Statement of Intent
At Ladybird Pre-school we take into account that all children are individuals with their own characteristics and temperament. All children develop and mature at different rates making their progress unique to them. Every area of development – physical, cognitive, linguistic, spiritual, social and emotional, is equally important. Warm, trusting relationships with knowledgeable adults support children’s learning more effectively than any amount of resources.
We understand the processes involved in children’s growth, development and learning, acknowledging that this is a process which cannot be rushed. Children are supported by practitioners to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture; this enables them to develop a positive self image entitling them to enjoy a full life which helps them to take part in society. Practitioners recognise and praise effort as well as achievement so that all children develop positive attitudes to themselves as learners.
When children receive warm, responsive care they are more likely to feel secure and valued and to want to contribute to making the rules which make things ‘fair’ for everybody.
Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and practitioners work together at Ladybird Pre-school, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. Parents are invited to add to planning by informing practitioners of their child’s current interests, visits or events verbally or by adding the information to a spider chart.
Children feel a sense of belonging when their parents are also involved within the Pre-school.
We strongly believe that a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise between parents and practitioners means effective communication. To enable this process to take place we create a warm welcoming environment with approachable practitioners.
Teaching means systematically helping children to learn so that they make connections in their learning, are actively led forward, and can reflect on their learning. The more practitioners know about each child, the better they are able to support and extend each child’s learning. Children need and will respond positively to challenges if they have a good relationship with the practitioner and feel confident to try things out. They shouldn’t fear failure or ridicule. Practitioners who really know the children are able to judge when they are ready to be taught new skills.
Practitioners make time to really listen to children’s views and act on them even when they do not match their own, identifying the right moment to intervene and move children’s learning on, by perhaps joining in or asking a question.
Observation, Assessment and Planning
Children are individuals first, each with a unique profile of abilities. Schedules and routines flow with the child’s needs. All planning starts with observing children in order to understand and consider their current interest, development and learning. At Ladybird Pre-school we always follow the same pattern of planning- observe, analyse, and use what we have found out about the children so that we plan for the next steps in their learning.
Each child’s learning and development is recorded in a ‘Learning Journey’ file which parents and children are welcome to contribute to as well as other practitioners from other settings. Every child’s learning takes a personal path based on their own individual interests, experiences and the educational programme on offer.
A narrative observation is sent out to parents once a term which provided opportunities for sharing information regarding their child’s learning achievements and next steps. Included on the narrative observations are suggestions of activities that can be carried out at home with parents to help extend their child’s learning.
The environment supports every child’s learning style through experiences and activities that are challenging but achievable. Children benefit from direct personal participation of activities including those which are predictable, comforting and challenging. Learning is a continuous journey through which children build on all the things they have already experienced and come across new and interesting challenges. Ladybird Pre-school offers a rich and varied environment which supports children’s learning and development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging indoor and outdoor spaces. Being outdoors has a positive impact on children’s sense of well-being and helps all aspects of children’s development.
Learning and Development
Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. Play with peers is important for children’s development for both their social and emotional well-being. In their play children learn at their highest level.
Children need time to process their thinking, reflect and modify their learning whether indoors or outdoors to enable them to begin problem solving and making their experiences meaningful. When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Learning and development will be facilitated through the use of flexible resources, and sensitive intervention of a knowledgeable practitioner, who will scaffold the child’s learning building on what they already know, enhancing their ability to think critically and ask questions.
At Ladybird Pre-school play is valued and is seen as an opportunity for children to rehearse, reorder, and develop ideas and experiences, enabling them to gain the necessary skills required for their future economic well-being. We recognise that children learn through active participation by being engaged with other people, objects, ideas and events for sustained periods of time. As active learners children need to have some independence and control over their learning to keep their interest and to develop their creativity. As children become absorbed in finding out about the world around them through their explorations, investigation and questions they feel a sense of achievement and their self-esteem and confidence grows. As children grow in confidence they learn to make decisions.
Areas of Learning and Development
This educational policy encompasses the ethos of Ladybird Pre-school in that children learn through play. During their play children will experience and develop their skills under seven areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The seven areas of learning help practitioners plan the learning environment, activities and experiences providing a framework for children to work towards the Early Learning Goals set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage; Although one activity can cover all aspects of the Early Years foundation Stage allowing a child to develop a number of competencies, skills and concepts.