Getting a handle on the EYLF planning cycle
Can I forward plan AND follow the EYLF planning cycle?
The simple one word response to this question is ‘yes’. However, if like me you remember the smell of Perkins Paste and freshly printed worksheets from the spirit duplicator, you might need to make a few adjustments to fit with the EYLF.
If your idea of forward planning is spending your holidays planning for the next three months so that you can have your weekends to yourself, you might need to have a re-think.
However, if your idea of forward planning involves combining your professional knowledge of children’s development with your in-depth knowledge of each child (gathered through observations of children engaged in learning together with listening to the voices of parents, children and colleagues) then you are definitely on the right track!
Since the introduction of the EYLF planning cycle, some of us have been caught out with ratings and assessment. This may have been because we have not been clear in our documentation, that our planned experiences are based not only on our professional knowledge of child development, and the demands of formal schooling for which we are preparing our pre-kindy children, but also on our in-depth knowledge and observations of each child.
The key is making the link between your planned experiences and the rich observations from which they came.
The good news is that EarlyWorks allows educators to make the linking of planned experiences to preceding observations and/or non-program related conversations with families, community members, and the children themselves easy.
EarlyWorks educators can sit down together at the end of a day, week or fortnight, and reflect on the rich observations, comments, photos, videos, and journals that have been collected in EarlyWorks, and use these to inform the program for the following day, week or fortnight. The key is making the links between our evidence collecting and our planning.
And so the ongoing cycle of curriculum decision making continues…