In The Moment Planning' at St Osmund’s Preschool
What is 'In The Moment Planning'?
At St Osmund’s Preschool children are at the centre of what we do and we believe that children learn best when they are interested, inquisitive and engaged, which at this age and stage of development, is best achieved through play. Play gives children the opportunity to explore their own interests, enquire, plan and take risks. Additionally, play also allows children to use their creativity, develop their imagination, build on their dexterity and physical skills, not to mention supporting the development of cognitive and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children engage and interact in the world around them.
Delivery of the 'Early Years Foundation Stage' curriculum (EYFS) involves a continuous cycle of three parts:
Observing children – What can they do and what do they know? Assessing based on those observations - What is their next step? Planning – How I am going to teach them the next step?
We respect children as individuals and understand that they all develop differently. Therefore, on reflection, we felt that our previous method of planning, with a particular learning intention in mind, and then teaching to a small group was not necessarily the most effective method. Firstly, it often interrupted what they were doing (something self- chosen that they were deeply involved in) and therefore, understandably, we were met with reluctance and little engagement in what we were trying to do. Secondly, we weren't necessarily meeting the needs of individual children, as planning for the entire cohort.
After receiving training by Anna Ephgrave 'In The Moment Planning'(ITMP), a model developed by Anna Ephgrave, rather than adults deciding what children will be learning ahead of time and working with children in small groups, instead we engage with the children at activities they have chosen and teach the children 'in the moment'. Therefore, through play, children have access to all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, all of the time, without limits or adult agenda. This mean that we can meet the needs of individuals more effectively.
In this model of 'In The Moment Planning' (ITMP) the role of the teacher looks a little different. The children will have free-flow access to the provision, which means that the children can choose where their learning takes place. The adult will stand back and observe what the children are doing, assess what they need to do/know/learn next and plan their teaching, which will be delivered there and then. This means that next steps for individual children are not something that are to be delivered at a point in the future, but right there 'In The Moment'.
You may notice an adult standing back and watching. This is important part of our planning as adults need to be clear what the children are doing, to ensure that they can engage appropriately and enhance, not interrupt their play.
We have different focus children each week, which means that these are the children with whom our observations will be focused upon. This means that each half term every child will have the opportunity to be a focus child. This does not mean that the other children are not learning, or getting adult interaction but rather that they are continuing with their own learning journeys independently, whilst we ensure that each child has equal opportunity for quality teaching and learning.
We will continue to lead sessions for phonics and maths, as well as 1:1 Speech & Language support with children. If your child is not a focus child for the week, do not worry, they will still be learning throughout other activities planned.
If your child is to be a focus child for the week, we may give you a parent consultation sheet to fill in beforehand. We value the knowledge and understanding you have of your child and would really appreciate it if you would share anything significant happening in your child’s life at that moment with us. Together we can then plan activities to meet your child’s individual needs and help develop their future learning.
As already mentioned, our planning is ‘In The Moment’ and therefore documented retrospectively. The planning sheets are blank at the start of the week and then are gradually filled up throughout the week. We have a weekly sheet on which we make notes about what the children have been interested in and learning in each area. We use this to reflect on what is going well, what could be further developed or improved and respond to this as soon as possible. Additionally, for the focus each week, we record the observations, interactions and achievements throughout the week which are then collated onto one sheet to show the children’s learning journey for that week.
Phonics and Maths inputs are recorded on a separate sheet. We plan sessions which are practical, engaging and active, giving the children the skills they can use when accessing the environment independently.
We have a workshop style environment indoor and outdoors where minimal items are set out in order for children to direct their own learning. Our learning environment consists of various different areas. Each area is equally important and provides children with a range of resources and equipment to enable children to learn, working towards both the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ and the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ outcomes.
Although we have designated 'stations' for reading, writing and maths, there are opportunities for these in all areas of our environment.
We believe through this new approach to teaching and learning our children will be:
- Risk takers
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff, we are always happy to talk.