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Thoughts On Our Planning, Greatly Appreciated


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When i took over as manager i changed all the planning, the general concensus now at work is that the planning is quicker to do and that the staff now know a whole lot more about the children than they previously did.


Our planning takes on three stages.


we have a medium term plan (which is a brainstorm of our topic ideas, ie crafts, songs etc...)


we then have a weekly plan which has a section for planned activity title, a section for children's choice of toys /activities and then a section for staff choice of toys and activities.

on the reverse of this plan is a space to evaluate the whole week, staff use this to highlight things that went well, children's interests etc etc.....


we then have a planned activity sheet which staff use to plan an activity, they evaluate the activity overall and then observe individual children at the activity on the reverse of the sheet.


Now when i changed all the planning our numbers throughout nursery were low and staff had plenty of time to do the planning. One room is now struggiling to get the daily plan done because theren numbers have picked up to 10 - 12 daily (2-3 years) rooms are still ratio though, so not sure why they are struggiling so.


anyhow, guess my thoughts out to you are,


do you feel it is essential to do a planned activity everyday, or would it be just as acceptable to say do three planned activities a week (but differ the days, ie.... mon, wed, fri, one week, then tue, thurs, fri another week, then mon, tues, wed another week and so on.... and then on the days when you don't do a planned activity you simply observe children in play.

I was thinking this because generally staff are so tied up in doing the planned activity that they don't get chance to just generally observe the children doing whatever they want to do.


of course activities will be set out that stimulate children, but for only three days a week the activities will be specifically observed to see how they meet with the BT3 matters framework and FS curriculum.


did that make sense?


any ideas greatly appreciated... how do other settings do there planning.


in our recent ofsted the inspector loved our planning, she loved that i evaluated staff planning, but did say it was a little time consuming (she was talking about me evaluating their planning) I agree evaluating there planning is time consuming but equally keeps me connected to what is going on in rooms.... the inspector looked at staff planning and said it was very good, she did not say if we were doing to much or too little though.....



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Not sure really Dawn, as I am a teacher but my immediate reaction is try and see how you feel about it, whether it works etc but do not, as Ofsted liked what you do, change anything too radically unless you have good cause. It could also be that you need to let the grass settle a little longer or you will be in a continual round of change without anything becoming embedded, you other issues that unless you feel are involved in this probably have priority and you dont want them to get lost?

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Hi Dawn,

This is a perennial problem, isn't it? Not knowing whether we are doing too few/too many focused activities :o

Do you have different children attending each day? If so, then two or three different focused activities across the week would be fine, I'd think, because then you'd be able to get round all your children, and be able to write significant comments about each of them. You' d also only have to do two or three focus activity planning sheets, and not five!!

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I'd go along with Susan on this one, one of my Ofsted recommendations was NOT to keep changing planning format, let it embed.

Maybe look at time management issues within the room who are not keeping up, as you say, staff ratio's should enable the work to be done. Maybe the staff just need to 'plan' when, what and how, supporting each other by communicating what they need to get done by when.



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