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Responsive planning and ensuring children can lead play

When children are the active participants in their own learning, the magic unfolds.

group of children learning

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice

The Curriculum for Wales, responsive planning and ensuring children can lead play.  

Description of nature of strategy or activity

Practitioners at Caban Kingsland have worked as a team to ensure that the children are afforded the best possible opportunities within the expectations of the Curriculum for Wales. The provider has always worked hard to ensure that the interests of the child are central to all that it does. It has therefore embraced the Curriculum for Wales, developing appropriate learning environments that respond to children's individuality and support their interests.

This enables it to move their learning and development forward.
As the child is central to everything it does, the setting has looked at ways to ensure that evidence is a true reflection of learning and development as it occurs. Responsive planning effectively provides opportunities for practitioners to observe and record learning as the children play. When children are active participants in their own learning, the magic unfolds. 

What impact has this work had on provision and children’s standards?

Practitioners at Caban Kingsland have evidenced children actively working to achieve what they have set out to do. Children develop perseverance when solving problems, thinking and challenging themselves. They develop increased concentration, growing in confidence, and resilience begins to become a regular part of play as the children begin to take pride in their achievements. 

Practitioners at the setting are becoming skilful at responding at appropriate times. This is key to getting a good balance of when to join play and when to observe. As the children begin to play together, practitioners have also evidenced that the existing knowledge of each child supports communication. They share ideas and interests based on their own understanding. Practitioners join in the play with the children to support and guide them. However, as the children become more confident in their own abilities, practitioners spend time reflecting on what has occurred during sessions, extending learning and development through play and considering next steps to support each child. 

Practitioners reflect on play and how children develop in line with the five pathways of the Curriculum for Wales. When connecting the evidence within the pathways, it becomes clear which areas need to be supported. In most cases, children demonstrate how their different skills are developing through their play and interactions, for example through their physical development, exploration and communication skills. Little things like asking the children to choose when purchasing resources for the setting supports a sense of belonging and confidence when making decisions for themselves. This has been very positive as the children have shown more care and respect for the choices of resources at the setting. Also, children love to reflect on their experiences. Resources such as photo books support fantastic discussions and enable the children to revisit learning and take pride in their achievements.