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 a unique child who 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, seven stages of development and learning determine how we monitor and measure a 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 progress towards the Early Learning Goals. Toddletown has regard to these when we assess children and plan for their learning. Our programme supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need across the seven areas of development and learning:
Being active and playing 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 on education programmes 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 make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s Learning Journals. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as 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 is responsible for completing the check using information from on-going observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.
We keep a Learning Journey for each child. Your child’s Learning Journey helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.
Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you both collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. Together, we will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.