Learning and Development
Home from Home works with the Birth to Five Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS follows the three prime areas and the four specific areas of learning and development. The level of progress children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by the early learning goals which are:
The Prime areas
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The Specific areas
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Within the pre-school workshop, known as the Bees, Badgers and Owls, a warm welcome awaits where practitioners will plan high quality experiences aimed to stimulate and excite children, around their interests, in an environment that provides continuous provision for learning. Key practitioners hold level 3 Early Years qualifications and many are also graduates. The Principal holds a PGCE and is an Early Years Professional and supports and advises planning. Practitioners understand that children learn, and construct knowledge in experiential, interactive, concrete and hands-on ways, and this underpins all planned activities and is why planning ensures that children have lots of opportunity to initiate their own ideas and freely choose activities.
Thinking creatively and testing their ideas, choosing ways to do things
As children prepare for school (Owls group), practitioners will provide more structured activities- working one to one with children and providing small group activities to support children’s transition and readiness for formal school.
Children work with the drama teacher where they can develop an expansive imagination and an ability to express, which will empower a child with the most important skill; confidence.
Activities - Drama
Fun and Games Outside
It’s important that children go outside every day and get a chance to run, jump and really move and develop those large muscles. As well as working off extra energy and learning from the natural environment, being outside gives children a chance to take risks and be loud and wild in ways that are often restricted when inside.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Rannulph Fiennes
At Home from Home Day Nursery we keep spare clothes, sun hats and supply rain suits so that all children are able to enjoy the outdoor space.
Activities - Fun and Games Outside
Knowledge of the World: provide opportunities for children to see things and people beyond the setting
We know that on-going formative assessment is at the heart of effective early years practice and so Home from Home practitioners will observe children as they act and interact in their play. Practitioners will consider ways to support children to strengthen and deepen their current learning and development. They will plan ‘what next’ by closely matching what activities, resources they provide to a child’s current needs and by creating a learning environment that children have been involved in developing.
Activities - Knowledge of the Outside World
Fledglings and Squirrels
(Our youngest children)
We are unanimous in that “We listen to and respect what children say, and act on their ideas”. We understand that each child develops uniquely during their first three years of life, therefore practitioners will not have rigid expectations about what your child should and should not be doing at a certain stage, practitioners are skilled at noticing and adapt to, and will respond to individual children’s changing interests and abilities, including those with disabilities and special needs.
As well as looking after babies and very young children’s basic individual care needs, we know that developing motivation is also ‘key’ to your child’s learning and development, practitioners are responsive and understand that children need to develop at their own pace, practitioners make sure their interactions are timely and appropriate, supporting children to develop a sense of safety, so that they are more likely to observe and learn about the world around them. We know that young children learn from everything they do, children are naturally curious, they want to explore and discover, if they enjoy their experiences they will want to learn more. We know that the attitudes children form will last a lifetime, so children at Home from Home will be given lots of positive encouragement and support during their early years with us.
We know that babies are born with a tremendous amount of intrinsic motivation. This motivation is aimed toward having some viable effect on the environment, when babies and toddlers can actually see the results of their actions as a reward they are motivated to continue those actions. However, attempts toward control are limited in very young children, so our knowledgeable practitioners will provide unstructured and structured play activities that offer your child the opportunity to be a creative and active learner, for example, lots of physical exploration,- treasure boxes, drawers and baskets placed at children’s level so they can look in and explore the contents, heuristic play (a basket of natural and safe objects), materials and boxes, tunnels and tents to make a place, filling and emptying, transporting and travelling, lots of art activities, soft play climbing, that develop motor skills and help children to learn and develop confidence.
Practitioners recognise and value the importance of body language, voice tones and facial expressions and recognise that children can communicate from the moment of birth and they provide resources that encourage talking and listening, for example telephones, music, noisy toys, storytelling etc. and will use sign language as a further way of encouraging communication with babies and young children.
Children may expose themselves to danger, unknowingly, when using the internet and other technologies. Staff at Home from Home have a major responsibility to educate our children; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain safe when using the internet and related technologies. It is also important to include parents as much as possible in this process given that children mainly have access to computers at home. It is appropriate to take photographs of children to capture a curriculum activity or a celebration of the settings life using setting equipment providing we have permission to do so from parents/carers. Staff must not however use their personal mobile phone, cameras (still or moving images) or other devices to take, edit or store images of children from this setting. Staff should not communicate with children through private email accounts, social networking sites. Staff should be circumspect in their use of social networking sites and must not discuss the settings business or setting issues on their personal social networking site.
Top Ten E-Safety Tips
- Always think of your personal safety first when using ICT or your mobile phone. Remember it is easy for anyone to lie about who they are online, so you can never really be sure about who you are talking to.
- Do not give out any personal information about yourself online to people you do not know. This includes your full name, address, street name, postcode, or school name. Only ever give out your location as Walsall.
- Never give your contact number to anyone who you don’t know.
- It’s a good idea to use a nickname rather than your real name.
- Don’t meet people that you have only spoken to online. If you do decide to meet up with anyone in real life then make sure you take a trusted adult with you and meet in a public place at a busy time.
- Never give out pictures online or over a mobile unless you know the person in real life. It is easy for people to take pictures and alter them, send them on, or even pretend to be you with them.
- Always use private settings whenever you are setting up a social networking page or an instant messenger (IM) account. This is so people who you don’t want to see your profile can’t.
- Anything you post or upload to the internet is there forever so be very careful what you put online.
- Never go onto webcam with people you don’t know in real life. Webcam images can be recorded and copied and also shared with other people.
- If you receive any messages or pictures that worry or upset you talk to an adult you can trust. You may also report it online, via thinkuknow website http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk
The Settings Inclusion and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Statement of Intent
Home from Home values all children and has high expectations regardless of individual needs. We work in partnership with parents/carers and multi-agencies where necessary to ensure that the needs of children with additional needs and disabilities are met. All reasonable measure will be taken in order to accommodate the specific needs of all children joining the setting and additional advice will be sought as necessary, for example, we will consult with the local authority and their partner bodies and other agencies. All Home from Home staff will be trained to support the individual needs of children and will participate in the drawing up and implementation of Educational and Health Care Plans (EHCs) where necessary.
Staff will use their knowledge and experience to identify any aspects of the child's development or behaviour that give cause for concern and share these with the lead professional and the settings Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENco), who together will decide on action to be taken in consultation with the child's parents/carers. Parents will be fully informed at all times of any concerns that arise about a child's learning and development. Practitioners will use development checks, for example, the 'Two Year' check as part of the early years foundation framework identifying children's needs early (Code of Practice 5.25) with early intervention as standard for children with SEN (CoP 5.31) to identify progress and needs to promote positive outcomes in health and wellbeing, learning and development and working with parents/carers (CoP 5.25) enabling appropriate intervention for children and their families where progress is less than expected (CoP 5.28).
See 'Local Offer' which sets out Hertfordshire's information about provision they expect to be available in their area across education, health and social care for children and young people who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have an Educational Health Care plan (Early Years Guide to the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice page 7) http://www.hertsdirect.org/local offer.
Observation and Assessment Statement
The purpose of assessment
Summative assessments will be made termly to indicate children’s progress from their starting points and to inform Cohort analysis. Formative assessments, which we feel is much more useful and constructive in terms of young children’s learning allows for the cycle of observations and planning which provide the next steps and move children on, not only in what, but also how they are learning.
Transitions and school readiness
The setting understands the importance and benefits of working alongside other providers to share methods of assessment and observation, for example, types of transition records and how school readiness is defined. The benefits of closer liaison with schools, is to establish common expectations, enable all parties to have clear and shared understanding not only of what children are able to do, how the school can be prepared and also the types of records and information to be passed on.
Practitioners are expected to have good developmental knowledge, so that the developmental stage within activities are defined and planned for, that tasks and activities can be broken down into smaller incremental steps in order to support children’s learning. Staff are supported with a wide range of assessment tools, for example, different types of observations, including software and technology as assessment tools which allow cross referencing to the EYFS outcomes statements and age bands. Provision is made regularly for staff to extend their knowledge, and training also addresses any barriers to children’s learning, recognising areas of weakness in staff knowledge or the need to improve practice.
Cohort Data; Overall children's educational development 2016-2017
Overall attainment of children's learning and development in all areas of the early learning development matters guidance (September 2015).
- 58% of all children are currently meeting their age and stage related learning goals.
- 42% of all children are currently exceeding their age and stage related learning goals.
- All children have made significant progress from their starting points.