As a childminder I find long term planning (or annual planning) one of the quickest to put together and one that doesn’t change much year on year. There is no requirement in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to record planning, instead the focus is very much on following children’s interests and being aware of their age and stage of development.
Section 1.6 of the EYFS states:
“Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.”
and section 1.8 further states:
“Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults…Practitioners must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.”
It is impossible to plan for children’s interests a year in advance so instead a long term plan should focus on key celebrations, festivals, seasons and birthdays. Focusing on a child’s interests such as transport or animals can then be detailed in any medium or short term / individual planning once you know the ages and stages of the children you are caring for and any emerging interests.
I would never remember all the key dates in my long term plan so I do choose to record it even though it’s not a requirement. I also refer to it when it comes to my medium term planning. My long term planning consists of the following:
- Children’s birthdays
- Celebrations such as valentines day, mothers / fathers day etc
- Multicultural Celebrations such as Diwali, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year etc.
- Any dates that might be important to the children I care for such as a house move, starting school, arrival of a new baby or special days or celebrations in their family.
Towards the end of each year I create my long term plan for the following a year. I re-vist the one from the previous year, checking the key dates of things that change such a Chinese New Year, Mothers / Farther’s Day etc and amend any children’s birthdays or special occasions and that’s it! I save a copy and add it the documents section of the online system I use for all my paperwork so parents can view it as well.
My Long Term Plan for 2015
Below is a copy of my long term / annual plan for 2015, click on the image to make it larger or you can also download a PDF copy here Clares Little Tots – Long Term Plan 2015. I have tried to include links to further information for many of the festivals and celebrations where possible.
My long term plan does include a lot of festivals and celebrations and it’s unlikely we would cover them all but it’s helpful to me to have them there to give me an idea of things we could cover the following the month.
If I come across any further celebrations or festivals I add them straight to this document and update it.