Simply Busy or Busy Learning? By Morris & Simmons Education
12th June 2017
“Small miracles happen in settings across the land going largely unreported but not in the minds of those who have for the first time understood the THRILL of learning”
Early Years environments are vibrant, colourful, often noisy and definitely very busy places. Your young children will always be on the go. Their limited concentration spans, desire to be active, their egocentric personalities and desire for attention make our roles as adults challenging and exhausting but most of all rewarding.
Many people do not ‘get’ how in this environment of perceived chaos children are learning and applying those firm foundations that will underpin their whole life long learning journey. They do not understand that you have an indoor and outdoor environment to organise and set up everyday, enhancements to prepare and interests to be aware of and follow. You are like the swan, serenely swimming on the surface and paddling like mad underneath!
The high-level demands of the EYFS curriculum and the Early Years OFSTED framework mean that expectations have risen and demands on our time have increased. Our roles have significantly changed due to the demands of accountability. We now spend a significant proportion of our time collecting photographic and written evidence often hiding behind our IPads instead of interacting, modelling, demonstrating and narrating, in other words, teaching our children.
We need to get back to basics. We need to get back to targeting specific learning, identifying the next steps, and then giving quality time to teach children in how to achieve the skills. When we know what we are looking for, collecting evidence, written observations, photographs and videos become purposeful. There will be less of them and when they are completed they will provide valuable information and guide your planning process.
Our Number 1 bestselling book Planning for Learning in Early Years was written to help you get back to what matters. Whilst working within our own setting we realised that there is so much learning within and between the steps in the development milestones, we wanted to expose it for all early years practitioners to see in a simple form. We wanted to make your life easier and to help you ensure that your children were accessing the appropriate learning.
So the book unpicks all the summative statements in Development Matters and turns them into “I am learning to…’ statements from Birth to the Early Learning Goal and Exceeding. They are not time limited or context specific and we have included a looking ahead column to help practitioners visualise where children are heading. We have simplified the language and helped you be specific about the learning so that your questioning, modelling and observations become more purposeful.
The book is so much more than Development Matters and many have described it is an invaluable planning tool, recognising its significance and calling it their ‘bible’. Relevant for childminders, Nurseries, and Schools.
Pop along to our stand G19 and take a look for yourself.