We are delighted to share with you this exclusive interview with Anna Ephgrave, author of Planning in the Moment with Young Children.
What motivated you to write Planning in the Moment with Young Children?
Having seen the success of this approach in numerous settings, I felt it would be good to write a book that would appeal to a wider audience. My previous books have been school-based, but the principles are based in sound early years pedagogy and therefore apply to all children aged 0 - 7.
What exactly do you mean by “planning in the moment”?
This simply means observing children carefully and then responding appropriately in that moment to move the learning forward.
What are the benefits of planning in the moment?
The teaching is exactly suited to a particular child in a particular moment and therefore has maximum impact on development. In terms of workload, the paperwork is greatly reduced because the practitioners do not need to plan 'ahead', rather they 'plan in the moment'. Some of the interactions can be recorded afterwards if the practitioner feels that this would be beneficial.
What would be your advice to settings who are thinking about integrating spontaneous planning into their everyday practice, but are worried about how they will provide necessary records and documentation?
My first point would be that there is no legal requirement to document anything. This is stated in the EYFS statutory documentation. I would then explain that by working in this way, the practitioners would have such deep knowledge of their children that assessments and records would be easy to compile and very accurate. I would also stress that when practitioners are with children, they should be observing and interacting to move learning forward. If they are spending time writing up notes, then they are not 'teaching' at that time.
What is the one message you hope readers will take away from your book?
This is just good early years' practice, based in sound research and pedagogy. Children want to learn. We need to set up a superb environment, observe the children carefully as they play and interact with them to support their development.
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