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Hi Everyone,

I'm attaching the weekly planning I did for this week, whilst I'm quite pleased with the layout and it has seemed to work well in my setting, I do wonder if it's a bit over the top!

Should I just stick to picking out one Stepping Stone for each ELG and one focus from the BTTM?

I haven't written in the resources or learning objectives as we fill in a focus activity form regularly on all activities where an adult has been present. My boss said it was fantastic but she's so lovely I'm not sure she doesn't to upset me with any criticism of my first attempt!

So please feel free to give your views as we can only learn from our mistakes.

Thanks

Karrie :)

 

 

I should have added that I work in a sessional Pre-school with children starting at 2 & 9 months

Edited by aliamch
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Hi Karrie, just remember that so long as the planning suits you and your setting then it's right. Dont worry about the content unless staff cant work to it. It does include more than I used to include and I would say that maybe with so many focuses it may be difficult to really apply any learning but try it out and adapt as you see fit next time. Include a bit in the evaluation as to why things didnt work for the week and any changes you'd include next time (if any). Trial and errr should be my second and thirds names! :D

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Hi,

I think that Rea has got it right - if it works for you, then stick with it.

From a personal point of view, it does look like a lot of work, but I am used to the private day nursery sector where equipment can be set out and kept out (i.e. continuous provision) so that toys and resources are accessible all the time, with perhaps one or two focus activities a day for key staff to supervise and support learning. I'm guessing that you are not able to set this kind of system up?

With regards to BTTM, I wouldn't be focusing too much on the broad areas - I would just look at one activity and then in the evaluations/observations show if the children accessed the activity and then link what they got out of it, back to the framework - in effect the planning done in reverse (does that make sense?)

With the focus very much now on the child being at the centre, all settings should be looking at planning for the interests of individual children and following their lead, so if a group want to play with cars in the sand all week - let them (and don't worry what the plans show, as long as you can back up what experiences and learning the children got out of it)

 

Oh dear, that sounds a bit negative... I don't mean to be, but I hope that gives you a private nursery perspective (but that's onlyone of many and I'm sure others will disagree with me too!)

 

RB

x

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Running Bunny

 

Can I ask when you say you leave the toys out(continous provision) do you have a toy rota or something that you work from to ensure children arent playing with the same things each day, do you put a selection of toys in the nursery and change them every so often.

What I am finding is that we have just moved over to free flow play- continious provision and have put a few toys in each area in labelled boxes so that the children can choose and a grage full of stuff that isnt being used as we cant possibly get it all out We have some very nice new toys which have been in there for ages. as a nursery we used to plan Long Medium short term and now we seem to have not much at all as we have been told just to watch the children observe and record and plan for the next step we are a bit stuck and feel very lost! Do you have any planning or anything that you can show me? Do you separate the children by age group? Is your focus activity an adult led one? You mentioned possibly 2 a day?

 

Your help would be great!

 

thanks

 

sharon

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Hi Sharon,

 

I have got some planning, but I think it is at work... in a bit of a rush as I'm waiting for a man to come and see me about replacing my windows (!)

WIll have a look to see if they are on my computer, but will definitely get back to you!

RB x

 

PS There have been lots of discussions about continuous provision here and if you do a forum search you can find loads more!

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Sharon,

As promised, some sample continuous provision planning....

 

construction.doc

sand_play.doc

writing_and_mark_making.doc

 

In my last nursery (I'm a development officer now) we did have a toy rota, so mobilo would be out for as long as the children used it. If they asked for lego, we got it out in addition to the mobilo on the floor and observed to see if it was time to swap the two over. We would never plan to say week 1 - lego, week 2 - mobilo etc as the children could be involved in a large scale project and we wouldn't want to interrupt them!

 

If you have lots of toys, you could try a 'choice' board - take photographs of all the toys that you have and label them. Consult with the children by putting pictures of what is out already and the other toys that they could have out. They could then negotiate which ones they would want to put away and which new ones they would want out by swapping the photographs over. Children would soon learn that they are allowed 'x' number of toys and they have to sacrifice one set in order to replace it - does that make sense?

 

As far as your planning is concerned, you would have overarching plans for each area which would very rarely change i.e. mark making, construction, sand, water etc and then you would plan for focus/topic linked activities that may or may not be adult led i.e. setting up a new role play area with a specific theme in mind but no intended outcome. You would then observe the children and see what learning they were creating and use this to plan for the future i.e. where they sorting things, pretend baking, drawing plans, making lists etc...

 

It's a bit hard to try and describe it in words, but I hope that you get the gist of it - any more questions, please ask - and you will get lots of support on here!!

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Hi RB,

continuous provision sounds wonderful, unfortunately we're in a church hall where everything has to be put away each day in a tardis-like cupboard! Though we do follow the weekly plans we do also bring out things children request and justify it as 'extending' the activity. We did bread making during our Ofsted which was so successful with the children that we did it all week only to be told by the inspector that we should of stuck to our planning!

Thanks for all your words of wisdom, you've definitely given me a few ideas to explore

Karrie

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Hi Rb

 

Thanks will try the choice board this week, we all feel as though we are going through a tunnel at the mo but guest what we cant find the other end!

 

Can I ask something else?

If planning is now based on the individual child and on obervations - is it suggested that we pick a group of children to observe a week for their following weeks planning? How often do you observe each child?

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  • 1 month later...

I appear to have forgoten about this thread - sorry!

 

To answer your question about observations, that is where the key worker system really comes into it's own. Each key worker will carry out observations on their children - both planned (i.e. to find out something specific) and spontaneus (when you notice something the child is doing for the first time or building on something they have done in the past)

 

This will help to build up a picture of the individual children so that you will start to notice that 'Sammy' likes to play with the trains a lot, so how can we get him in the mark making area? Put train books in there, timetables, stampers etc that follow his interest. OR you could do a focus actiivty for that child in maths exploring longer and shorter with different numbers of trucks. You would then evaluate the session and make notes for how you are going to support/ offer development or enhancement in a future session.

 

THese shouldn't be forced on the children and you should follow what they are doing, not what you expect them to be able to do.

 

How many should you do? That depends on how many staff and children you have. Spontaneous observations are going to be a lot more frequent than planned ones and there is no right or wrong, but one planned observation every week or two would be enough to put in a development file (but make sure that you have a reason for doing them) Spontaneous ones could be three or four every session!

 

I hope that answers your question?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very interesting discussions. Had a long day on planning yesterday (hence I can't sleep!).

Somethings that need to be seen on short term plans are - indication of which adult is doing what, some sort of differentiation (an easier and harder version of the activity) and somewhere to include next steps in children's learning.

Hope that's of some use to someone!

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I thought that by filling in the Focus Activity sheet meant you didn't need to show the differentations and extensions on the weekly plans. We also have a staff rota which is also why we don't write which adult is doing what on the plans.

 

I've attached my planning for next week, it hasn't changed much from my original post. The stepping stones in the bold print are are main focuses and the rest are used as starting points for ad-hoc observations. We didn't intend to change the stepping stones until we felt children had achieved them, but now I've been told weekly planning should eventually include ALL the steping stones (yellow, blue and green!).When I said I thought so long as all the aspects were eventually covered it would be ok I was shot down in flames with the (true) comment that I haven't yet got any formal qualifications. (The woman has recently got her Level 3 and is hoping to do the FD).The BTTM part is mainly for the benefit of staff who haven't done the training yet, but this is then filled in retrospectively on a separate sheet.

 

So can anyone tell me if we are supposed to eventually plan for every single stepping stone? Is this even possible?

 

Karrie

 

 

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Your plan looks pretty much like mine did when I was in a church hall. It was used more as an indication of the equipment that was intended for the week and like you we had a daily sheet with one or two focus activities. Our pink folder was coded each SS was a-z and the goals 1-whatever. Cant remember them all off the top of my head but it would something like Creative 1a -begin to differentiate colours, PSED 4e- Understand what is right, what is wrong and why (there was no way I was going to write the whole thing out, life's too short) I never wrote more than one on for the focus but might refer to others in code on the differentiation, staff were good enough to be able to differentiate as the activity progressed, adding, helping, encouraging where needed. All staff had good and ready access to a folder so if they were unsure they could refer to that, but mostly we got to know the codes pretty well. Ofsted knew had seen them and I believe the former EYDCP for the city were promoting it. At the focus activity obs were taken, the evaluation showed the different levels and notes were acordingly attached to the childrens file for writing up and planning. I also didnt write adult names on it, we all knew what we were good at and did it, I rarely cooked because it would be a diasaster, D could be a bit woosy outside if there were bugs, we kind of worked it out between us. :D

 

PS Dont let people tell you off, you're as yet untrained in this field but that doesnt mean you have no idea of how it works, planning is a tricky business, made trickier I would have thought by finding a piece of paper big enough to hold ALL the SS's! Is that really what she meant? :o

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Thank-you Rea, what I understood was once you've done the weekly planning fo the year you should have included all the SS's by the end of the year. So each week you would have to focus on about 6 different SS's, we have up to 26 children per session and it would be imposible to help all these children achieve 6 SS's in one week.

 

Karrie

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Karrie

 

Our EYA advised us that we didnt need to write adult input, group size, extensions etc on our weekly plans as all our staff would/should know how to do this without being told. I must say that I agree with this and we changed our plans accordingly. And it makes it more fun with each staff member interpreting activities in slightly different ways, it keeps things fresh.

 

Staff should be qualified and/or have relevant experience, so should be able to take some responsibility for moving the plans forward, to get the most out of the children.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Just thought I would try to attach last weeks planning. Just to give an example of how we do things.

 

The only thing I have deleted is the names of the under 3's. The asterix on the activity denotes the fact that there is a sheet in the planning folder giving more detailed information on the activity.

 

Overall, it is similar to your planning.

 

Hope this helps

 

1.docAAM_Wk5b.doc

Edited by Guest
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Thanks for those Sharon, we're still trialling our planning as our EY mentor said we had too many things out for the children to access and so it would be harder to get detailed observations done. I would love to offer continous provision but being in a church hall and operating from a Tardis-like cupboard it just isn't possible, at the moment.

 

Just out of interest is your setting anywhere near the Alperton/Greenford area? It's just that the name Vicarage Farm brings back so many memories!

 

Karrie

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Very interesting discussions. Had a long day on planning yesterday (hence I can't sleep!).

Somethings that need to be seen on short term plans are - indication of which adult is doing what, some sort of differentiation (an easier and harder version of the activity) and somewhere to include next steps in children's learning.

Hope that's of some use to someone!

 

 

I thought that by filling in the Focus Activity sheet meant you didn't need to show the differentations and extensions on the weekly plans. We also have a staff rota which is also why we don't write which adult is doing what on the plans.

 

 

Karrie

 

 

We no longer plan weekly so only fill in the focused activity sheets I attached earlier which show differentiation /extentions/simplification/next steps. im not sure what the purpose is of writing out the same plan twice ie a weekly sheet and a focus sheet seems like paperwork for its own sake :o

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Hi Marion, working in a church hall the staff like to know what to put out each day. I list the stepping stones and BTT down the side to give staff a starting point for observations. Some of our staff have no qualifications (like myself) but 20 years experience of working in the preschool (unlike myself), so its there to give them a point from where to work from. The last thing we want is to make them feel they can't do a job that they can.

 

The focus activity is only filled out for adult led/present activities, there are often areas where an adult isn't always present which is why our EY mentor said we had too many activities out to do detailed obs.

 

Karrie

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Hi Marion, working in a church hall the staff like to know what to put out each day. I list the stepping stones and BTT down the side to give staff a starting point for observations. Some of our staff have no qualifications (like myself) but 20 years experience of working in the preschool (unlike myself), so its there to give them a point from where to work from. The last thing we want is to make them feel they can't do a job that they can.

 

The focus activity is only filled out for adult led/present activities, there are often areas where an adult isn't always present which is why our EY mentor said we had too many activities out to do detailed obs.

 

Karrie

 

Our focused activity sheet is only filled out for adult led activities too and we complete a daily activity sheet for all other areas this is filled in the day before so that staff or students know what to put out the following day. As we usually have 20+ indoor activities and 10+ outdoor activities this is important.

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Hi Karrie

 

No we are in Northamptonshire. We are near an actual farm called Vicarage Farm though lol

 

 

 

And we can sympathise with the tardis like cupboard too. We have the same, but we have two lol. Every single thing has to be put away at the end of the session and dragged out again the next morning.

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Just a quick question for Vicarage Farm - I've downloaded your weekly plan and like the way you've done it....I'm just wondering what the numbers in brackets refer to, e.g. Add binoculars (1,8,9) - is it a reference to stepping stones? I'm probably being really thick so sorry for that!

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Hi Deborah.

 

I think I attached two files. One lists the stepping stones & BTTM covered in that week and and they are numbered 1 through 10. You need the 2 documents to cross reference the numbers :)

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