Thinking about curriculum planning (but mostly being ill!)

I am rather annoyed with myself because I have nothing crafty or foody to share with you this week. I flippantly whittled away my time at the start of the week saying to myself there was plenty of time at the weekend to get myself ready for my Sunday evening blog post. (I say I whittled – what I really did was curriculum planning and wrote up my nursery assessments – but more on that later because now is my little moment of sympathy and self-pity!)

Unfortunately on Thursday I found myself awake for most of the night, breaking out alternately into sweats and shivers and, most uncomfortably, with massively swollen tonsils. Another case of tonsillitis for me. By Friday morning I was exhausted and really sore but I endeavoured to get to school and teach my little cherubs about nocturnal animals and the night sky. I was appropriately rewarded by one little boy who presented me with a ‘musical card’. I looked at the folded scrap of paper and asked what I should do with it. He said “just  open it and you will see”. As soon as I unfolded the paper the little boy started dancing around and singing at the top of his voice. It was indeed a musical card! It was the sweetest thing I have probably ever seen and it made me feel a hundred times better in an instant! You can always trust a 4 year old to make you smile!

I managed to grab myself a GP appointment for that afternoon (no mean-feat I can tell you!) and by the end of the day (5pm!) I was tucked up on the couch in my jammies with a cosy cuppa, paracetamol, throat lozenges, antibiotics and my newly covered hot water bottle! My weekend plans all went by the wayside and I have been ensconced in my bed and doted on by Mr B. I have slept lots and have been plied with constant hot drinks. It has made a huge difference and I can actually say I am feeling much better today. I’m still not 100% but I know the antibiotics are definitely working and I will be right as rain again in no time!

Now…a question for my teacher friends and followers. Or for anyone really who has any advice or ideas. How do you record your curriculum planning? In the nursery, as with every other nursery and school I have worked in since graduating, we are still debating what will work well and what actually needs to be recorded. It is made more difficult by the fact that in the nursery we work as a team and so no one person has ultimate control – this can make things quite tricky – but still, I don’t think any of us are quite at a stage where we have enough confidence to take the bull by the horns and say ‘this is it’.

We are starting a trial next week of a new approach. We have a short-term ‘theme’ plan which records the main learning and teaching under a very loose topic or theme (decided upon by the children). It records planned learning activities and opportunities under each of the curricular areas and highlights some broad learning intentions. Individual curriculum links are highlighted in relation to learning and teaching activities and to learning intentions. It is meant as a starting point which will then be adapted significantly in relation to our responsive planning. Our responsive planning sheet sits on display both in the nursery and in the cloakroom and staff and parents add to this in response to what the children say about their learning. This is how we think we will be best able to record children’s ideas outwith the more formal big-book planning approach which we also utlise. Ideas from the responsive planning sheets are then brought together with those from the short-term plan to combine and make our weekly planning sheet. This is a brief overview of what we will be providing in the nursery on a particular week and is written up at our staff planning meeting. Although it is a very short period of time, the weekly plan is also open to change in response to the children’s ideas and staff and parent observations.

The final part of our new approach is a core plan which identifies learning in the three core areas of the curriculum – Health & Wellbeing, Mathematics & Numeracy and Literacy and & English. This area is generally less influenced by the children (although still contains some thoughts and ideas from them) and is more practitioner led as it encompasses the curriculum essentials.

I know I’ve only given you a very brief overview of what we have been trying to do, and the approach is still very much in its infancy so I can’t really say much yet about its successes or failures, but I would be interested to know what other people think about planning and how they have gone about creating proformas for recording their plans. If anyone is interested, I would be happy to chat in more detail about what we have been trying to do and equally I would be happy to hear about you have been doing. I think it is important for teachers to share their ideas and work collaboratively and I would love to hear what you have to say!

As for me, its back to school tomorrow armed with a box of tissues, a flask of hot juice and numerous different medicines to keep me going!

Mistakes Quote found on Pinterest here.

Changes quote borrowed from here.

2 thoughts on “Thinking about curriculum planning (but mostly being ill!)

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