Young children live in the here and now. If adults are to make a real difference to their learning they need to seize the moments when children first show curiosity, and support their next steps immediately. This book embraces the concept of planning "in the moment" and emphasises the critical role of the adult in promoting child-led learning, giving early years practitioners the confidence and insight to work and plan in the moment, and enabling the children in their care to live, learn, play and develop in the here and now.
Planning in the Moment with Young Children maintains a strong link to practice, providing numerous examples of how practitioners can integrate spontaneous planning and rich adult–child interactions into their everyday practice and early years curricula. From timetabling to setting clear rules, creating enabling environments, keeping records and making use of a variety of materials, the book demonstrates the multitude of ways in which practitioners can encourage child autonomy and respond to the unique needs of each child. Examples from practice are rooted in theory, fully contextualised, and exemplified by original documentation sourced from the author’s own experiences and from a wide variety of settings.
Key features include:
When children are allowed to select where, with what, and how to play, they are truly invested in their play, they become deeply involved and make dramatic progress. This book is an outstanding testament to a responsive and child-led way of working in early years environments. Practitioners will be guided, inspired and supported to work spontaneously and reactively – planning as they go and celebrating the results!
"Planning in the moment has transformed both our practice and ourselves here at Gunter. It has taken us from interferers to interactors, privileged to play with the children in our setting. Children are demonstrating far higher levels of interest and involvement, persevering and showing a ‘can do’ attitude whilst creativity, critical thinking and motivation for all is evident in the constant thrum of activity. For the teaching staff, planning, preparation and assessment is now a celebration of children’s learning, inputting the children’s ‘wow!’ moments, contributed by all the staff, is a delight and leads naturally to knowing what’s next. The change has given us the freedom to teach in accordance with children’s needs and in a way that is nourishing for them and us."
Chris Dingley, Early Years Lead, Gunter Primary School, Birmingham, UK
"We began putting Planning in the Moment into action in September 2017 after some considerable time getting our environment right. At the end of our first year I can see how it has benefitted both staff and the children in our care. The staff are now much less stressed and relaxed and are free to spend quality time with the children, ensuring that no teachable moment is missed. They have all commented on how much better they feel they know their key children. The children’s personal, emotional and social development has surpassed that of previous cohorts. They are much more resilient, independent and show an excitement for learning, safe in the knowledge that the adults will follow their lead."
Nikki Smith, Manager, Little Learners Pre-school, Waltham Cross, UK
"Having used ‘in the moment planning’ all year we have seen fantastic results. The children have amazed us with their independence, desire to learn and ability to reflect on their own learning. Our GLD is the highest it has ever been but more importantly the children are happy, engaged and truly involved and excited by their own learning. Our journey to fully implement in the moment planning has been wondrous. I can’t thank Anna enough for giving us the confidence to teach in a way we love. It has been a leap of faith for everyone but has been totally worth it and I would recommend it to anyone."
Suzi Strutt, Early Years Team Leader and Reception Teacher, Thorley Hill Primary School, Bishop’s Stortford, UK
"The book explores ways of maintaining a strong link to practice, providing examples of how practitioners can integrate spontaneous planning and rich adult-child interactions into their everyday practice. It also makes clear the obvious points that if you are planning and responding, adapting and treating each child as unique, while working within the foundation stage, then surely each child has the best chance possible of achieving good levels of development."
Neil Henty, Early Years Educator
Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: Brain development Chapter Two: Relationships and routines Chapter Three: An enabling environment Chapter Four: The adult role Chapter Five: The paperwork Chapter Six: Assessment and record-keeping Conclusion Appendices Bibliography