Our setting aims to:
- provide high quality care and education for children below statutory school age;
- work in partnership with parents to help children to learn and develop;
- add to the life and well-being of the local community; and
- offer children and their parents a service that promotes equality and values diversity.
CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING
We aim to ensure that each child:
- is in a safe and stimulating environment;
- is given generous care and attention;
- has the chance to join in with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together;
- is helped to take forward her/his learning and development by being helped to build on what she/he already knows and can do;
- has a personal key person who makes sure each child makes satisfying progress;
- is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop;
- is in a setting in which parents help to shape the service it offers.
THE SETTING'S TIMETABLE AND ROUTINES
Our setting believes that care and education are equally important in the experience which we offer children. The routines and activities that make up the day in the setting are provided in ways that:
- help each child to feel that she/he is a valued member of the setting;
- ensure the safety of each child;
- help children to gain from the social experience of being part of a group;
- provide children with opportunities to learn and help them to value learning.
We organise our sessions so that the children can choose from, and work at, a range of activities and, in doing so, build up their ability to select and work through a task to its completion. The children are also helped and encouraged to take part in adult-led small and large group activities, which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others. Outdoor activities contribute to children's health, their physical development and their knowledge of the world around them. The children have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to take part in outdoor child-chosen and adult-led activities, as well as those provided in the indoor playroom. The setting caters for children's individual needs for rest and quiet activities during the day.
THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
The provision for children's development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage . Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
A Unique Child - Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.
Positive Relationships - Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments - Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
Learning and Development - Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
HOW WE PROVIDE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development. The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- Physical development.
- Communication and language.
- Understanding the world.
- Expressive arts and design.
For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to have attained by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage is defined by the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know, and be able to do, by the end of the reception year of their education.
The Development Matters and Early Years Outcomes guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the Early Learning Goals. Our setting has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning. Our programme supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need for:
Personal, social and emotional development
- making relationships;
- self confidence and self awareness; and
- managing feelings and behaviour.
- moving and handling; and
- health and self-care.
Communication and language
- listening and attention;
- understanding; and
- reading; and
- numbers; and
- shape, space and measure.
Understanding the world
- people and communities;
- the world; and
Expressive arts and design
- exploring and using media and materials; and
- being imaginative.
OUR APPROACH TO LEARNING, DEVELOPMENT AND ASSESSMENT
Learning through play
Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. Our setting uses the Development Matters and Early Years Outcomes guidance to plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities, children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.
Characteristics of effective learning
We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Development Matters the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as:
- playing and exploring - engagement;
- active learning - motivation; and
- creating and thinking critically - thinking.
We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.
We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they, as parents, are supporting development. We provide you with ‘WOW’ slips to complete about significant achievements of your child these are displayed in the setting and shared with the group.
We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.
Integrated Progress Review
The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that we supply parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development: personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language. We complete this in conjunction with your Health Visitor who will forward the necessary form to us once you and your child have been invited to see them.
The setting keeps a record of achievement for each child. Your child's record of achievement helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.
Your child's key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child's needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child's stage of progress. You and the key person will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.
Tapestry is a secure assessment tool that allows us to record and comment on your child's development. We capture moments and record assessments in the classroom using wireless tablets. You are able to login to the secure site to read and comment on the assessments via a computer or mobile device. Parents are also able to upload their own comments to keep staff informed of progress and achievements made at home.
WORKING TOGETHER FOR YOUR CHILDREN
We maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. We also have an Early Years apprentice to complement these ratios and welcome parent helpers and student placements. This helps us to:
- give time and attention to each child;
- talk with the children about their interests and activities;
- help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide; and
- allow the children to explore and be adventurous in safety.
Key person and your child
Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she/he is particularly responsible. Your child's key person will work with you to make sure that the childcare that we provide is right for your child's particular needs and interests. When your child first starts at the setting, she/he ill work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into the setting. Throughout your child's time at the setting, she/he will help your child to benefit from the setting's activities. You can read our policy on the Role of the Key Person and Settling-in here.
Parents are regarded as members of our setting who have full participatory rights. These include a right to be:
- valued and respected;
- kept informed;
- involved; and
- included at all levels.
As a community based setting, we also depend on the good will of parents and their involvement .Registration of the setting carries expectations on parents for their support and commitment.
How parents take part in the setting
Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their children. There are many ways in which parents take part in making the setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:
- exchanging knowledge about their children's needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff;
- contributing to the progress check at age two;
- helping at sessions of the setting;
- sharing their own special interests with the children;
- taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the setting;
- joining in community activities, in which the setting takes part; and
- building friendships with other parents in the setting.
We welcome parents to drop into the setting to see it at work or to speak with the staff. Parents can offer to take part in a session by sharing their own interests and skills with the children.
Learning opportunities for adults
As well as gaining childcare qualifications, our staff take part in further training to help them to keep up-to date with thinking about early years care and education. The setting also keeps itself up-to-date with best practice, as a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, through Under 5 magazine and other publications produced by the Alliance. The current copy of Under 5 is available for you to read. From time to time the setting holds learning events for parents. These usually look at how adults can help children to learn and develop in their early years. We also hold open afternoons and evenings to share your child’s learning journeys and demonstrate an area of early years practice to enable you to support your child at home.