Find out how using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework to guide your long-term planning will enable you to focus on the overall programme in the medium term, which in turn will inform your day-to-day planning and help you put the EYFS principles into practice.
We plan for the next steps in children's development and learning. Much of this needs to be done on the basis of what we have found out from our own observations and assessments as well as information from parents.
This concerns the overall guidance for children contained in the EYFS Framework document. Long-term planning provides a structure that helps you:
- ensure that you cover all the areas of learning and development and the principles in the EYFS Framework
- identify the links between the different areas of learning and development and the principles
- think about how you balance activities both indoors and outdoors with quiet times and quiet spaces throughout the day
- identify the key areas for supporting babies and young children
- think about the balance of opportunities for supporting older children so that they benefit from a wide range of freely-chosen play opportunities and well-planned, interesting adult-led activities.
Long-term planning informs or helps you focus on your medium-term planning.
This usually outlines in some detail the overall programme for anything from two to six weeks at a time. Medium-term planning generally outlines:
- types of experiences and activities appropriate to your group of children that support the different EYFS principles
- overall daily routines, which will include:
- babies’ feeding times
- snack or mealtimes for children
- time for unhurried arrival
- settling in and leaving
- provision for outdoor activities as well as indoor
- quiet time or times for rest or sleep
- time for stories and for individual or very small group interaction with staff.
- main resources such as:
- planning for room areas to include comfort or quiet areas
- home corners
- messy play
- clear access to equipment for older children to use independently, for example books at child height
- room for babies to move around safely if there is limited physical space, for example if the setting is in a church hall.
- planning for observation and assessment to further evaluate individual needs within group settings.
Medium-term planning informs or helps you focus on short-term planning. Above all you are meeting the needs of the children in your group at this point in time.
This involves setting out what is to be included on a day-to-day basis (depending on the needs of the children) within the broad framework outlined above, based on your observations from the previous day. This enables much more focus on what specific needs the children have and how these will be met.
Some of the children may, for example, want to set up a supermarket in the role-play area and you will need to indicate the materials and equipment that will be needed for the children and yourself. What space or room arrangement will be required, and what health and safety considerations will be appropriate? How will this fit in with the needs of younger children who may not be directly involved?
Putting the principles into practice
You may decide that you would like to introduce some different types of music and singing. This can include singing to babies, supporting them in moving to music, or shaking rattles alongside the other children. You would be focusing on the principle of learning and development and assessing how this would meet many of the sections within the principle, but also how the fun and enjoyment arising would also support A Unique Child and engender positive interactions.
Cooking activities arising out of someone's birthday, a festival or other celebration is another type of activity that could be included in the short-term planning, fitting in with a particular focus identified by observations and knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural environment of the setting.