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Non-topic Planning


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At present we do all our planning around topics. Would like to get away from topics but am unsure of how to do so...the long and medium term plans are the most confusing. Anyone doing this and can give advice would be greatly received. Thank you. :o

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There has been lots of discussion on this over the last year or so.

Sue R has written about her nurseries sucesses with it in her blog.


I think the general concensus is that topic can help to hold things together but that relying on them too much can hold you and the children back from fully exploring new interests or even old ones.


If I was planning now and wanted to move away from topics I'd spend a couple of weeks really getting to know my children, watching how they play, what and who they play with, areas they always use and those they dont access much. I'd write everything I saw and then with the rest of the team decide what to offer, what to have ready to offer and who needed particular focus either because they only play in the sand or they move around the room sampling everything but only briefly.

Long term plan could be an overview of the year, festivals you know the children would like, things of local interest, visitors who can maybe show the children something different. You might find if you have a visit from the police the children develop their own play that you can follow.


You can still have a medium term plan, just list the things you'd like to offer the children in a more detailed way. If you look in the pink folder there isnt a medium term plan shown in the example pages so I would question if you really need one. Obviously I dont plan anymore so I might be wrong on current thinking!

But I think going completely topic free would stop children from having some experiences. On the news today it says how Birmingham has had 65 tons of sand put in the Bull Ring, apparently there are a huge number of children who have never been to a beach, if the council waited for the children to show an interest in something they know nothing about they'd be waiting a long time!


I'd also be prepared to write my plans roughly, adapting, adding, changing as I went along. The most important area I think would be the evaluation.


I think it's a great way to go, but I'm aware from reading others posts that it can be a bit scarey for staff who are used to having a topic to follow to suddenly having to watch, observe and then act.


Hope it goes well if you decide to do it. :o

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I think it's really important to keep in mind all those things that aren't easily covered through continuous provision and plan a series of mini topics to cover them. Other than that let go of topics and run with the children. Also, if you have a really interesting idea which you want to introduce to the children then don't be afraid to do so but make sure that you do it in a way that is interesting and relevant to the children. You might be surprised at their breadth of interests and knowledge if you take the time to find out. :o

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