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At NFDN our learning is 'In The Moment', by providing enriched play spaces throughout the Nursery, where opportunity for exploration, creativity, and curiosity is supported and extensions of learning happen naturally through play. Read on for the whys and hows of why we chose ITMP as our optimum planning for our Nurseries and why we feel it was the missing puzzle piece in a holistic way to teach young children to become the best they can be.
Since the start of our ITMP journey, we changed the way we record our observations of the children to best compliment this planning style. We always look for ways to reduce the amount of time that staff spend on paperwork or on a tablet because any time on this is time taken away from interacting with the children. So rather than lots of mini observations throughout the month we now have one sheet that gets filled with observations when a child has their 'focus week', this then gets assessed on their Famly journey and we have found that we get a much clearer view of a child’s progress. It is recommended that children have a focus week twice a term but we have chosen to do this twice a term to track progress a little more often and this works well for us. We also jot down 'WOW' moments of achievements and attach lots of photos of children engaging in activities, these pictures speak a thousand words, our parents love to see pictures of the children at Nursery, it brings them comfort, joy and peace of mind seeing their little one enjoy their time at NGDN.
The key thing to remember is that with the environment set up for ITMP the children are constantly learning, whether we record it on an observation or not, and our staff are going to have a greater knowledge of their progress by spending more time with them and recognising the teachable moments. When it comes to recording progress after focus week this knowledge then gets added to the assessment for evidence of progress.
What is ITMP?
It’s no forward planning, you plan in the movement, extend experiences there and then and work with children’s interests, staff use observations, teachable moments and they provide opportunities within the environment to help children learn and progress.
So....Let the children choose what to do, join them and support them in their pursuits. Then write up what has happened. Instead of the old way, long-term cycle of observation, reflection, and planning for the next step, you do all of this in the moment. Our staff are working more closely with the children to observe an interest and extend it in the moment, extend children’s natural desire to learn and explore, build on their existing knowledge and enhance overall learning.
Predominantly, broken down into 3 areas;
The Children’s Spark – this is when the child first shows an interest in something. There should be an air of fascination around the object and concentration in what they are now doing.
The Teachable Moment – the teacher will notice this and approach the child. This is the opportunity to extend their interest, by asking open-ended questions and considering ways to apply this interest to other options within the environment.
The Documentation – At a later date, we document the observation, include the spark, the teachable moment and what they did next. This helps staff to map each child’s interest and plan an environment that works for them and enhances their learning.
We have found that children’s engagement and levels of learning have increased since starting our journey. The main principle is that children learn a lot more when they are engaged in something and have an interest in it, it's true for us adults too, we are all a lot more likely to engage in something that we are truly interested in than something chosen for us. Our job is to create an environment where there are multiple ways for them to engage and then extend their learning where appropriate.
How do we learn, think about what type of learner you are and how your child learns?
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong in how the children learn. Think of yourself, what type of learner are you;
In The Moment Planning enables all of these three learning types.
Auditory – we are talking about what we are doing when doing it, use appropriate language
Kinesthetic – we are doing it with the children, the opportunity is there, in front of them
Visual – we show children how to do something, model it, role play it
In the EYFS, (the framework we use to assess children's progress) – we call these learning types Characteristics of Effective Learning – but ultimately, they are explained as above. Children get an opportunity to learn, progress and succeed regardless of the type of learner they are because we encompass all of these processes.
The impact of ITMP
Since the implementation of ITMP, we have a calmer environment, more inquisitive children, daily opportunities for the children to use their investigative skills and challenge themselves and happier children and staff.
Positive impact of ITMP when we introduced it in our setting ..... how staff feel it works for them......
We invest in all our staff Continued Professional Development to always provide a high quality of care, for ITMP, our staff are trained by Anna Ephgrave, the inspiration behind ITMP....
We'd love for you to come and see our Nursery for yourselves, sometimes our words just don't do it justice.....