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How Do You Plan For Self Initiated Activities


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Hi, just wondered what others do for self-initiated activities. I work in quite a formal school where we follow local topic plans with Learning objectives,etc. However, in light of all recent stuff on self-chosen activities being so much a part of profiling for Reception children, not sure what to do now. Our assessment co-ordinator does not feel we will be able to deliver NNS and NLS objectives as well as rest of FS curriculum through self-chosen activities. Also some of profile points are difficult to achieve unless you actually ask children to complete a certain activity on different occasions throughout the year. Also ....how can you plan long-term for this, list objectives, show differentiation etc when you do not know what the children are going to select? Our plans are expected to be so formal and we're not sure now if we should be planning week to week rather than half-termly. HELP!!!!

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The short (and rather unhelpful!) answer to thread title is 'You can't!' As you rightly said, how do you know what the children are going to select, but that is the beauty of it... having ssaid that, there is a balance to be struck with child-iniitated and adult-led activities and that is the challenging part!


The main planning comes from the long term/overall or continuous provision planning (if you have a workshop set-up) Enhancement resources would be placed in the areas according to the topics (which could be your medium term plans) and then individual children would be observed to see what type of learning and areas they were accessing.


Focus activities for each child/group of children could then be written up for NNS and NLS amongst others, but using areas of interest (trains, dinosaurs, animals etc) These would form part of your short term plans.


Any learning or teaching should be 'in context' and at a level that is appropriate to each child's understanding, which is why the observations are so vital in making this work. In nurseries, there are 'key workers' who take responsiblity for a group of children and build up relationships and knowledge about each child, but not sure how this would transfer to a school environment?


I hope that gives you some idea, but there are teachers (which I'm not) who are better equipped to let you know how it is implemented in practice...!

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'fraid i was going to say the same - by definition self initiated means it's what the child decides to do, otherwise it's not really child initiated. However I did write some thoughts about this in a recent thread on definitions here


so I won't go through that again, but a big part of it is getting the conditions for learning right - the ethos, the resourcing, the independence level of the children and then the way that you assess.


I'm not sure why the assessment coord is expecting you to cover NLS/nns objectives as well as the FSCG, because you don't have to do this. The FSCG will be the statutory curriculum when the new document is published and anyway currently the ELGs are statutory parts of the FS curric so you have to have regard to them first and foremost. If you are analysing your assesment info and looking for gaps in learning then you can use that to develop the planned curriculum to meet these gaps, and this is already building on a year in the FS anyway so children aren't just starting from scratch - even if you don't have paperwork you'll see where they are and assume they've gone past earlier steps. You don't need to get evidence for every single stepping stone if they are already working at the elg level. The opportunity to develop their own ideas gives you the important opportunity to see children use and apply their skills which is much better than a set up activity where you don't see the depth and breadth of their knowledge, only the tiny bit you are looking for.


Doesn't really answer your question but may raise some points for consideration?


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the letter from NAA re assessment in FS is in this thread here


this may be useful to share with SMT. Just keep the faith - when the new framework is finally published etc it will all be statutory so the assessment coord will just have to get over their ignorance and get with the programme.



Edited by catma
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