To follow on from my blogs about weekly planning and group planning, this final blog in the planning series looks at individual planning - and gives you some ideas for recording your planning.
I hope you find it useful.
This is the most important type of planning and the one you should focus on the most. If you don’t write anything else, please have some written individual planning (next steps / PLODS - whatever you call it) for each EYFS aged child. You should keep the rest of your planning (if you choose to use it) simple and easy to do because this is the planning that should take up most of your time.
Ofsted want to see evidence that children are making good progress - that the activities and experiences you plan for them are helping them to learn new things - that you know your key children** really well and are building on the ways they learn (their learning characteristics) and the things they already know (observations) to develop their future learning experiences.
**Childminders are each child’s key person. If you work in group provision you must nominate a key person for every EYFS aged child - inform parents about the key person role - write the name of the child’s key person somewhere on the child’s Learning Journey information - this is a requirement of the EYFS 2012.
Individual planning = next steps... for example -
• John loves farm animals so you make a Lego farmyard with him, sing ‘Old MacDonald’ and read a book about Spot the dog visiting a farm - yes it really is that obvious! Don’t over-complicate it!
• Janet has been to the zoo with her family and brings a toy giraffe to show you - read ‘Handa’s Surprise’ with her and see what she wants to do next with her new interest... you could sing the elephant song or go outside to hunt for the zoo animals which you have hidden in the garden.
• Katie is exploring an enveloping schema at the moment - she is wrapping everything up including herself! Plan some den play with her... and give parents some ideas for activities they can do with her at home.
• Jack points out a spiders web in the garden - get him some string and have fun making one together. Concentrate on his scissor skills (you noted that you wanted to do some more fine motor skills with him in his previous next steps).
Photos are great for showing how you have followed children’s learning styles but don’t take too many or it will cost you a fortune to print them all... or take lots to show parents but only print a few.
It is important that every child has a range of experiences that link to all areas of learning and development through the week. However, you don’t need to sit down and fill in a big planning sheet every week because a lot of what the children do in their daily routines will allow you to show evidence of your compliance with the EYFS before you even start planning!
For example every day you already know that -
• Jane sits with her friends at the table and has snack - PSED - making friendships
• Jane sings songs about numbers - maths - counting
• Jane looks at worms when you are out on the school run - understanding the world - the world
• Jane washes her hands and chooses a healthy snack - Physical - health and self care
Then, you can write your individual planning...
Here is how I do it -
• I put my annual plan at the front of my medium term planning folder. I use it as a prompt through the months - but I do not follow it if something better (something the children would rather do) comes up instead.
• I add medium term planning through the months to build up a really good resource file. Sometimes I have some good activity ideas that don’t link to the months of the year - I file them alphabetically at the back of my folder for reference next time they pop up.
• I add group planning notes to my monthly folder as well - I don’t include the children’s names, just activity ideas and comments.
• Each child has a personalised Learning Journey file and I put notes about their individual learning experiences in a play plan which I write every week for them. I include information about what I have planned for the child - and notes about what the child has chosen to do from my continuous provision resources (the toys and games I always have available).
More information and advice
You can find a copy of my play plan here
Advice about weekly planning here.
There is a quick overview of different types of planning here .
You can find more FREE information and links to help and advice here .
This blog looks at daily outside play planning.
If you are a Childcare.co.uk member I have written lots of information about planning for gold members of the site.
Remember, your ways of doing things are NOT wrong!!
We all work differently and it is important we share good practice. If you have a way of doing your planning that works better for you then you do NOT need to change it... but if any of my ideas help or you think they will save you time, then you might like to reflect on how to include them in your day-to-day record keeping.
Don’t forget to keep a note of what you have done to include in your SEF.
If you have any questions about planning that are not answered above, please ask! It is really important that we all support each other.
For more information about planning please see e-book 15 'Eyfs Planning' from Knutsford Childminding resources.