• Search
  • Translate
Home Page

West Hill Primary Academy

We celebrate the past; we care about the future

EYFS Overview

What is planning in the moment?


Planning in the moment is all about seizing the moment for children to progress. Based on what the children are already deeply involved in, this way of planning relies on our skilled practitioners using quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on it there and then (in the moment). This means that the practitioner needs the skills to be able to see the teachable moment from the child’s perspective and be skilled enough to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe.

Planning in the moment is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress.


The teachable moment


National Strategies document states:

“It is in the moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference.”


What does the child gain from the teachable moment?

The child should feel valued, important, interesting, capable, and able to learn as well as gaining knowledge, skills, attitude and understanding therefore making progress in one or several areas of the Early Years Curriculum.


What does the practitioner gain from the teachable moment?

They should feel valued, important, interesting, capable, and able to teach as well as gaining a sound understanding of the child’s knowledge, skills, attitude, understanding and progress.




Jane Wotherspoon HMI (quoted in an Early Years Course by Anna Ephgrave 24.01.14) states:

“Teaching… is all those different things that you do as an adult that help young children learn… communicating, modelling language, working with children as they initiate their own play and activities, being ready to intervene on the moment, demonstrating how to do something, explaining why something is as it is, showing children something, exploring ideas with them, encouraging them, questioning them, checking what it is they are understanding, helping them to record something that they did so that they get the structure and sequence of events, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating what they are doing, setting challenges, all those sorts of things are the sorts of things we mean when we are teaching.” (Conference 9.10.13)


Planning in the moment means that Early Years practitioners should be doing all of these things, all day, every day.


Planning on paper


This way of working means that the majority of written planning is retrospective with most planning thought through each day. Each practitioner records what they have done to help the children progress each day in a planning book. Phonics is still taught daily using the usual planning methods. When planning this way time it is through careful adult questioning to enhance, depend and consolidate learning and knowledge.


The Early Years Framework 2016 states:


“3.2 Practitioners should reflect on their observations and ensure that the provision enables all pupils, to demonstrate attainment in ways that are motivating to them. This should be regardless of their stage of development or interests, needs and inclinations.”


Planning in the moment fully allows this to happen and encourages the children to pursue their own interests.


The Learning Environment


This way of planning means that the learning environment (both the indoor environment and outdoor environment) constantly need to be reviewed and adapted to ensure that the children’s level of involvement in their activity is constantly deep. The resources in each area also need to be plentiful and engaging.


The learning environment is also currently being redeveloped to further enhance the learning areas for all the children.




All observations made of the children must be based on quality interactions between children or children and practitioners. They must include any teaching that has taken place or progress that a child or group of children have made. All practitioners are responsible for highlighting progress in observations. Emphasis is highly placed on using ‘I wonder…’ statements i.e. ‘I wonder if…’, ‘I wonder what…’, ‘I wonder how…’. We feel that this approach to questioning is a lot less pressurising and allows the children to open up more readily.


How do we ensure coverage of the EYFS curriculum?


The West Hill Primary School Reception classes carefully monitor every child and tracking is documented in their personal learning journey books. We also track this information as a school using our tracking software which allows us to ensure that we are covering the curriculum and that the children are progressing. Any gaps that are found are covered but again these are developed through the children’s interests.


Parental Involvement


Parents are actively encouraged to participate in the learning of the children and also make contributions to their learning journeys. We also have Open Door Thursdays on alternate weeks which allows parents to come into school and see the environment and talk with the practioners.


Focus Children


Every week, each class has 3 focus children.


The Early Years Foundation Stage is a curriculum from birth to five years old,  the strands set by this curriculum and concentrate the learning opportunities on the seven areas of learning (3 Prime and 4 Specific).


Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional: Development: making relationships
  • Self-confidence and Self-awareness
  • Managing Feelings and Behaviour


Physical Development:

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and Self-care


Communication and Language:

  • Listening and Attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking


The Prime areas develop in response to relationships and experiences and support learning in all other areas.


Specific Areas



  • Reading
  • Writing



  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measure


Understanding of the World:

  • People and Communities
  • The World
  • Technology


Expressive Arts and Design:

  • Exploring and Using Media and Materials
  • Being Imaginative