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Hi all, we are planning a date for our Long term Planning meeting for the next academic year, and as we gradually move towards planning for the children's interests etc. we don't feel fully confident just yet at letting go of the 'themes' which we have based our planning around in the past. I know it will take time, and we are moving in the right direction (thanks to help from this wonderful site) just wanted to ask for some inspirational ideas. Basing on the children's own interests for next year - the children are still quite young at the moment(2.5 - 3yrs) and really enjoy role play home corner, cuddly toy animals and singing time. Next year these will be our eldest children who will be starting Reception class. We have a really high percentage of girls! and the few boys we have, would spend all session playing cars on the floor! Any ideas for 'themes' we could loosley base our planning around would be appreciated? I thought of using a story book as a point of introduction, but mind dead at the moment.

Thank you in advance.

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we have found that when you flow with the children you end up with several mini themes running rather than one main one.


so from what you have said I would probably look at ways to extend and vary the home corner role-play - e.g. different rooms, adding pets to look after, linking with other areas of provision e.g. 'cooking' with the playdough - this could make a plan lasting several weeks with all the different variations - there is scope for adult-initiated and child-initiated play within each.


I would then use the interest in animals to structure my input e.g whole class and group sessions and develop the animal theme (possibly just pets to link in with home-corner or animals in general) through stories, songs, focus activities etc.


I would also plan ways to extend the car play with one or two adult-initiated activities e.g. suggesting they draw their own road mat or that they create sings to add to an exisiting road mat. or a maths activity such as following directions.


hope this helps.

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Our long term plan consists of what area / aspects we will aim to meet each week for the year, however the last column is filled in as the year progresses, this shows the topic/theme that the childrens interests have informed, or if there is not a clear preference we introduce a book to inspire childrens focus / ideas. By planning areas/aspects in advance we ensure we provide all six areas and the aspects of the curriculum throughout a whole year, yet also follow childrens themes instead of adult ideas.

Attached is an example, my main copy is at preschool, I have put in blue what I can remember as being covered. Hope this helps.




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Thanks Peggy, the planning is really helpful.

To begin our Long Term Planning we usually think of 6 themes as a starting point (one for each half term) and then for each half term we think of all 6 areas of learning and fit the Aspects into the themes - this usually works well, as the Aspects lend themselves to certain themes it also ensures that we have covered all Aspects from all Aea of Learning in the year. This has always worked extremely well and children are still talking about the activities which we covered last half term through the 'adult' choice of theme - it really captured their interest. If we hadn't got such a theme in place we may have lost some vital opportunities of learning, missed out on 4 trips and not have had offers of help from some visitors. Because the children would not have had previous experience to draw upon, we couldn't have followed their lead. I fully appreciate following the child's interest to develop planning, but I do believe that there is so much we can offer children guided through themes too - hence the reluctance to abandon all! Does anyone else still long term plan using themes, and then follow the childrens lead in the Short term?

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I tend to do a bit of both and then follow my own inspiration as well.


I decide on 6 Topics for the year these give me a "focus" and stop my brain running away with me.


Then I have a fairly detailed plan for the topic covering all areas which makes me feel better and convinces me I'm covering all areas.


And then I have daily plans which are based on the topic plan- but if I or they go off on a tangent as something suddenly takes our interest or lasts longer/shorter than anticipated so be it.


If I'm stuck for ideas for any areas I leave it blak and then make notations on hard copy as I get inspiration- if I get inspiration.


I've attached a couple of plans that may be of use...

some have texts as a starting point, some start from a concept. Many ideas come from books, Scholastic do some brilliant topic books which cover just about aything you can think of.


Anyway, hope some of this helps...






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