Discover how Digital Learning Journeys can help your Early Years planning
The way it works now:
Practitioners are expected to make spontaneous changes to long-term, medium and short term plans tailored to individual children. Some best practice advice recommends adapting schedules “based on your observations from the previous day”.
Staff are so hands-on. Practitioners may not be getting the bigger picture of progress across groups or the whole setting. Although each practitioner has an excellent picture of their key children, this information to colleagues may be ad hoc. It can also be easy to forget to measure attainment separately for children of different ages in mixed settings.
How Digital Learning Journeys can help:
Troubleshooting is much easier with access to data. For instance, medium term planning can be adjusted if the Digital Learning Journey data reveals that children across the setting aren’t making the same progress in literacy compared to other goals. If children whose second language is English aren’t progressing as quickly as their peers, they could receive more attention from teaching assistants in the following weeks.
Planning can become even more spontaneous with help from parents. Digital Learning Journeys share information so much more quickly than termly parents’ evening. Parents may even be able to incorporate learning from that day into evening activities. For example, asking their child to halve the pizza at dinner time if they have been learning about fractions. Practitioners can do the same; a message logged by a parent after school may inspire activities the next day.
Of course, it’s possible to over-plan; the EYFS requires providers to ensure a balance of child-initiated and adult-led play based activities. However, the more up-to-date information you have, the easier it is to provide releavnt activities for each child.
Ideas for early years planning:
- Many councils advise finding out about the festivals children from different backgrounds celebrate. Have parents mentioned any festivals via the Digital Learning Journey parent portal?
- This useful pack advises that birthdays could inspire cooking activities in school.
- Is there a popular book children are reading at home which you’ve missed?
- Have you appropriately chosen mixed ability groups for each learning area?
- If parents report an interesting family hobby, could this inspire an activity? It’s best practice to ensure activities ‘build on children’s prior learning’.
- Could parents who are engaged on the parent portal be invited to participate in a trip?
Paper learning journeys contain invaluable information, yet are often left to languish on shelves. Unlike paper learning journeys, Digital Learning Journeys bring this information alive. As a result it is an invaluable resource for planning and evaluation.