Planning for individual children

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By Nicki Allman

The Early Years phase is an important time in a child’s development and learning. It is at this stage that exciting developments take place. Therefore, it is exceptionally important to ensure that the needs of all children are met. It is crucial that the likes and dislikes of children are taken into account as well as their fears, interests, medical requirements and health and safety. But how is this planned for?

There are four main principles within the Early Years framework. Each one makes clear that it is essential for practitioners to plan appropriate activities based on the needs and interests of all, ensuring that all areas are covered and planned for appropriately and effectively to ensure progression.

Take a look at this extract from the document. Notice how all four themes focus on independence and the need to plan for the needs of individual children.

Development Matters

Personalised learning allows the use of a variety of different resources, within a wide range of learning environments, and ensures that all children’s abilities and needs are met. This is key to planning a range of activities to enable children to focus on their individual likes and interests. Child-led play is an important feature in this, as well as the provision of a flexible learning environment. However, it is crucial to take into account the diverse backgrounds the children come from as this will break down barriers to learning, as well as creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and care.

Flexible planning

A reflective and flexible approach to long-term planning allows the Early Years experience to be adapted to the needs of children in different settings, session by session or daily. All areas of the EYFS need to be developed over time.This leads into adaptive and reflective short-term planning that takes into account the children’s needs, interests and changes in circumstances. Open-ended planning, with an opportunity to digress as necessary based on where the children wish to take something, is particularly important in ensuring children remain engaged and captivated.

It is also important to take into account flexible provision in terms of attendance at different sessions provided. A day may be broken into part-timers who attend morning or afternoon, intertwined with those who attend full time. Careful thought needs to be taken over who attends which sessions and their interests. A vigilant balance between child- and adult-led activities promotes independence but also ensures that children get opportunities to try new things within their experiences. Assessment for learning is essential in order to plan for next steps and identify gaps.

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