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Planning in the moment


At Magdalene Preschool we have found that children learn and develop the best when they have the opportunity to become fully involved in an activity and play of their own choosing. We aim to support children's autonomy, their right to choose, by creating an environment where they are able to do this. We value and acknowledge that every child is unique. We therefore implement a curriculum and planning that enhances this ethos.


When a child comes to Preschool we can not assume what their interests will be or what they will wish to play with on that day, we want to be responsive to their ideas at any given moment and to support this we follow ‘Planning in the moment’. Our highly trained practitioners observe, assess and plan a response that will extend a child’s learning and development in a moment by moment basis. Practitioners will observe when a child is engaged in an activity, they are able to identify ‘teachable moments’ where they can enhance a child’s development in the seven areas of learning identified in the EYFS.


By doing this, our practitioners are able to understand and value each child’s uniqueness and tailor responses for a particular child in a particular situation, these responses ensure every child continues to make progress.


How do we achieve this?


  • Prioritising well-being above all else - high well being is critical for a child to feel secure, which in turn allows them to become involved. We develop trusting relationships between practitioners, children and parents. Our transition procedures are the start to building these relationships. We have a settling in period involving both parents and practitioners investing time so the child feels safe and secure.

  • Skillful, emphatic practitioners - Our practitioners will support the children in a way that will value each child’s uniqueness. They will recognise ‘teachable moments’ to enhance and extend a child’s learning.  Practitioners will support children when they play both independently and within a group.

  • Consistent boundaries, expectations and routines - within which the children can feel relaxed and have the freedom to play as they wish.

  • An enabling environment - we ensure that both indoors and outdoors provide opportunity for children to make their own choices, there will be no adult set activities. The environment will be laid out with workshop style areas with resources that children can select themselves. The children will have the opportunity to become fully engaged in their chosen activity, Practitioners will continually reflect on the environment to ensure that this is being achieved.

  • A clear system of assessment and observation - each child will have their own unique folder; this comprises of a ‘learning journey’ where each half term every child will have a week in which they are the ‘focus’ child, Practitioners will focus on recording their ‘teachable moments’ with that child with cooperation and input with parents before and after. Their folder will also have ‘Wow’ moments where practitioners observe children doing things independently or observe further following of their focus targets in the seven areas of learning. Children can add their own work and photographs, as well as parents.


Throughout the year Practitioners will use the knowledge they have accumulated about each child and the observations from their ‘learning journey’ to reflect on each child's wellbeing and learning to ensure that each child continues to make progress and identify if any areas require extra support.



How can Parents support our curriculum?


At Magdalene Preschool we value the knowledge and understanding that parents have about their own child and strive to build a trusted partnership with all our families.


When it is your child’s turn to be ‘focus child’ for the week, we would greatly appreciate it if you can share anything significant happening in the child’s life at that moment.

You will be given a ‘focus child letter’ for you to complete the weekend before their week.

We will ask you to observe them while they play to find out more about their interests and how they are progressing and photograph your child/family enjoying activities out of Preschool.

We will also ask any other settings that your child attends such as childminders, to complete this form as well, we believe in working in partnership with all those involved in your child’s learning and development.


We will use the information you provide to focus our observation for your child’s ‘learning journey’ week. Afterwards, we will arrange a short meeting with parents to discuss observations and help plan their future learning and development together.


A positive partnership between all involved in a child’s learning and development will provide the opportunity for each individual child to flourish in their own unique way.

Our ‘planning in the moment’ curriculum and teaching style strives to provide each child with an environment where play can lead to endless possibilities.

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