go.

Also the low level children need that support but at the moment in the sausage factory that doesn't happen.

 

Just one more ask how do you decide on objective? Do you have a skills list I.e. cutting, mark making, counting, etc. or do you go by children.

Our planned activities are rotated so each term we have seven areas/aspect to cover. therefore if the focus we had was PD- moving and handling - our objective could be to provide lots of mark making opportunities?

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Hi Skippy, we too try to cover the 7 areas over a term with some kind of adult-led activity or an Objective. If you look at all you do you can probably see your achieving this week on week anyway.

 

Our Objective Led Planning comes from either a need eg behaviours getting a bit rowdy or children not being kind - so we would concentrate on promoting rules and boundaries or social skills, by modelling, books, stories and giving praise.

 

Or if theres chaos in the bathroom, we promote interest in self care with songs, handwashing practice etc. Of course these again may not appeal to all or indeed involve all, however the teaching is there and generally we are able to 'engage' the culprits!!

 

Sometimes the Objective is led by children's interests or demands - eg 'can we make a den'! Or can we be pirates!

 

We do too use the method of 'what have'nt we covered' ..............

 

 

PD ? yes mark making in all areas and in different media - great - and maybe throwing and catching another week........

 

Its very flexable and allows you to with the flow!

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Thanks Rafa

Just to confirm your adult led is your objective? Its not something separate?

 

Hi Skippy, we too try to cover the 7 areas over a term with some kind of adult-led activity or an Objective. If you look at all you do you can probably see your achieving this week on week anyway.

 

How would you ensure coverage.

This is what worries me in a sense that we could have seven objectives for the half term but how do we ensure the children have an obs or 'had a go' to ensure coverage and breadth of experiences?

 

Skippy x

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Skippy are you sure your not an Ofsted Inspector- in disguise? Ha ha!

 

Our adult led activities do cover Objectives alongside 'The Weekly Objective'

 

eg Weekly Objective - To develop and engage children in Cutting Skills ( cutting again! :)

 

Adult led Objectives covered during term are in group times eg Listening and Attention, Speaking in a Group, Moving in different ways,

Joining in refrains etc etc. These are teachable skills that are 'practised' day in day out, in little doses - but not to be forgotten!

 

These are easily monitored to see if 'they have had a go' and keypersons will note that their child has participated, or not!

 

We may disagree here in how important, again, that all children have 'had a go' or been observed at an Objective Led activity.

 

Our Continuous Provision covers all 7 Areas. It is added to or changed throughout the term. Children in their free play and learning will access these areas. If for instance, over time, its noted that 'Johnny' never chooses the creative station then his keyoerson would know that and look for ways to engage him in creative play ie his Next Step?

 

Its always difficult to see how other settings 'planning' works. In the end its what works for you and if you can show progress and children are confident independent learners then I think its 'job done'. I prefer to do this without reams of paper. : )

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