The Wishing Tree Nursery is registered under the Children's Act 1989 (re-registered under the Children Act 2006) and regulated by OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education). Our nursery is subject to regular inspection to ensure compliance with national standards covering every aspect, from staffing, organisation and curriculum to equipment, food and drink, safety and hygiene.
At The Wishing Tree Nursery we promote a natural and stimulating environment both inside and out to allow children the time to explore the world around them at their own pace. Our curriculum and approach to day care aims to include best practices from both private and government maintained settings, ultimately preparing the way for a child’s entrance into the school system and beyond.
We aim to achieve a sensible balance between free and structured activities by offering a wide range of supervised activities designed to encourage language, confidence and independence. Our curriculum is based on good childcare best practices and is underpinned by the Government's Early Learning Goals and Birth to Three Matters, which in 2008 were amalgamated into one framework for the under fives, the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Guide to the EYFS
The Children Act 2006
Our pictorial guide to the EYFS 2012
At the centre of the EYFS philosophy is that every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfill their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know that provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive.
The EYFS seeks to provide:
- Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;
- A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;
- Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;
- Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover:
- The areas of learning and development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings;
- The early learning goals that providers must help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five); and
- Assessment arrangements for measuring progress (and requirements for reporting to parents and/or carers).
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
In addition to the prime areas the nursery will also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
Our educational programme will involve activities and experiences for children, as follows.
- Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
The nursery will consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in our care, and will use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.
Practitioners working with the youngest children will focus strongly on the three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively, and become ready for school. It is expected that the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.
The Nursery aims to set the standards for the learning, development and care of young children such that they are ready for the school system and beyond.
- We will ensure that every child is treated with respect and not excluded because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, special needs, disabilities, gender or ability.
- We will form strong relationships both with parents and professionals connected with the children.
- We will improve quality and consistency within the setting through the Standards and Quality Assurance Scheme (Quilt)
- We will provide a secure foundation for the child’s future learning
The 4 themes and commitments of the EYFS are to be put into practice are as follows:.
A Unique Child
- Child Development
- Inclusive Practice
- Keeping Safe
- Health and Well-Being
- Links to Every Child Matters – be healthy
- Links to Statutory Framework for EYFS – welfare requirements
- Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
- Suitable people
- Suitable premises, environment and equipment
- Respecting each other
- Parents as partners
- Supporting learning
- Key person
- Links to Every Child Matters – make a positive contribution
- Links to the Statutory Framework for EYFS – welfare requirement
- Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
- Key person links to Every Child Matters – stay safe
- Observation, assessment and planning
- Supporting every child
- The learning environment
- The wider context
- Links to statutory framework for the EYFS – welfare requirements
- Organisation – suitable premises – environment and equipment, suitable people
- Links to Every Child Matters – enjoy and achieve. Make a positive contribution.
Learning and Development
- Play and Exploration
- Active learning
- Creativity and critical thinking
- Areas of Learning and Development
- Links to statutory framework for the EYFS – learning and development requirement
- Links to Every Child Matters – enjoy and achieve
All staff will maintain a stimulating environment indoors and outdoors to help children’s learning and development through experiences. The environment will be changed regularly to keep the children stimulated and interested and always age appropriate.
All key persons will undertake observations and assessments on their key children’s achievements, interests, learning styles and meet the child’s individual needs. The observations and assessments identify learning priorities allowing the key person to plan motivating and relevant learning experiences for their key children. Spontaneous observations are made on the children’s interests and through play and are implemented every day. These are fed into the weekly plans to further extend the children’s learning through their play and interests.
Assessments – the key person undertakes formative assessments through the spontaneous observations which provide the key person with on-going information on the child’s progress and ability.
Summative assessments are the focused observations summing up the child’s knowledge and skills and relating them to the early learning goals – these are put in profiles with spontaneous observations allowing parents to see their child’s progress and achievements.
When a child is aged between two and three, practitioners must review their progress, and provide parents and/or carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas. This progress check must identify the child’s strengths, and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving other professionals (for example, the provider’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) as appropriate.
Beyond the prime areas, it is for practitioners to decide what the written summary should include, reflecting the development level and needs of the individual child. The summary must highlight: areas in which a child is progressing well; areas in which some additional support might be needed; and focus particularly on any areas where there is a concern that a child may have a developmental delay (which may indicate a special educational need or disability). It must describe the activities and strategies the provider intends to adopt to address any issues or concerns. If a child moves settings between the ages of two and three it is expected that the progress check would usually be undertaken by the setting where the child has spent most time.
Practitioners will discuss with parents and/or carers how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home. Practitioners will encourage parents and/or carers to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals, including their health visitor, and/or a teacher (if a child moves to school-based provision at age three). Practitioners will agree with parents and/or carers when will be the most useful point to provide a summary. It will be provided in time to inform the Healthy Child Programme health and development review at age two whenever possible (when health visitors gather information on a child’s health and development, allowing them to identify any developmental delay and any particular support from which they think the child/family might benefit).
Taking account of information from the progress check (which reflects on-going, regular observation of children’s development) should help ensure that health visitors can identify children’s needs accurately and fully at the health review. The nursery will gain the consent of parents and/or carers to share information directly with other relevant professionals, if they consider this would be helpful.
Planning – short term plans are undertaken weekly to provide experiences appropriate to each child’s stage of development progressing them towards the early learning goals.
- Plans will reflect the children’s interests and individual needs
- Observations will link to the planning
- Areas of the learning and development will be covered
- Always have the ways forward/next steps
- Will reflect the indoor and outdoor environment
- Always evaluate the weekly plan
Spontaneous observations are on the children’s interests and through play and are implemented every day, two on each child per week. These are fed into the weekly plans to further extend the children’s learning through their play and interests.
From 2-5 years the key person implements group activities which focus on the EYFS development matters encouraging the child to accomplish the learning intentions of their age stage of development.
All key workers will implement at least 2 spontaneous observations a week on their key children.
- Interest forms will be given regularly to parents to complete on their child’s interest while not attending nursery. Encourage parents to write on the wipe boards outside every room, so these interests and the spontaneous observations can be fed into weekly plans
- All staff will be involved in the planning to allow continuity for the children’s learning and development.
- Every Key person will keep an up to date Learning Journey on their children containing spontaneous focussed observations and other work produced by the child. These Learning Journeys will be shown to the parents on parent evenings and at the end of the day if the parent wishes.
- Keyworkers will complete “All about Me” forms to provide information on the child’s progress and stage of development for parents and also send a copy to other settings/carers the child may attend during the week. The ‘All about Me’ forms are the summative assessment.
- Activities will be suitable and age appropriate for the children and extend their learning and development. Resources will be flexible and adaptable if needed for the children to achieve.
- We will provide a balance of adult led activities which are sometimes used for focussed observations and child initiated activities which are used for spontaneous observations.
In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile will be completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. The Profile will reflect: on-going observation; all relevant records held by the setting; discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution.
Each child’s level of development will be assessed against the early learning goals (see Section 1). Practitioners will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’). This is the EYFS Profile.
Year 1 teachers will be given a copy of the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. These should inform a dialogue between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities in Year 1.
The Profile will be completed for all children, including those with special educational needs or disabilities. Reasonable adjustments to the assessment process for children with special educational needs and disabilities will be made as appropriate. The nursery will consider whether we may need to seek specialist assistance to help with this. Children will have differing levels of skills and abilities across the Profile and it is important that there is a full assessment of all areas of their development, to inform plans for future activities and to identify any additional support needs.