Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage at Severnbanks Primary School.
We look forward to working in partnership with you at the beginning of your child’s learning journey.
EYFS Unit - In the Moment Planning
In the Moment planning is all about capturing the children’s current interests at that particular time. There is no need to plan in advance as this form of planning is based on what the child is doing and practitioners need to interact with the child to build on what the child is already doing (in the moment) Teachers and TAs need the necessary skills to identify the child’s interests and know when and how to intervene to help move the child’s learning on. They also need to know when interacting could be interfering and therefore detrimental to the child’s play and learning at that moment.
For us at Severnbanks, this type of planning is simple and effective as it allows those crucial moments to be captured and extended there and then rather than introducing these next steps in a week or two. It is child lead and real-time planning. Children’s current interests are identified regularly and teachers and TAs can plan and evaluate from day to day as a pose to week by week.
Understanding in the moment EYFS planning allows no forward planning; we are planning in the moment experiences which are an extension of a child’s interest observed. This type of planning prevents the teachers thinking at the beginning of the week what we shall offer children today. The only pre-planned activities are carpet learning inputs within both the Nursery and Reception classes. This is to ensure all children are exposed to all areas of the EYFS curriculum and are able to then apply these through their own enquiry and exploration. We believe and have already seen that children being offered all these experiences will make rapid progress in their development.
Evidencing children’s learning is crucial and in the EYFS Unit at Severnbanks we have chosen to do this in a number of ways. For individual interactions with children when the adult moves learning forward, we complete a Guided Play sheet which then goes into their individual learning journey. Each week we have Focus Children so the Teacher and TAs are particularly focusing on having positive interactions with these children. Conversations and paperwork completed by parents/carers feed into this also in order to identify children’s next development step/stage. As part of documenting learning, children are part of the Scribing process. This is when a child wishes to write and the adult is part of this either through physically scribing whole or parts of what the child says or in facilitating the child to be able to write using the writing skills taught at the appropriate level. The important part about scribing is being aware of individual children’s ‘next step’ and how to move them towards this through the interaction. Independent and ‘wow’ moments are document through Tapestry the online learning journey and this is accessed by parents/carers. There are also entries in their folder learning journey.
In order to move learning forward, all the adults are aware of Ofsted’s definition of teaching and use this when interacting and then documenting for individual children:
“Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges.”
OFSTED September 2015
The Early Years Framework 2014 states:
“1.6. Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.”
All staff observe carefully, and enhance the learning whenever we spot a “teachable moment”. Our observations, interactions and the outcomes are recorded afterwards. Crucial elements to in the moment EYFS planning is quality interactions from adults, clear observations and effective ways of extending children’s thinking. For in the moment EYFS planning to be effective teachers and TAs need to regularly review both the indoor and outdoor environments and ensure these are adapted to meet the children’s level of involvement in their activity. The core areas need to be engaging, stimulating and contain plenty of resources that are fully accessible to all. The access to resources remains the same – children know how to independently gather what they need for their exploration, fascinations and learning.
In order to develop each child holistically we assess them against the Development Matters developmental stages throughout the year. Using this data and ongoing assessments, observations and guided play, children in Reception are then given 1:1 time each week. The purpose of this is to address each child’s specific area of need in order for them to move towards age related expectation at the end of the year. As the year progresses, most of this 1:1 time is used to support progress in the Specific Areas of Learning building on successes in the Prime Areas.
Interactions are subtle – we wait to be invited in because we know all children are born with a natural desire to explore and learn and will then want to share this. We take into account our knowledge of brain development knowing that babies are born with billions of brain cells and with stimulation these cells connect and form synapses. This is brain development, this is a child making “progress”, this is when a brain is “lit up”. We can use a very simple measure to gauge this involvement and intrinsic motivation: - The Levels of Involvement Scale developed by Professor Ferre Laevers.
The scale has five levels Level 5 is high level involvement and is characterised by the child showing continuous and intense activity with concentration, creativity, energy and persistence. Deep level learning, with many parts of the brain “lit up”, is known to occur when children operate at this level of involvement. In contrast, low level involvement (Level 1) is characterised by activity that is simple, stereotypic, repetitive and passive, with little or no challenge and with the child appearing absent and displaying no energy. When children are operating at this level, there is very little brain activity and minimal learning.
In the Moment planning works for us at Severnbanks because of the huge range of abilities our children have and their low baselines on entry to Nursery/school. Whilst we believe in the child-led approach with purposeful interactions to move learning forward, we are very aware of specific skills our children need to develop in order for other learning to take place – primarily in the Prime Areas of Learning. To ensure success we provide a multi-sensory, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approach to learning for all children and to compliment this interventions are sensitively used to meet specific needs of individuals.
Our introduction of the In the Moment Planning approach was sparked by an Ofsted Outstanding Course led by Anna Ephgrave who is known for her success and high outcomes for children using this approach. The teachers in the EYFS unit have been using ‘The Nursery Year in Action’ and ‘The Reception Year in Action’ by Ephgrave to inform our practice but have adapted it to suit our children and will continue to do so.
The curriculum is divided into seven areas.
The three prime areas are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development.
There are also four specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
We link our planning to the EYFS curriculum but we also take into consideration the children’s interests and experiences.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
- Sorting activities
- Addition and Subtraction
- Reading together
- Drawing, painting and colouring
- Making things - junk modelling, cutting and gluing
- Learning Nursery Rhymes
- Singing, clapping
- Cooking - weight and capacity
- Board Games - Counting, matching, sorting
- Being aware of shapes in the in the environment
- Shopping - identifying coins and using money
- Clocks - using a clock to identify important events during the day: mealtimes and bedtimes.
- Learning how to get dressed independently
- Do up and undo buttons