"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
How your child will be learning:
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.
· Communication and language
· Physical development
· Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
· Understanding the world
· Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
The learning environment:
At Noah’s Ark Pre-school we aim to provide a happy, stable and caring environment in which, through play, children aged two to rising fives can explore, enjoy and progress to their fullest potential at their own pace, through both child and adult initiated learning experiences. We shall promote equality of opportunities and positive attitudes to issues that arise both from a multi-cultural society and from those with disabilities, to help children interact well with other children and adults. Staff will be positive role models and supportive of children’s individuality, culture and learning experiences. This shall be achieved by providing challenging and stimulating experiences in line with our learning and development policy that takes into account a child’s individual needs, their interests and choices, as well as encouraging the involvement of parents and carers, to build on what has been learnt at home. Planning will be based on the Early Years Foundation Stage programme, working towards the Early Learning Goals, covering 3 prime areas of learning, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language and Four Specific areas of learning Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Art and Design as well as children’s interests, building on what the children already know, observation and assessment.
The layout of Noah’s Ark Pre-school allows children to initiate and put into operation their own plans during child initiated work time. Materials and equipment available for the children to use are easily accessible encouraging independence, appropriate to their stages of development, adequate to support all areas of children’s learning and development, and regularly maintained and replaced. There are places for children to display their work, a visual timetable of the session and an information board for parents and visitors.
At Noah’s Ark Pre-school we are always assessing our practice and looking at how we can improve. We have reviewed the learning journals that we produce for each child within our setting. These are made up of the information, observations and photos that the team gather for each child. All of this information helps us to assess the children’s learning and development and plan appropriately for each child. Traditionally these individual records have been collected in scrapbooks or binders, building up into a treasured memoir that children can take with them when they leave for the next stages of their journey.
We started to look at how technology can help and discovered a system designed by Early Years Foundation Forum called Tapestry. Tapestry is an online learning journal. This system is hosted in the UK on secure servers. These servers conform to very high environmental standards and are proactively managed 24 hours a day. Each Tapestry account has its own database and the code itself is developed using hack-resistant techniques. We will now, with the use of iPads/tablets, be able to instantly produce the information we require to support each child. Each observation we make will be done directly onto the mobile app and linked into your child’s personal profile. These observations can include notes, photographs and EYFS assessments, characteristics of learning and videos. They can be enhanced by comments from other staff and parents, and each page appears in a pleasing and coherent way. You will be able to view the complete set of observations as a learning journey, flipping through your single child's observation pages, in time-order, or filtering in flexible ways to access your favourite records. Bookmark your favourites for quick access.
Each child's journey can have individual accounts set up for parents and relatives to access. Parents can comment on new entries and even add their own. We thought that this part of the program was particularly good, especially for working parents. You would always be able to access what your child has been doing at pre-school. You will receive automatic emails generated for parents when new entries are made. These records will also help us make assessments of your children to ensure their learning and development is being met correctly. Then finally, when your child is ready to leave or move to their next journey, we will convert to PDF and give to parents as CD or print hardcopies as appropriate.