To ensure you are ready for this change, I have planned a FREE Childcare.co.uk webinar -
Childcare.co.uk gold members will be able to watch and listen again on the Webinar Player -
Ofsted have stated that they do not have a preferred curriculum – and they don’t expect everyone to rush out and buy one. You are missing the point if you think you can use a ‘one size fits all’ curriculum with so many different ages of children who are all learning different things at different times.
Before listening to the webinar, you might find it useful to ask yourself some questions about your current curriculum – and whether it is ready for the inspection changes.
Here are some areas of practice to help you reflect on what you are doing now and whether you need to adapt your ways of working…
Ofsted are talking about a curriculum which is personalised for every child and they are focusing on the intent, implementation and impact of your curriculum. Here’s what they mean in practice:
INTENT – the curriculum planning you do before the children arrive – when you think about what you intend to do with the children today – what knowledge and understanding do you want to share? For example, you might talk to your inspector about your…
- Individual planning – look at a child’s current knowledge and skills and consider how to extend it through the days and weeks to come.
- Group planning – themed planning, for example, should be holistic to enable cross curricular learning for small groups of children to cover all 7 areas of learning. Your group planning also covers the times when you bring children together to join in with, for example, storytelling, reading books, singing songs and rhymes or some planned early phonics activities from Letters and Sounds Phase 1. During these sessions, you are also teaching school ready skills such as sitting and listening, talking in a group, being friendly, sharing and taking turns.
- Repeated teaching – for example, when you read books multiple times or sing the same songs through the week to embed vocabulary and progression and improve children’s working memory. Repetition is an important part of your daily routine because it embeds progression.
IMPLEMENTATION – how are you going to deliver learning to the group of children today? For example, you might talk about your…
- Daily routines – support children to settle in and take them through the day so they know when they are playing, eating, sleeping and spending time with adults.
- Outings – teach children about the world around them and introduce them to new ideas and play. You should use outings to enrich your curriculum – plan them like you do your inside and outside activities and talk to parents about what their children are learning.
- Observations – watch and listen through the day and find out what the children know and learn about their current interests and ways of learning (learning characteristics).
- Ongoing assessments – constant assessment allows you to teach ‘on the spot’ and react to things as they happen during the day, scaffolding learning and adding new ideas or vocabulary that is relevant to children’s play and learning.
- Resources – do you plan using flexible continuous provision – your quality toys and games which are constantly enhanced to link with children’s current learning and interests? Don’t over-think your resourcing – don’t over-plan.
- Environment – learning spaces should be constantly evolving and changing depending on the children’s needs. Think about the children in your current cohort – not the children who left for school last year.
IMPACT – what is the impact of your curriculum? What did the children learn – and remember they have learned – today?
You will need to demonstrate that you offer every child in your care a sequenced, broad and balanced curriculum – ensure you include all 7 areas of learning and the characteristics of learning in children’s activities every day – whether you use daily routines, continuous provision or themes in your curriculum.
Thoughts for the future…
- Is your day-to-day curriculum flexible, broad and balanced?
Do you cover a wide range of subjects through the day?
- How do you evidence your curriculum?
Ofsted have said there is no need to buy a curriculum or do lots of writing or make huge changes – you will need to show how you teach children using the 7 areas of learning and their learning characteristics.
- Are children making rapid progress?
Ofsted will measure impact – success – by the pace of children’s progression through the curriculum from their starting points. Can you show this in your record keeping or confidently explain it verbally?
- Are all the children accessing your curriculum?
If the children are not engaged and motivated they will not be using their thinking skills – and learning / remembering they have learned new things.
- What do you need to change? Only you can make this decision – BUT if you feel that what you are doing works well, don’t change anything!
Chat soon, Sarah