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Challenge Cards in EYs...why?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by LauraJHammond, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. LauraJHammond

    LauraJHammond New commenter

    Forgive me if this has been posted about before, but I searched and couldn't find anything so...

    I'd really love to hear everyone's views on the use of Challenges in areas of continuous provision in EYs and the reasoning behind it.
    This is not to criticise anybody's way of doing things, as there is no right or wrong way, but to open up a discussion and find out why lots of us have moved towards this way of planning.

    I am an Early Years Specialist Teacher and go around many classrooms and a common occurrence is the use of challenge cards in areas e.g. "can you build a...?" and so on. We all know them!

    For my own knowledge and out of sheer interest, I would really like to know how everybody first got into using them (if you do that is!)
    E.g. are you doing it because it is what most people are doing/seen to be doing?
    Have you been told by management to do this?
    Is it to meet certain objectives that are too tricky to cover through other means?
    Is it to give children ideas for play e.g. those who aren't sure what to do or 'flit about'?
    Do all children have to complete these challenges?
    Do we then record which child has done what?

    It seems to be such the norm now that I would like to find out why people are doing it, their reasons, if they find it useful so on and so on.
    This is a very broad subject so I wouldn't expect anyone to answer all of the above questions, just would love to hear your thoughts and open up a polite and interesting debate!

    Best wishes,
    nathaz likes this.
  2. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    I am interested in the response to this too.
  3. Chicken_madras

    Chicken_madras Occasional commenter

    I set challenges to give children ideas of how they can use a particular area, and so my supporting adults have some ideas of how they can support and challenge the children during continuous provision.
  4. nathaz

    nathaz New commenter

    Told by management to do it, but I ask myself exactly the same questions, I am an early years specialist, I don't believe that setting challenges is a good idea. What about supporting childrens interests, uninterrupted time to play having time to have meaningful conversations with the children. I found books by Ann Musgrave Nursery year in action and Reception year in action closeer to my educational vision of early years. Would like to know what other teachers think about it all.
  5. lucylollipop

    lucylollipop New commenter

    I totally agree with you! We have challenges in Nursery and Reception, instigated by SLT, whereby children are rewarded if they complete a challenge and have been observed 'trying hard.'
    TBH am completely disillusioned with education; my Nursery children now have a Literacy book and a Numeracy book, both of which must have a focus activity in each week. Where is the spirit of EYFS?
    agathamorse and nathaz like this.

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