Focus includes:

  • Cycle of planning and assessment
  • How do children learn best?
  • Features of best practices
  • Assessment- why and how?

A few teacher responses of adaptations to their practice since previous session:

How has my practice developed from Session 1?

  • Increased evidence of links between planners and observations
  • Greater team work
  • More focused team discussions on our practice and the environment
  • Introduced children’s playbooks
  • A more systematic approach to observing and recording
  • More aware of the role of the adult
  • Changed our plenaries
  • Additional resources
  • Created a shared learning space and learning wall
  • Less control of the classroom, more open ended tasks

What we will develop further:-

  • Review our topics within the Foundation stage
  • Outdoor play
  • More visible links across the curriculum
  • Planning formats
  • Sharper focus on the role of the adult

Examples of feedback following the session:

“Great session, good to push us out of our comfort zones to look at our provision with fresh eyes. Thanks!” Karen Deighan, Roe Valley IPS

“Thank you Joan for a great session. I love coming to your sessions as I feel enthused, motivated (a bit freaked out) but determined to make adjustments to planners and general FS classroom” Rachel McLaughlin, Oakgrove IPS

‘I have really enjoyed these 2 sessions. It has been brilliant to develop links with other schools, and it was brought together in a great way by Joan. It has challenged me in so many ways.” Judy Duddy, Omagh IPS

Case Study

Name of Principal:

Kenneth Wright

Name of School:

Orritor Primary School


Foundation and lower KS1 staff to develop their learning through play strategies and their observation recording.


“Joan’s input during a School Development Day clarified a lot of what was expected from the staff in order to develop their skills in delivering play based learning and managing the attendant recording of observations. Joan also highlighted the key areas of responsibilities for co-ordinators and how their roles should be developed to take account of the demand for more accountability.”


“My biggest change has been my play where I have tried to plan more open-ended and more child-centred activities. I feel the children have gained more from the freedom of choice and it has provided more opportunities for them to develop their learning.  It does demand more careful planning but to date the children appear happy and content in this environment and learning is taking place.”  P1 teacher

Thinking About a Workshop Session at Your School?

Joan Henderson’s education mentoring events help to develop and deepen your understanding of best practice and leave you feeling inspired and re-energised to make further developments back at school. Why not send Joan a booking request or enquiry?