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In The Moment Planning
















From this September 2019 we have changed our planning techniques and recording to ‘In the moment planning’.
This we feel will ensure the setting is more child-led. We have completely re-structured our way of storing our equipment in order to ensure the children are given more free choice during play. This we hope will give a more enabling environment and will allow the children to explore and investigate through their play.
This system will also bring our parents in to our planning structure and allow them a more in-depth sight into their child’s preschool life.
We ask you as parents and carers to please support us in this change.
We know it will be trial and error at first, as we mould the system to working in the environment we have, however we feel the outcome will be well worth it.


The cycle of observation, assessment, planning, observation is carried out on a moment-by-moment basis.
We aim to have approximately 6/8 ‘named focus children’ each week.
We are still keeping to the Key Person system.

The parents/carer’s role in our new system If your child is due to be a ‘focus child’ we will give you a parent consultation sheet to fill in the week before. We value the knowledge and understanding you have of your child and would really appreciate it if you would share anything significant happening in your child’s life at that moment with us. Together we can plan activities to meet your child’s needs. This will help us to plan for their future learning and development.

Activities that occur are recorded when the cycle is complete. These records are on the learning journeys for the focus children for activities in which children have become involved.

We work in this way because ...
“Babies and young children are experiencing and learning in the here and now, not storing up their questions until tomorrow or next week. It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. By using this cycle on a moment-by moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).”
From National Standards document Learning, Playing and Interacting P.22 - 23

The revised EYFS advises us to continue using this document
We have focus children
NOT focus activities.

The adult goes to the child. The child is NOT called to come to the adult.

We work this way because high-level involvement occurs in child-initiated activity.


Progress and Development

When children show high levels of involvement, that is when there is progress and development occurring – when the brain is at its most active. High level involvement occurs most often when children are able to pursue their own interests in an enabling environment supported by skilled staff. Planning in the moment helps to make this possible.


An Enabling Environment

We have a workshop style environment indoors and outside. Minimum items are set out on the tables. The children select what they want to do in each area. Due to us having two year olds, we do put some toys/activities out.
The principal is that resources are accessible to the children and they are varied, open-ended and high quality.
This gives children the opportunity to select resources to support their chosen activity.


The Role of The Adult

The adults are there to facilitate learning. They do this through observations and interactions.
Our adults know the children very well and have a sound understanding of child development. This ensures that the adults enhance and extend the learning at the appropriate level.

The Ofsted definition of teaching (2015) fits exactly with our way of planning and teaching – in the moment.

Ofsted definition of teaching (2015)

Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges. It takes account of the equipment they provide and the attention to the physical environment as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations. Integral to teaching is how practitioners assess what children know, understand and can do as well as take account of their interests and dispositions to learning (characteristics of effective learning), and use this information to plan children’s next steps in learning and monitor their progress.’


Planning in the moment

We use the observation cycle on a moment by moment basis. The focus children are given extra attention, but all the children are busy and learning all the time.
The planning sheets are a record of activities that have occurred.
It is particularly important that the adults’ input (teaching) is recorded.
The symbol “A” indicates “adult”. Adult input is highlighted in yellow:-
“A suggests … encourages …models …ponders …models …helps …
offers resources .. etc.”



The “planning sheets” are blank at the start of the week. They are then filled up gradually during the week. All adults contribute to these sheets. When possible, photos are printed and added to the records.
In addition, “Wow” moments are recorded for all children as and when they occur and added to Tapestry


Three Characteristics of Effective Learning (Revised EYFS)

Playing and Exploring – do they investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’?
Learning Actively – do they concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements?
Creating and Thinking Critically – do they have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

With a system of focus children, a workshop style environment and records kept on spontaneous planning sheets and learning journeys, the children are learning effectively all the time!!

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