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Target setting in Nursery

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Mumler, May 5, 2011.

  1. Advice on meaningful target setting in Nursery! I am finding it hard to find this whole process workable and relevant for 3 and 4 year olds. Do all your Nursery children know their targets? How often do you change their targets? We are being pressured to change half termly, however i don't feel they have achieved all the targets, especially allowing for the fact these chidlren only do half the time in school compared to reception children. Arrrgh!
  2. Advice on meaningful target setting in Nursery! I am finding it hard to find this whole process workable and relevant for 3 and 4 year olds. Do all your Nursery children know their targets? How often do you change their targets? We are being pressured to change half termly, however i don't feel they have achieved all the targets, especially allowing for the fact these chidlren only do half the time in school compared to reception children. Arrrgh!
  3. I think that parents should start thinking children's future at early. They will understand what their children are weak at and what they need to achieve. I am not a nursery teacher.The children should be told what they are expected to acheive and so should their parents so their parents can help them. It is usual to change their targets each half term. If you notice they are not achieving their goals give them that same target the next half term and should be pushed more. They should be told so they realize what they are expected to do.
    Bethany Ava,
    Hope this helped! [​IMG]
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    The problem with nursery children is that achieve all sorts of things that are not written down as targets, whilst still throwing their aprons on the floor and prefering to play bat and ball outside to writing their name at the mark making table. All of sudden they are able to put their arm over their head (Chinese ready for school) and touch the opposite ear or skip (another measure of readiness. And those things never gets put as a target.
    Little imps!
  5. Good grief. I just think the targets for nursery should be tsrgets for adults not for children. I think it's cruel to burden them with targets and then send them off to play a la EYFS. How does that work?
    Targets for teachers:
    Make sure all children stay safe, feel comforatble, have a good time and learn things.
    Provide fantastic open-ended opportunities to learn through CI play.
    Provide an environment wher children have opportunities to work in as many different figurations, styles and areas as you can.
    Do not be precious about where resources can and can't be used.
    Stand back, look and learn about your children.
    Meet each child on their own level and respond with normality, not with pre-conceived notions of a target. We all know the EYFS, trust that it's in your head and in your thinking and do what you know you should.
    Do some focus activities so children extend their skills, and as each child has different skills abilities and needs if you're going to have targets have 1 per child arising from each moment spent with each child (because you never really know what they need until you interact with them).
    Sorry to hijack your thread Mumier, but I'm in fighting mode. I'd advise making up some very general targets, writing them down, telling them in child-friendly to children, then forget them but have them handy to roll out when a Trunchbull enters the classroom. I don't have targets for nursery but was asked to have them at a different school last year. I displayed them and used the pretty little stampers that came with them. They might have had some meaning for the top 3 children (academically speaking). The others were just desperate to have the stampers and one got hold of them surreptitiously and they decorated all their drawings with them. Hurray!
    anna_lanza likes this.
  6. missjivebunny

    missjivebunny New commenter

    [​IMG] Nelly.
    I don't set my nursery or reception children targets. I know the stage of development that each child is at and I know where they should be going next. I know what I need to prioritise in my direct teaching to meet their needs. I know how to adapt my provision to help them develop further. But I think it is very difficult to put a time scale on childrens' development. They may need a lot of consolidation of skills at the stage of development that they are at now. I think target setting puts a lot of needless pressure on teachers, in Early Years and later on.
    As for sharing them with the children, I know my children would have no interest in me telling them that I would like them to be able to count 5 objects out of a group of 10, or read a CVC word. Lo and behold, they achieve these things without me telling them that I want them to 6 weeks earlier and they are damn proud of everything they achieve. That is important to me.
    We are under pressure from SMT (I'm on SMT but I mean the rest of them) to target set for PSRN using some crazy passport/suitcase scenario (from Ray Maher). I am resisting.

  8. please these are 3 and 4 year olds, they dont even have to be at school yet! My ownchildren are all in secondary school and their whole education seems to be about fufilling targets!!!
    We do have termly targets but they arer eally open ended targets which we share with parents. They are all about what the children like to do and how we can build on their intersts to help them in their learning So it might be encourage them to make props to support their super hero play or use their interest in block play to support their understanding of size. If they dont work we just think of a different approach its our problem never the childrens and I can see no reason to tell them their targets apart from discussing their interests
    We want to make these children feel that education is fun and exciting not about failure or not trying hard enough.

  9. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    We need our children to be good communicators, good at thinking too. We need them to develop lots of skills, lots of understanding, lots of things. But language is key. Developing this requires lots of skills from the adults, lots of time, lots of listening. We know they need to develop good social skills, be able to sort out problems, be able to trust adults to help them do this..they need to develop their physical skills like spatial awareness, balance and co ordination. They need and we provide.
    But that said, our curriculum is developmental. YOu know, the bits where it says 30 to 50 months, that sort of thing.... this indicates that broad developmental targets are appropriate, not skills targets!
    So can we hurry along development? Could we do this be setting targets (in line with the rest of the school up school). Surelyonly by providing (including adults who can enjoy the work) for the children can we improve a child's development.
    Much of the current obsession with targets is based not on what children need, but on what the school needs, on other stakeholders' needs.
    It really is time we chucked away the targets concept in early years.
    How can you set targets for children that encompass the holistic and exciting spurt of developments that happen for young children interacting with adults and the nursery (not calling the learning environment - having a naughty day here).
    It's a game we play. But not a very useful one.
  10. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I have rarely read such garbage. Targets for nursery? Perhaps we'd like exams too. It astounds me that i ever managed to grow up able to stand up and breathe, never mind get a degree. How did we ever become educated before the modern era of targets and tracking? This isn't education it is utter rubbish. I'm glad mine wren't at school when this absurdity was going on.
    lucylollipop and anna_lanza like this.
  11. I do not have targets for my nursery class. And I will resist this if it ever raises its ugly head at my school! I do have targets for children with IEPs.
  12. Many thanks for all the responses. I am meeting with head tomorrow regarding why i have not renewed targets for this term.Shall fight the good fight!! Watch this space. Am i getting cynical in my not so old age?!!
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Emergent and secure about sharing and taking turns? Playing imaginitively in the Home Corner and writing their own name, however long or short?
    OK, I know that's facetious, and there's more to it than that, and lots of stuff can be picked up when they're really young [we all become experts at prediction in EYs] but 3-yr-olds shouldn't be Ofsted fodder.
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Not academcially, that is. I'm sure that inspectors have picked up a lot of horrifically bad practice on their travels.
  15. I have just waded through each and every child in my nursery's learning journal to come up with a next step that i feel is relevant for their current development in each area of the EYFS. That is purely to support me in my planning for Adult Led activities. We have one highlighted next step that we all support the child in working towards during CI. We do not share these next steps as "targets" with the children, and we do not focus on these next steps to the exclusion of other learning or progress that may be happening. As an example, a child's next step may be something in KUW to do with the passing of time, this does not mean that we then ignore other aspects of KUW.
  16. I don't want to criticise all your hard and conscientious work, but I just have to think - why?
    When you are working with a child in a focus adult-led activity you will know from what s/he says and does what s/he needs to learn and work on, there, at that very minute, and you will naturally respond accordingly. The key to providing for a child's development is to interact with the child and respond in a natural way, supporting and scaffolding according to what the child presents. You might have theories about what the child needs to do next, but it is ony in practice that you will test that theory and either go with it or not. The other important factor is to have focus activities that have the capacity to embrace lots of different possibilities. Cooking stuff is one excellent all-embracing activity, planting stuff another. In fact, all the best opportunities are provided, not be painstakingly trying to limit opportunities to one pre-decided line of development, but by using everyday, purposeful activities that embrace many lines of development, often linked to the seasons of the year, and the cultural events this throws up.
    We work to encourage and foster in children the transferable skills which will make them able to develop in the areas that we have not seen yet. For instance, the next step in the development matters may be about the passing of time, but if children are well-equipped with opportunities to see plants growing and seasons changing their knowledge of passing of time is implicit in that. They will have that inside them - they don't need to say and show it. It will make itself known in lots of ways. To think they need to discuss it as a proof of their understanding is highly language-centric. Careful observation will see that knowledge at work in their everyday interactions with the world. Surely this is what distinguishes nursery education, which celebrates natural development, from education which is about learning what you can't find out by interacting with your world but which needs special measures.
    I think I may be turning into Yohanalicante.
    lucylollipop and jkusimanu like this.
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    A lovely post, thulicante.

    anna_lanza likes this.
  18. I somewhat feel relieved! THANKS!!!

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