Planning for Learning

Planning for Learning

During the day there will be an opportunity for creative play, painting, dough, sticking and collage, water play, outdoor play, dressing up, and a wide variety of jigsaws, toys and books, puzzles, games, farms, cars and train track, dolls etc, as well as larger outdoor equipment such as slides, sandpit, wheeled vehicles, to encourage the larger motor skills.

There is plenty of opportunity for socialising when we visit the toy library, tots groups and outings relating to the network that I am a member.

I monitor your child's progress on a weekly basis. Each child has a file for observational records, developmental progress records, work books and some examples of their work; these are available for you to see at all times and will be presented to you when your child starts school.

Most of the activities that the children take part in are planned and will help them to progress towards the early learning goals Infants and toddlers will not necessarily follow the same schedule as the pre-schoolers. They may need morning naps, etc. While older children engage in free play I try to take some time to play with the infants and toddlers. Feeding time and nappy changing times are good times for interaction with infants and toddlers. Of course all children develop differently and whenever these little ones wish to join in with the older ones (unless it is not a safe activity for them) they will be allowed.

Since infants and toddlers cannot communicate well enough to parents I will fill in the daily diary and along with the monthly 'Newsletter' I will hopefully keep you all well informed of our themes and outings.

Young children, toddlers and babies enjoy a structured schedule that allows for flexibility. A schedule helps the day to flow more smoothly, allows the child to anticipate forthcoming events and aids in achieving a variety of goals. We will adhere to our written schedule to the best of our ability, keeping in mind that anything can happen when children are involved.

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child's life between birth and age 5.

This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.

Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

What is the EYFS Framework - why do we have one?

The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.

In 2012 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.

It sets out:

There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.

What does it mean for me as a parent?

Ensuring my child's safety

Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery, how many children a childminder can look after, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.

Quality

You can find out about the quality of your child's nursery and other early years providers in relation to the EYFS Framework by checking what the Government's official inspection body for early years, Ofsted,has to say about it. You can find this information at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report.

How my 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. These are:

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:

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 diagram below gives examples of the areas of learning and development and shows the links between the way in which your child learns and what they learn.

Planning for Learning

As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child's learning?

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child's learning as they progress through school.

Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child's confidence as a young learner.

Planning for Learning

How can I find out how my child is getting on?

It is important that you and the professionals caring for your child work together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child. These conversations will either need to be with your childminder or, in a larger setting like a nursery, with your child's "key person". This is the person who:

You should be able to get information about your child's development at any time and there are two stages (at age 2, and again at age 5) when the professionals caring for your child must give you written information about how he or she is doing.

When your child is 2

At some point after your child turns 2, the professionals working with your child must give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:

This is called the progress check at age 2.

This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any where they might need some extra help or support - and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the key person to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).

When your child is 5

At the end of the EYFS - in the summer term of the reception year in school - teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.

Another important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child's learning and development, so do let your child's class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers.

All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development. Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in their next school year - year 1 - will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it.

The school will give you a report of your child's progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.

Where can I go for further information?

The most important place to find out more is your child's childminder or nursery - do ask as many questions as you need to. Providers really do welcome speaking with you.

You may want to find out what is on offer at your local children's centre.

You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at www.foundationyears.org.uk. The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.

The children's learning will be promoted by the teaching of the 6 areas of the curriculum:

  1. Personal, social and emotional development

  2. Communication, language and literacy

  3. Mathematical development

  4. Knowledge and understanding of the world

  5. Physical development

  6. Creative development

Most children will be expected to achieve the early learning goals by the end of the foundation stage. My planned curriculum will hopefully help the children make good progress towards and where appropriate beyond these goals.

Children are constantly encountering new experiences and seeking to understand them in order to extend their skills, develop their confidence and build on what they already know. They learn in many different ways. Practitioners have a crucial role in this learning and should draw on a range of teaching and care strategies and knowledge of child development. Children deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and each other. Practitioners need to plan learning experiences of the highest quality, considering both children's needs and achievements and the range of learning experiences that will help them make progress. Well-planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge during the foundation stage

Monitoring of each child's progress throughout the foundation stage is essential to ensure that they are making progress and those particular difficulties in any of the areas of learning, whatever the cause, are identified and addressed. Prompt and appropriate action at this stage could help to prevent children from developing learning difficulties later in their school career.

I will now be using long, medium and short-term plans; these are available for you to view any time you wish. The long and medium term plans will be displayed on the wall and the short-term plans are in a folder. In this folder is a weekly report of how the activities went, what the children learned that week and any areas of learning and stepping stones to be born in mind for the following week.

The long-term plan is drawn up in preparation for up to a year ahead. It sets out in broad terms what I intend the children to learn. The medium term plan bridges the gap between the broad outline of the long-term plan and the day-to-day detail of the short-term plan. The short term plan is based on the long-term plan and developed using ongoing observations and informal assessment of the children. This is drawn up on a weekly basis, it includes, for example, sequences of experiences and activities designed to promote new learning or to consolidate or apply things just learned. This is a guide and is not followed rigidly it will be changed to take account of interests and needs of the children and to capitalize one unplanned events, particularly those initiated by the children and is drawn up with individual or groups of children in mind.

I hope this helps you to know what your children will be doing during the day and if you have any questions feel free to ask me.