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Working in partnership with parents

Parents are the first and most important influence on their child’s development and future outcomes. The role that parents /carers play in supporting their child’s development is key.

We have put this parent pack together to give you information on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum we are follow at nursery and how you can help at home. This pack will give you an idea of what we are hoping your child will be able to do by a certain age and some suggestions on how you can help with your child’s development at home.

Your child’s key person will be asking you every 3 months to highlight what you have seen your child doing at home so we can work on their progress and development together.

Play helps young children to learn and develop their physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. It is also how they learn to socialise, as children engage in learning through play experiences with other children and adults.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a play-based framework that Scallywags uses as a tool to ensure that children from birth to five years are developing and learning to their full potential. We plan and provide a range of play activities, which help your child to make progress in each of the seven areas of learning and development.

The Early Years Foundation Stage has the following key objectives:

  • Quality and consistency in all early year’s 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 year’s 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 learning and development goals that will shape the development of your child’s learning, of which the first three are the ‘prime’ areas of focus and the last four are the ‘specific’ areas of development:

Prime areas of development:

  • Communication and language development involves giving your child 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 your child to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Your child will 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 your child 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.

Specific areas of development:

  • Literacy development involves encouraging your child to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Your child will be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

  • Mathematics involves providing your child 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 your child 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 your child 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 three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities your child will develop as they become ready for school. It is expected that the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning (prime and specific) as your child grows in confidence and ability within the three prime areas. Whilst it is important that your child is given the necessary skills to progress, we never forget that they have only just started out on their learning journeys and need the reassurance of play and a safe environment in which to develop.

Your child’s key person will observe your child to assess daily how they are learning and developing. They will use this information, along with evidence from photographs and work samples, to document your child’s progress and where this might be leading them. They will update you regularly through informal discussions when you collect your child, assessments, work samples and you can also ask to have a parent consultation with your child’s key person whenever you like, as long as this is booked in advance and then a room can be allocated for the meeting. We do not have set parents’ evenings as we want to be as flexible as possible and fit around all families working needs. The following reviews of your child’s progress will also be shared with you, enabling us to work together to decide how to help your child to move onto the next stage of progress:

Progress check at age two – when your child is aged between two and three years, your child’s key person will work with you to prepare a summary of their development in the prime areas of learning. This can also be shared with your child’s health visitor at their 2-year review.

There are lots of opportunities for you to help your child grow and learn. You can support their child’s development by choosing activities at home, which gives them a chance to explore and use their imagination. If you would like any support with this, please see your child’s key person or anyone in the nursery office, who will be more than happy to help and provide you with some ideas.

Scallywags provide all parents with a parent copy for the EYFS (please find this enclosed) to enable you to help your child at home and to let us know what they have achieved outside of nursery, so we can collectively work on your child’s development. Please can you have a look through the areas suggested by your child’s key person and let us know what you have seen your child doing at home.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s development or would like support on what you can be doing at home, please do not hesitate to see your child key person and maybe book a private consultation to have dedicated time to discuss your child’s progress.

What information can you expect nursery to share with you about your child

At Scallywags we believe that every child has the right to a well-planned and meaningful curriculum that will provide them with the tools needed to succeed throughout their lives, regardless of culture, social class, gender, physical and cognitive capabilities and beliefs. Regular monitoring and evaluation of children’s progress enables us to continually adjust our provision in response to any areas of underachievement that may be identified.

We respond to the development and learning of each child by planning a range of experiences which include the Prime and Specific areas of learning and the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

We follow a process of plan, do review for all individual children. Each day that your child attends nursery, we will work alongside them in play, making notes of new things they have achieved. These observations will then be used to plan for your child’s next steps and to guide staff with their activity and resource planning for the following week.

Once your child has started at nursery you will receive regular information.  Please click here for more information.

For more information about the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, please click here.

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