Ask any child what they have done at nursery today they will tell you, "I’ve just played" They are not telling you lies, learning at Lawnswood Childcare is so much fun and playful children don't realise they are learning. Children enjoy their play whilst staff are subtly enhancing children’s individual stages of development using a variety of techniques. Whilst a child is "just playing" staff play alongside them modelling language and introducing new language, offering questions to challenge children's thinking, answering the children's questions they may have, encouraging children to explore new activities and ultimately have a great time.
Children may just be playing in the water with lots of different sized containers and jugs but when accompanied by an enthusiastic member of staff this activity will explore many mathematical aspects that your child will go on to use throughout their life.
As well as playing and being involved in adult led activities children are involved in many valuable learning activities throughout the daily routine. These will include healthy hygienic routines such as washing hands after they have used the toilet, healthy eating is promoted with healthy meals and snacks and many social skills which are encouraged by the use of nursery rules/agreements which include being kind and walking when indoors.
The EYFS now where shall we start, this document underpins absolutely everything that happens in any early years setting within the UK. The EYFS is a mandatory framework that all early years providers must follow. The EYFS states
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and by having a mandatory framework for all settings across the UK helps to achieve a good quality early education for all children.
The EYFS specifies learning and development requirements and safeguarding and welfare requirements. The learning and development requirements include the assessments that must take place, the early learning goals and the areas of learning that children should experience. The safeguarding and welfare requirements cover every aspect of the setting whether this be what policies must be in place, the qualifications of staff or the amount of hand basins there should be in the setting.
Four Main Principles
There are four principles that shape practice within early years settings. These are:
- Unique child
- Positive relationships
- Enabling environments
- Learning and development
Breaking this down into practice it looks a little bit like this:
- What does the individual child need to develop?
- What can the keyperson do to develop this?
- What resources need to be used?
- Has the child had the opportunity to explore and practice a new skill?
The EYFS sets out the safeguarding and welfare, learning and development and assessment requirements for everyone registered to care for children from birth to 5 years. The framework consists of two documents the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Years Outcomes. You can access copies of these documents along with other useful information and resources about your child’s learning and development at www.foundationyears.org.uk.
The EYFS is broken into seven different areas of learning which all children must have the opportunity to experience. All areas of learning are inter linked so one activity alone could build on children’s development within several areas of learning. The three most crucial areas which develop children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning are known as the prime areas.
The three prime areas are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. These three areas of learning give children the skills to succeed in the more specific areas of learning which include literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Three Prime Areas
Personal, Social and Emotional
Communication and Language
Four Specific Areas
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
In addition, we believe in giving the children some simple responsibilities - giving out drinks at break time, tidying up, laying out tables for play etc. These responsibilities provide the children with a rudimentary discipline and pride in themselves.
The key person is your child’s significant adult at their early years setting. Each child is assigned a key person on their first visit to the setting. The purpose of the key person is to be a familiar adult to your child and to their parents/carers. Through conversations and relevant documents the key person will learn as much about the child as possible from their parents/ carers to provide the child with the care and comfort they are familiar with, making the settling process as stress free as possible for both parent and child. If you have anything to discuss or any worries do not hesitate to speak to your child’s key person.
The key person, when they have got to know the child, will plan for children’s individual needs and stages of development. The key person will compile evidence in order to assess where the child is at and what they need to do next. This may be a little extra support from a staff member or could include offering more challenging equipment to further their development.
We use an online learning journal called EYlog. Practitioners can add observations, photos and videos to the children’s journals and link them into the areas of the EYFS and characteristics of effective learning. Parents enjoy receiving notifications and being able to access these observations as they are added to the journals. Parents can also add observations themselves, which is really valuable as children will sometimes do things at home which we don’t see here at nursery. We can also use the EYlog system to track children’s development and clearly pinpoint areas which children may need extra support in.This section is being reveiwed - the information here may no longer be relevant