Planning in the moment
What is planning in the moment?
Planning in the moment is all about seizing the moment for children to progress. Based on what the children are already deeply involved in, this way of planning relies on skilled practitioners using quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on it there and then (in the moment). This means that the practitioner needs the skills to be able to see the teachable moment from the child’s perspective and be skilled enough to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe.
Planning in the moment is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress.
The teachable moment
National Strategies document states:
“It is in the moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference.”
What does the child gain from the teachable moment?
The child should feel valued, important, interesting, capable, and able to learn as well as gaining knowledge, skills, attitude and understanding therefore making progress in one or several areas of the Early Years Curriculum.
What does the practitioner gain from the teachable moment?
They should feel valued, important, interesting, capable, and able to teach as well as gaining a sound understanding of the child’s knowledge, skills, attitude, understanding and progress.
Jane Wotherspoon HMI (quoted in an Early Years Course by Anna Ephgrave 24.01.14) states
“Teaching… is all those different things that you do as an adult that help young children learn… communicating, modelling language, working with children as they initiate their own play and activities, being ready to intervene on the moment, demonstrating how to do something, explaining why something is as it is, showing children something, exploring ideas with them, encouraging them, questioning them, checking what it is they are understanding, helping them to record something that they did so that they get the structure and sequence of events, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating what they are doing, setting challenges, all those sorts of things are the sorts of things we mean when we are teaching.” (Conference 9.10.13)
Planning in the moment means that Early Years practitioners should be doing all of these things, all day, every day.
Planning on paper
This way of working means that all written planning is retrospective (there is no forward planning). Each practitioner records what they have done to help the children progress each day on the planning template and the daily activities book will be completed. Phonics, Guided Reading and PE are still taught daily using weekly plans. When planning this way time is used at the end of each session (morning and afternoon) to give the children an opportunity to talk about what they have learnt and in most cases the teacher can use this as a whole class teaching opportunity or to consolidate knowledge.
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.”
Planning in the moment fully allows this to happen and encourages the children to pursue their own interests.
The Learning Environment
This way of planning means that the learning environment (both the indoor environment and outdoor environment) constantly need to be reviewed and adapted to ensure that the children’s level of involvement and their activity is constantly deep. The resources in each area also need to be plentiful and engaging. A continuous provision plans will still be conducted on a weekly basis.
All observations made of the children must be based on quality interactions between children or children and practitioners. They must include any teaching that has taken place or progress that a child or group of children have made. All practitioners are responsible for highlighting progress in observations. Emphasis is highly placed on using ‘I wonder…’ statements ie ‘I wonder if…’, ‘I wonder what…’, ‘I wonder how…’. We feel that this approach to questioning is a lot less pressurising and allows the children to open up more readily.
Observations will be written up at the end of the day.
Instead of having focus activities, each week there will be 4 focus children. The Friday before the children are a focus child each child will take a letter to parents. The parents will be expected to fill in the letter with any comments they feel they need to address and the following Friday will be invited to attend a focus meeting with their child's teacher to discuss the observation made the previous week and the next steps for the child.
During the week each child will have an A4 sheet of paper on which quality interactions and learning experiences will be recorded.
It will make up part of their learning journey.
Reading and writing in Reception
Your child will begin phonics sessions. Ask staff if you want to check where your child is up to.
Letters and Sounds website shows the order in which the letters and sounds are taught. For more information and games for each phase go to:
If you would like to help your child with their reading and writing at home I would like to refer you to some other really useful websites.
Ten Tips on hearing your child read by Top Marks at: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/parents/ten-tips-on-hearing-your-child-read
Oxford Owl is a site with lots of useful hints and tips about reading and writing and access to suitable free e- books for your child. Find them at https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/reading
Phonics play web site also has free information and interactive games that make phonics fun for your child. http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/freeIndex.htm
More fun games can be found on the ict games website: http://www.ictgames.com/resources.html
If you have free time you could apply to join St Joseph’s Reading Army. They do an amazing job listening to children read in school. We would welcome your support.
This half term we welcome all our new children and their families to St Joseph's primary. Our topic is 'All about me'. We are very excited to learn all about our children and their interests and hope to help settle them into their new school setting. We have lots of fun and exciting learning opportunities planned.
Religious Education Autumn 1
This half term in RE we are exploring the importance of our names; Christian names, family names, class name and school name and how we are all part of God's family. We will join in fun activities to help learn the names of the teachers and our classmates. Children will select their name card each day and attempt to write it. They will start to learn our class prayers and learn what it means to 'Walk in the steps of Jesus', being kind to each other with our words and deeds.