Provision for the development and learning of children from birth to 5 years is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage. Toddletown reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2014):
Every child is unique and every child is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
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.
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.
Within the framework of the four principles are the seven stages of learning and development, these determine how we support each child’s progression.
For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to attain by the end of the EYFS 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 Early Years Outcomes (DfE 2013) guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child will make along their journey towards the Early Learning Goals. Toddletown take these into account when we assess children and plan for their learning. The opportunities we provide the children allow us to support the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding they need across the seven areas of learning and development.
Being active and allowing children to play supports young children’s learning and development through doing and talking. This is how children learn to think about and understand the world around them. We use the EYFS statutory guidance to plan and provide opportunities which will help children to make progress in all areas of learning. This programme is made up of a mixture of activities that children plan and organise for themselves as well as activities planned and led by practitioners.
We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the EYFS as:
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 develop as an effective and motivated learner.
We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently, mostly through our play and interaction with them. Our observations are informal and part of our daily routine with the children; please don’t worry that your child is going to be formally observed and assessed in an exam style situation!
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 will ask you to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you, as parents, are supporting development.
We carry out summative assessments of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records and these form part of children’s Learning Journals. The assessments are carried out 6-8 weeks after they start with us as well as at times of transition and when they go on to school.
The EYFS requires that we supply parents and carers with a 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 – when a child is aged between 24 – 36 months. Your child’s key person will carry out this progress check using information from observations and their knowledge of their key children as well as taking into account the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.
When children start at Toddletown Day Nursery their online Learning Journey will also commence. This helps us to celebrate together their achievements and to work to provide what your child needs for their well-being and to make progress towards their learning and development. Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to regularly update information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of development and then decide on how to further this.