As you may already be aware we are changing our planning and observation cycle to be more child friendly and to help us meet the needs of all of our children more effectively. From now on we will be focussing much more closely on children’s interests. We will be watching all of the children closely so that we can recognise the things that spark their curiosity and what captures their imaginations. We believe that when children spend time focussed on the things that they choose they will show a higher level of thinking and will learn more thoroughly about those topics of interest. It will be the adults role to step into the child’s self-chosen play at an appropriate time to add new knowledge and ideas which will encourage children to develop their learning. We will also plan adult led activities however these will no longer have a topic based focus but instead will be planned in the moment based on the child’s interest at any given moment.
An example of this may be an adult observes a group of children playing in the sand pit searching for treasure, an adult may come over and encourage the children to count how many pieces they have found, they may then decide together that they will make a treasure chest using the junk modelling resources and hide the treasure for another child to find. The adult may help them to draw a treasure map to give to another child and find the dressing up clothes for them to dress up as pirates, provide some cardboard boxes to pretend they have a pirate ship each! Doesn’t that sound fun! And without knowing it the child has been able to practise skills within all areas of development while completely engrossed in play with adults and other children!
With this new method of planning and observing you will not always receive an observation every week. Your child will be the focus of your keyworkers attention for a week each half term and that will be the week that you will receive a lengthy observation showing all the things that your child has shown interest in and the learning that has taken place. Of course your child will be having interactions with their key worker and other adults each time they are here and they will be learning through play all of the time! By having a focus week you will be able to see the progress that your child has made over time more clearly and adults will be able to spend more time having important interactions with all of the children to help them make progress in their learning.
We will also be watching out for any ‘Wow’ moments that the children have, that is moments where they reach a new milestone, find out something new or have a new idea about something. Adults will be close by to capture these moments and will post them onto Tapestry as and when they occur so you will receive some short observations in between your focus week when they happen too!
If you have any questions about planning in the moment please do come and speak to Ria and she will be able to explain further!