Want a consistent approach to your planning? Would a template help?

Planning templates provide consistency and continuity, supporting all of your team to use the same format when collecting information and evidence. 

We have 12 pre-populated templates for you to use, which you can adapt to suit the way you work, using the language your community and educators are familiar with.

If you’ve created a plan and wish to save this as a template for others to use, click on ‘Save template’, and create a name for the template. Having headings and guiding text in each cell is useful. This means everyone uses the same format, providing consistency for all of your team.  Once you have saved the template, you can then open and retitle it. You can use these for both individuals and groups of children. Now you can begin adding content and evidence to it. Remember to save this as a new plan, not a template. 

4 simple ways to use a plan to provide evidence of a child’s learning and development over time 

  • Use Learning Tags in a plan or within each cell to highlight the learning or outcomes.
  • Link a child’s plan to previous plans. This will help you see a child’s progress and development as well as continuity of learning and interests.
  • Link child notes and stories, add photos, or video as your evidence within a plan. If you add a date to your content box you will then get a clearer picture of progress over time.
  • When a parent adds a comment to a plan it is date stamped – which provides evidence of their contribution to your planning.  Sharing the plan with parents also offers them the opportunity to contribute and share their own ideas, thoughts and experiences. This will help you to see and understand the learning that is happening for children at home, and how this relates to your plan.

Categorising plans makes your work much easier

With Storypark, you are provided with a base set of categories that can be added to any plan. This makes finding a specific type of plan simpler. If you are a Storypark admin, you can edit these categories or add other categories that are more relevant to your learning service. This means all educators will be using the same categories for defined purposes. 

Once you have added a category to a new plan, you can then use the filter to find all other plans in the same category – no folders required just a great filter!

A variety of plans

The planning tool can be used for a variety of purposes. In addition to using for children’s plans, here are some great ways you can utilize this handy tool

  • Annual plans
  • Strategic plans
  • Internal evaluation
  • Educator reflection and goal setting
  • Team meetings
  • Quality improvement plans
  • Transition plans
  • Mentoring plans
  • Appraisal 
  • Review planning
  • Managing and recording educators professional development
  • Performance review
  • Family meeting/interviews
  • Checklists for first aid and emergency kits…

Why share a plan?

One of the biggest benefits of using Storypark is the ability to share and collaborate with others. One educator’s lens may be quite different from another’s.  The things we observe and then intentionally plan for depends on the opportunities we are given to watch, listen and engage. 

If you are wanting to provide a holistic and multi lens approach to planning, consider inviting your teaching team to a child or children’s plan. This provides your team with the opportunity to contribute and add their evidence and unique view point. Family admins can also be invited to a plan. They can then add their insight in the comments area.

A sharing tip:

If a plan involves a child, it is advised that at least one other educator is invited to the plan. This ensures that if the original creator of the plan is away or leaves your learning service, others can still access and continue the plan. It is important to note that plans stay with the centre and don’t travel with the educator or the child.

Advice from a Storypark user:

“The introduction of something new can often seem overwhelming and we think it’s important that you allow yourself time to explore, trial and then reflect on how a particular template may or may not work for your teaching team. 

As with everything, what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another. We think it’s best to just start with one or two templates, trial them and then together with your team and families, decide what may or may not be working, where you might be able to adapt an existing template or where you might be able to create new Storypark planning templates that work optimally at your own service.” advise from Shirley Fyfe from East Sale Kindergarten

Find even more resources to help you explore and use the Storypark planning tool here

Posted by Sharon Carlson

Sharon's early years were supported at home by her Mum in Taranaki. She later became an ECE ICT facilitator for CORE Education, and then Storypark. Sharon has successfully supported the implementation of a diverse range of ICT products and services around the country and is helping make sure Storypark is awesome for teachers and children's development.


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