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  1. #1
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    Default People that help us

    I often hear this theme mentioned in relation to early years but wonder what you actually do for it and the ages of children it best suits?

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    It is not specifically mentioned at all in EYFS EYO or DM, as far as I can see.

    I think it is a 'theme' that lots of settings/school use because it is very colourful, attractive to girls and boys, lots of easy resources to use (fire engine toys, dress up nurse/doctor, look at fire station, doctors kits, police officer dressing up, countless online resources), easy for parents to understand, so basically a winner all round!... and it can include everything from stranger-danger, to fire drills, to keeping safe, etc etc. And it is seen as a good social message about how we should trust the Police and how to get help in an emergency etc etc.

    Personally, I do not do themes, but if a child loved fire engines (or whatever) of course I would be developing that along these lines if the child was interested.

    It can be any age- a baby can enjoy the flashing lights on a toy ambulance right up to a 5 year old or older role-playing an elaborate fire rescue!

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    Simona Guest

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    You will find reference to this in UTW under People and Communities on page 38 in 30-50 months column

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    You will find reference to this in UTW under People and Communities on page 38 in 30-50 months column
    Yes, that's it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    It is not specifically mentioned at all in EYFS EYO or DM, as far as I can see. I think it is a 'theme' that lots of settings/school use because it is very colourful, attractive to girls and boys, lots of easy resources to use (fire engine toys, dress up nurse/doctor, look at fire station, doctors kits, police officer dressing up, countless online resources), easy for parents to understand, so basically a winner all round!... and it can include everything from stranger-danger, to fire drills, to keeping safe, etc etc. And it is seen as a good social message about how we should trust the Police and how to get help in an emergency etc etc. Personally, I do not do themes, but if a child loved fire engines (or whatever) of course I would be developing that along these lines if the child was interested. It can be any age- a baby can enjoy the flashing lights on a toy ambulance right up to a 5 year old or older role-playing an elaborate fire rescue!
    Hi moggy, what's your reasoning (not sure that's the right word?!) behind not doing themes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Hi moggy, what's your reasoning (not sure that's the right word?!) behind not doing themes?
    I have 0-2 year olds so they are just too young to understand or follow a theme over days/weeks.
    I know some CMers do themes even with babies as they like to have something to scaffold their day/activities around. They are common in group settings as they can make nice wall displays and get all the staff involved and they have so many chiuldren that they can not practically follow every single child's interests so a 'one theme fits all' works there.

    I prefer to work spontaneously. I rarely plan anything. I have no plans today and we did painting, experimenting with printing the children's favourite shapes at the moment, had the play tents out, playdough... it was all what the children wanted and I can extend their learning 'on the go'.

    Maybe I am lazy too- It just sounds so much hard work to be thinking (and writing down?) 'this week we are doing people who help us... activities: xyz...'. We talk about people who help us in our everyday outings and play- we walk past the fire station, we talk about the postman delivering the post for us, we play with emergency vehicle toys/dressing up as and when the children want to... I do not need a theme-week to cover it!
    I just think 'themes' is a style of working, and it is not my style!

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    I don't do themes - too restrictive and hard to follow individual interests.

    I have a book a month that we read, and I usually have a couple of activities/ideas that I want to take from/share about the book, and usually, at the end of the month, I have just about managed it! - but if children aren't interested, then apart from reading the book, we don't do anything else. I do find that even the littlest children start to recognise particular bits/refrains etc of the book. ( my littlest is just one and she gets very excited when she sees the book being taken off the shelf and plonks herself down and wants to look at the book/hold any toys that we use to help tell the story )

    we do read lots of other books too, and that usually helps me choose the next months book. We've been reading 'Stickman' this month as local forest has stickman train that we've done a 'few' times! and we all love sticks !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I don't do themes - too restrictive and hard to follow individual interests.

    I have a book a month that we read, and I usually have a couple of activities/ideas that I want to take from/share about the book, and usually, at the end of the month, I have just about managed it! - but if children aren't interested, then apart from reading the book, we don't do anything else. I do find that even the littlest children start to recognise particular bits/refrains etc of the book. ( my littlest is just one and she gets very excited when she sees the book being taken off the shelf and plonks herself down and wants to look at the book/hold any toys that we use to help tell the story )

    we do read lots of other books too, and that usually helps me choose the next months book. We've been reading 'Stickman' this month as local forest has stickman train that we've done a 'few' times! and we all love sticks !!!
    I was taught to do themes when I did my basic CM training. It was driven home so hard, it was like we were failing the children if we didn't stick to themes, so I stoopidly did themes when I started out.

    I remember the point when I dropped themes completely was when I found myself in a public library, feeling like a total pillock cos I realised I'd just asked a librarian if they had any books on tractors for a 4 month old.

    If it works for you, then fine, but I find it too restrictive and totally contrived.

    Btw, if you have to do 'People Who Help Us' it's only fair to be honest with the wee ones and tell that, including the period of the July bombings, we're all statistically 8 times more likely to be killed by the police than by terrorism. Now there's something they don't tell you on the Prevent course.

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    The only themes I do are based on the books we read.

    I try different books until I find one that the children really engage with (very often not the ones I think they will enjoy most). Once we've found a book, they tend to ask for it every day anyway. We'll then read it daily, make a display (the children are very much involved in the planning and artwork). Depending on the age of the children I'll plan some activities around the story, although very often it's the children who come up with ideas (ie. they asked to make a broomstick when we were reading Room on the Broom). I make resources - story props, printed words etc. Even though it's a theme, it's very much child led.

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  14. #10
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    Much like mouse I build activities and experiences around books the children love. At the moment that is going on bearhunt which my children know word for word and adore . I find having even a loose theme helps me focus , I build in individual next steps to whatever we are doing at the time.

  15. #11
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    No themes here either (did do them many moons ago) it's all about following a childs interest and seeing where it take us.
    We are massively into gruffalo and stick an at the minute all driven by the children, off to the deepdarkwoods today gruffalo and mouse hunting, ended up swimming in puddles (yes I do mean swimming) picnic style lunch, at home three year old drew a big bad mouse picture and we talked about initial sounds in words for mouse g for gruffalo, totally led by the three and two year olds.

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    I like to do a theme to give me an idea to branch off of for my activity planning, but its mainly just to give the little ones some variety or to celebrate special occasions. It's very rarely needed to incorporate their next steps and it's quite rare that I do one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    You will find reference to this in UTW under People and Communities on page 38 in 30-50 months column
    Other than UTW is it comm and language I guess. Does it cover any other areas, like PSED I wonder?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Other than UTW is it comm and language I guess. Does it cover any other areas, like PSED I wonder?
    It can cover all areas depending on what activities you do!
    ... L -reading books about people that help us, looking at/mark-making numbers and letters on emergency vehicles
    ... PD- putting on doctor/firefighter dressing up clothes, running about with hoses or first aid kits doing 'rescuing'
    ... EAD- role play, small world play on the theme, any creative activities on the theme
    ... M- counting, sorting, numbering vehicles/uniforms or whatever
    ... PSED- talking about being helpful, how others feel and how we can help them, empathy etc
    ... UW and CL as you have said.

    I doubt there is a theme out there that you could not get to cover all areas!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    The only themes I do are based on the books we read. I try different books until I find one that the children really engage with (very often not the ones I think they will enjoy most).
    I like your way of 'themes and planning ', very relaxed, very cool!!!

 

 

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