Observations & planning
This section will help you to understand our observation and planning process at Choochoos.
This process will show how our practitioners observe and plan for every individual child following their interests and building on their next steps, to enable them to develop and progress.
‘I like the weekly planning emails so I know what my child gets up to and I really like the teaching through messy games concept’, (Parent, November 2020).
Observing a child can be in variety of different ways, for example, watching/listening, interacting with or near a child. By observing our children in these ways it allows us to gain a great knowledge and understanding of every child individually.
Choochoos observing and planning process is a continuous cycle and is based on every child’s individual interests, the community/current events, spontaneous items, etc.
Each practitioner captures these observations on our eyLog programme. (Please refer to our ‘Your child’s online learning journey (eyLog)’ section).
Observations are captured in many ways, see below:
- Written/word – these are written clearly and to the point, so we can understand exactly what the child is doing.
These ways of observing are captured instantly onto the eyLog, allowing us to monitor their current age, development and progress, next steps, ways in which they learn and their interests, etc.
Parents/carers and families can contribute to observing their child and uploading these also on to the eyLog learning journey, from the easy convenience by using the app on their mobile phone. Merging home life and nursery life together through observations captured on a child’s eyLog learning journey, allows practitioners to really capture ‘WOW’ moments for our children and by sharing them together, we ensure we can develop children by helping them move onto the next stages of their learning. (Please refer to our section ‘Tell us…… what has your child been doing?’)
Reflecting & planning
Planning for our children is completed weekly by all practitioners. Our planning mainly comes from the children’s interests and their learning throughout the previous week, so it always remains current and relevant to our children.
Throughout the week we note the ideas/ways the children are learning, exploring and showing interests, onto paperwork called ‘a reflective sheet’. The reflective sheet also captures event ideas, community/weather and spontaneous events, ideas from home, like moving house holidays, areas in our environment needing improving if not being used as they should or previous activities that didn’t work well or need to be extended or developed. At the end of the week the reflective sheet is reviewed by our teams and ideas are taken from these and used to become the start of our new planning activities and experiences for the following week. During the week children can independently access spontaneous activities and equipment and planned activities that would be adult led and supervised, we can then observe and document the children’s participation and learning.
The planned activity sheet consists of:
- Linking to one specific area of the EYFS.
- Linking to all of the prime areas of the EYFS.
- Children’s next steps/starting points are listed if they link to the activity.
- Date and name of the practitioner completing the planned activity.
- Age range.
- Relation to the reflective sheet.
- The activity in detail.
- Resources needed to complete the activity.
- Extension or adaption for the activity throughout the week.
- What new vocabulary the children will be learning and questions you could ask.
- What will the children be learning while completing this activity.
- Children initials who took part in the activity, but were not linked by their next steps.
- Risk assessment for the activity.
- Managers box for checking and overseeing.
The aim of this planning sheet is to help a practitioner to complete an activity, with all of the information they need.
Each week four main activities are planned, each one based on the four main EYFS Specific areas, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Literacy and Expressive Art and Design.
Activities are planned to enable us to develop our children’s experiences and development, through interest, stimulation and engagement. Our planned activities ensure that our children get a variety of activities daily.
Ofsted’s three i’s (Intent, implementation & impact)
Spontaneous activities take place every day throughout the day as well as our planned activities. Children can independently access and select resources and equipment inside and out.
Before we plan or set up any activities, practitioners ask themselves three questions known as the three I’s
- What is our intent for the activity? (What do we want our children to be learning?)
- How will we implement this activity? (How will our children learn these things?
- How will we measure and evaluate the impact of the activity? (How can we measure what our children have learnt?)