CHILDRENS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AND THE EYFS
It is a mandatory requirement for HCN to follow the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS). The EYFS is a statutory framework that sets the standards we must meet to ensure that children learn and develop and are kept healthy and safe.
The four overarching principles of the EYFS are:-
1) A Unique child:
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
2) Positive Relationships:
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
3) 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 staff, parents and careers.
4) Learning and Development
Children learn and develop in different ways and at different times. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years’ provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The EYFS describes the seven areas of learning and development that must shape our educational programme. All areas of learning are important and interconnected. These seven areas are:
1) Personal, social and emotional development: making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness, and managing feelings and behaviour.
2) Physical development: Moving and handling, and health and safe care.
3) Communication and language: listening and attention, understand and speaking
4) Literacy: reading and writing
5) Mathematics: numbers, shape, space and measurement.
6) Understanding the world: people and communities, the world and technology.
7) Expressive arts and design: exploring and using media and materials, and being imaginative
Learning Journey and Assessing Progress
Assessments play an important part in helping parents, carers and staff to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support for them. Assessments involve staff observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and styles.
At HCN we record our observations in a Learning Journey. Observations made by the staff are often in written form and vary in length, some longer observations and some small notes. We also photograph the children and use samples of their work. We use these observations to shape learning experiences for each child.
In addition to the above, we track the progress of the children on a data base called the Early Years Tracking Tool. This allows us to assess the progress of each child and also the Nursery as a whole. When a child is aged between two and three, the EYFS says that we must assess your child and review their progress, providing you with a short summary of their development in the first three of the seven areas of development. We call this the “2 year check”.
The nursery offers a variety of activities appropriate for the children’s age and stage of development, including the following:
Arts and Crafts
Music and Movement
Song and Rhymes
Sand and messy play
Climbing and physical play
We balance the child led activities and the adult led activities to meet the children’s needs.
Most children enjoy painting, junk modelling, gluing and finger painting. The process of transforming basic materials into something else involves a great deal of learning and achievement. The doing is more important than the end result. Cardboard boxes and tubes, bits of material, corks, string, egg boxes, yoghurt pots and many other items considered merely as junk can be turned into all sorts of exciting things. The children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas.
Children love playing with natural materials like water, sand, clay, leaves and pebbles. In handling these objects, children learn what each material can do and how they react, for example, dry sand will pour, wet sand will mould, hands on experience of the natural world is vital to children and they are assisted in exploring and understanding both their own environment and the wider world through the use of activities, stories, games and displays.
The role of the Key worker
We believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs.
With this in mind, each child is allocated a key worker and you will be introduced to them as soon as your child starts attending the nursery. They may discuss with you about your child’s achievements, personal care and family life.
The key workers role is to ensure that your child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs. In order to do this, they will be responsible for observing and assessing your child. The key worker normally forms a strong bond with your child through playing and talking to them.
Children react in many different ways to their first days at nursery: some leave you with-out a backward glance, others will become quite upset. If you think your child will take some time to settle, don’t worry. We have various different ways of tackling this and work closely with you and your child and on an individual basis.
Inside/Outside Play – Free Flow
We have a fabulous outdoor learning and play area away from main roads and traffic pollution, which we use as much as we possibly can. We plan for the outside provision in much the same way we do the inside, covering the seven areas of learning and providing engaging and stimulating learning opportunities for the children. We use a free flow use of the outside space which means the children can choose whether they spend their time inside or outside and move between the areas independently.
We celebrate festivals from around the world throughout the year and annually welcome parents to all events taking place, our Christmas concert, and our children and parents Christmas party.
We are keen to develop links with the wider community and have enjoyed visits from zoo lab, dentists, policemen and firemen with their fire trucks.
Transition to Primary School
Once the children enter the Busy Bees pre-school room, we use these sessions to introduce more routines and promote teaching and learning that is focused to children’s “school readiness”.
The term before they leave us to enter school, the children will role play with the school uniforms and talk about how they feel about going to school. Staff liaise with local primary schools to arrange transitional visits with the children to enable them to get used to the school environment and meet their new teachers.
Policies and Procedures
Our policies and procedures are available on request and on our parent’s notice-board, included is our policy and procedures on the following:
•“Promoting Positive Behaviour”
•“Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality”
•“Making a Complaint”
Our setting has a duty of care under the law to help safeguard children against suspected or actual “significant harm”. Our employment practices ensure children against the likelihood of abuse at the Nursery and we have procedures in place for managing complaints or allegations.
Our way of working with children and parents ensures that we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary, to help families in difficulties.
Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs
We aim to promote and support the welfare and development of all children including those with educational needs. Our setting works to the requirements of the SEN Code of Practice (2015) and Angela Simpson is our designated SEN co-ordinator working with the children, full time within the rooms.
Please see our Policy on “Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs” on our web site for further details.
Parents and H.C.N.
Parental involvement is an integral part of our nursery. To help you feel welcome we have a parent’s noticeboard in the entrance of the nursery. This is an excellent source of information for parents, including staff photos, key worker lists and a summary of children’s activities.
We encourage feedback and comments and carry out an annual parent questionnaire which is summarised at the Nursey AGM.
The Role of the Committee
HCN is managed by a volunteer management committee. The committee is responsible for:-
- Managing the Nursery’s finances
- Employing and managing the staff
- Making sure that we have and work to policies that help us to provide a high quality service.
- Health and safety checks
By law, the nursery must have a minimum number of committee members in order to operate and we always welcome any parent or guardian who would like to help the nursery by joining the committee, which previous and current members have found to be rewarding and enjoyable. We also hope that all parents will support the Nursery in any fund raising and social events.