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Balance Between Child Initiated/ Adult Focussed


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Hi, I am going to be Foundation coordinator in our recently established Foundation unit in September and am looking for some advice about how to get the balance right between adult directed and child initiated activites.

Do all the adults in your setting have a focussed activity each session?

Do you have adults who are available to support children in continuous provision?

Approximately how many adult focussed activities do you have each day/ week?

Sorry for all the questions but there really is so much to think about and organise and as I am moving from Y1 it is all very different.

Thank you in advance! :)

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Hi, I am going to be Foundation coordinator in our recently established Foundation unit in September and am looking for some advice about how to get the balance right between adult directed and child initiated activites.

Do all the adults in your setting have a focussed activity each session?

Do you have adults who are available to support children in continuous provision?

Approximately how many adult focussed activities do you have each day/ week?

Sorry for all the questions but there really is so much to think about and organise and as I am moving from Y1 it is all very different.

Thank you in advance!  :)

55665[/snapback]

 

 

There are 2 teachers and 2 NNEBs in our unit each day 1 adult floats/observers/assess ther other 3 adults work at adult focused activities making 6 focused activities most days

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Thank you so much for the quick reply!!

 

We will have 2 teachers and a nursery nurse for most of the time so would one observing/ assessing and 2 in focussed activities sounds about right do you think?

Do you have different focussed activities in the morning than the afternnon then? Just wondering how this works as we will have part time nursery children and full time reception together.

Thanks again! :D

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Thank you so much for the quick reply!!

 

We will have 2 teachers and a nursery nurse for most of the time so would one observing/ assessing and 2 in focussed activities sounds about right do you think?

Do you have different focussed activities in the morning than the afternnon then? Just wondering how this works as we will have part time nursery children and full time reception together.

Thanks again!  :D

55671[/snapback]

Hello, We're in a F.U. and have five qualified staff (2 teach & 3n.nurses) We also have as many students as poss!!! We have a focus maths, c.l.&lit ,k&u , &creative every day and reading always going on . We always manage to have at least one person 'playing ' with the children and all have observation time which (sorry) OFSTED said was most important.

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Thank you for replying. I now have an idea of how to organise a balance in the day. I will certainly make sure I have one adult assessing/ observing. Presumably you alternate the staff so all get a chance at each area?

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Thank you for replying. I now have an idea of how to organise a balance in the day. I will certainly make sure I have one adult assessing/ observing. Presumably you alternate the staff so all get a chance at each area?

55705[/snapback]

 

We do all observe at some time or another . Sometimes we observe together as well e.g. at end of each 1/2 term we observe in pairs just for a p.s.e. reason , so that we can see how the children are growing and changing. We record phrases and comments and looking back from day one we see a great change(we also record in this when parents tell of any problems at home or there are any incidents at school) You can really see the 'whole child ' by doing this.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, it's me again! Sorry for all the questions but the time is getting close now and I am getting excited but very nervous.

 

I am still considering how to achieve a balance of adult focussed and child initiated activities!

When you have an adult focussed activity do you plan to work with a specific group of children or do you work with whoever comes along?

We are thinking of aiming our focussed activity at a specific group so that we can differentiate successfully but I am worried that there will be too much focussed time and not enough child initiated, especially for the younger children.

 

Could anyone share with me how they organise this please? Thank you in advance!

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In general we aim for all children to access adult focused activities although the focus may change depending on which children we are working with. We have 2 'sets' of literacy and numeracy activities which are differentiated for the childrens ages/abilities and further differentiate by adult support and outcome. Some children may by choice access more adult focused activities as we find some of the older children like to access activities at their own level and at the level of the nursery aged children while some more able nursery children also choose to complete both sets of activities.

We aim for 40% adult directed in autumn increasing to 60% in the summer for the reception children. Although this isnt the same as adult focused it gives a general guidance.

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Thank you very much Marion, you'll be sick of hearing from me!

 

I think I am getting there with my organisation but having never taught nursery I am just hoping that I am not too reception orientated.

 

Thank you again! :D

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Don't worry barbarann, I am in exactly the same position as you. I will be Unit Manager-never taught Nursery but looking forward to experience. I have bombarded poor Marion for info - she it totally sick of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, I feel that as previous Reception teachers we have to learn to be far more flexible and forget about the strict timetable approach we have always adhered to.

I have put some thought into it, and the children will self-register, so that we can discuss any concerns with parents/children when they come in. This could incorporate some of the Seal materials, like a feelings wall, etc.

We will follow Literacy/Numeracy, some Physical activities and PSE large group activities with adult direction and the other areas will be led through small focused group work. The areas will be set up to encourage independence etc

We will have 3 adults working on Focused group activities and one member of staff floating/observing. The T.A's will have some training on observation and the Flying Start Materials we use in County Durham.

We have set out to be flexible and adapt all the time as many units do.

I think this forum is absolutely fantastic for sharing info and meeting local contacts.

Thanks everyone :)

Especially Marion! :)

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Becky as a fellow reception teacher I was in exactly the same position a year ago so know exactly how you are feeling. For us it was a tremendous leap of faith. In our hearts we know it is the way young children should be learning but we have been constrained by school /SAT expectations. You are quite right about flexibility I think it is the key, if we get too hung up on sticking to timetables/planning etc things just dont run smoothly. As teachers we are accustomed to 'directing'learning and stepping back and allowing the children to dictate doesnt come naturally but once you manage to get your head around the idea it works extremely well and its amazing how much move 'learning' takes place.

It has been a steep learning curve not without a lot of stress and soul searching but I think it has been worthwhile.

 

Im really looking forward to this time next year when we can share experiences and ideas and cant wait to visit your new unit.

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Well when you do visit it will be fab to get some feedback from you. I went to school yesterday and the builders are sittting around drinking tea - how strange!!!

I hope it's completed for the start of term, but if not we'll manage.

Thanks Marion, it's nice to hear from you as you've been through what i'm about to start!

You have a great team and that's important.

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They never seem to have the same urgency to get the job done as we do. I intend to pop into school next week hopefully the refurbishment should be complete and the fountains installed in the outdoor area.................maybe!

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Thanks you two, it's so great to hear from other people in the same situation as me. I am going to be foundation coordinator in our unit but have never taught nursery so I feel it's a bit like the blind leading the blind! I am looking forward to the challenge though and it can't be that much different from Reception!

 

I have 3 adults so I was thinking of having 2 focused and one floating/observing etc but the other teacher is not keen on this and thinks we should all be focused all the time! It worries me that the kids won't get any chance to do child initiated stuff if we are all running focused activities plus we need to be observing and interacting in the continuous provision I feel. Am I right?

 

Sorry for rambling on again! Thanks for help! :D

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Hi,

I would like to get hold of the seal pack so that i could become familar with it.

Any help would be gratefully received. :)

Thanks in advance

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You can order here

http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk/defa...110%2f2005&

 

Thanks you two, it's so great to hear from other people in the same situation as me. I am going to be foundation coordinator in our unit but have never taught nursery so I feel it's a bit like the blind leading the blind! I am looking forward to the challenge though and it can't be that much different from Reception!

 

I have 3 adults so I was thinking of having 2 focused and one floating/observing etc but the other teacher is not keen on this and thinks we should all be focused all the time! It worries me that the kids won't get any chance to do child initiated stuff if we are all running focused activities plus we need to be observing and interacting in the continuous provision I feel. Am I right?

 

Sorry for rambling on again! Thanks for help! :D

 

 

We have 4 adults 3 work on focused and 1 floats/observes etc. OFSTED wouldnt be happy to see all adults on focused. I will see if I can find the documents it might help convince the other staff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We will be in a very similar position in sept too. we will have a FSU with the youngest children just having turned 4 - so not quite as big an age gap as some - and a mix of full time Rec and part-time nursery. We will have 2 teachers and 1 TA for approx 38 children. We will have two rooms (with a big hole knocked through) and both rooms lead out onto a small outdoor area.

 

The two rooms bit is new too so not def sure how it will work but we are planning to have an adult in each room and will rotate this. The children will have free flow access to all areas most of the time. We will have 2 adults on focused activities and 1 floating like maany other people have said.

 

I really think the 'floater' (not sure i would like to be called this :o ) plays a vital role as many children need to be shown how to play with things. They need subtle intervetion to show them how to share and also need adults to model language (usually most effective when they are relaxed on activities of their choice).

 

Our main issue will be making sure we rotate where the focus activities are, e.g. outside as well as in so that the floater gets a chance to support children's play in and out and in a range of play areas (e.g. we only have an art/dt area in one room that all children can access).

 

Anyway, good luck with everything - I'd like to hear how you get on in September and hopefully pick up some new ideas from you :)

 

Kelly

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Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage (QCA, pages 44–47) is the core reference document for the Foundation Stage.

 

To be effective, an early years curriculum should be carefully structured. In

that structure, there should be three strands:

provision for the different starting points from which children develop

their learning, building on what they can already do;

relevant and appropriate content that matches the different levels of

young children’s needs;

planned and purposeful activity that provides opportunities for teaching

and learning, both indoors and outdoors.

There should be opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by

adults and also those that they plan or initiate themselves. Children do not

make a distinction between ‘play’ and ‘work’ and neither should

practitioners. Children need time to become engrossed, work in depth and

complete activities.

Practitioners must be able to observe and respond appropriately to children,

informed by a knowledge of how children develop and learn and a clear

understanding of possible next steps in their development and learning.

Well-planned, purposeful activity and appropriate intervention by

practitioners will engage children in the learning process and help them make

progress in their learning.

Principles for early years education 11

For children to have rich and stimulating experiences, the learning

environment should be well planned and well organised. It provides the

structure for teaching within which children explore, experiment, plan and

make decisions for themselves, thus enabling them to learn, develop and

make good progress.

Above all, effective learning and development for young children requires

high-quality care and education by practitioners.

These principles are the basis on which every part of this guidance has been

developed, and are reflected throughout.

 

 

Each focus includes a balance between child- and adult-initiated activities (individually and in various sizes of group) and frequent opportunities for the children to reinforce and apply their learning.

 

http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/earlyict/fun...rly%20years.doc

 

http://www.archive2.official-documents.co....04-nursery.html

Edited by Marion
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi again folks, thanks for all the information and especially the links Marion, they make really interesting reading.

 

Well, I am finally getting there with my prep for Sept, been in loads and the classroom is now set up as I want it (I think!) and I have been busy planning etc.

 

I do have another question though, sorry! I am currently worried about child initiated learning and since reading the article from Marion I am now a bit confused between adult initiated and child initiated (I have adult directed sorted I think!)

 

So............ for child initiated play I am a bit confused as to whether children are meant to be selecting their own resources from a wide range available or whether the child initiated bit is how they use the resources that are there eg, if I put out a dolls house in the small world play and children choose to go to that area and play in their own way with it, is that child initiated play or should I have lots of different small world toys available and they select which ones they want to play with? Or in the sand, do they have available all different resources all the time or would it be ok to put eg play people etc one week and then another week put seiving things, bottles etc?

 

Does that make any sense? Not sure it does! LOL

 

Anyway, if it does make any sense at all, I look forward to some replies, thank you!

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These are the diffinitions we work by

 

Child initiated;

where the child makes choices from within the learning environment to meet his/her own outcomes for learning. Skilful adult interaction supports and extends the play to enable the child to make progress.

 

Adult initiated;

experiences where the practitioner provides the resources to stimulate and consolidate learning. These experiences may not always require the direct involvement of an adult.

 

Adult directed;

experiences which are planned and supported by practitioners and which aim to meet specific learning outcomes.

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