Teaching and Learning Policy
Experiences in early childhood are the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives and it is vitally important to get it right for all children.
By providing a happy, safe, stimulating and challenging range of learning opportunities and experiences; developing excellent relationships with parents, children and partners; and ensuring a sensitive, caring and inclusive setting, we will help all children to reach their potential regardless of their starting points.
At Clyde staff teams of Early Years Practitioners are led by university graduate qualified teachers. All staff engage in regular training and are reflective practitioners.
We will help all children to develop into active, resilient, confident and independent learners who move to Primary School with the knowledge, skills, characteristics, attitudes and love of learning necessary to continue that learning throughout their lives.
We will do this by:
- Learning through play
- Developing warm relationships and initiating high quality interactions
- Working with parents
- Providing an enabling environment
- Ensuring the high profile of outdoor learning
- Planning and providing personalised learning
Learning through play
‘In their play children learn at their highest level.’ EYFS card 4.2
We understand that childhood is part of life and not preparation for further education and adulthood. Children should feel appreciated, be able to express their feelings, ideas, thoughts, identities and relationship in a positive, caring, playful and stimulating environment.
- Children will be able to explore at their own pace, be respected as autonomous, self-motivated individuals and given consistent boundaries
- The majority of play within the setting will be child-led, with practitioners following children’s interests, helping children to take initiatives, make their own decisions and become active learners
- At all times staff will be actively engaged with children and their learning either by careful observation of children; listening and watching play or by sensitively joining in children’s play in order to develop it.
- Practitioners will work to support children’s reasoning while challenging them to re-examine and extend their understanding of the world. They will do this by using open ended questions, modelling and developing language for communication and for thinking, or modelling play itself
- Practitioners will use children’s interests to move children on by building on and extending children’s skills and knowledge
Developing warm relationships and initiating high quality interactions
‘Warm, trusting relationships with knowledgeable adults support children’s learning
more effectively than any amount of resources’ EYFS card 2.3
Adults are aware that each child’s relationship with other children and adults are integral to their well-being and development.
- All staff are role models in their relationships with other staff, parents and children
- Practitioners will sensitively involve themselves in all areas of children’s play and activity supporting development throughout the Early Years curriculum.
- We operate a Key Person system but all adults act as an anchor for children and will prioritise time for interactions with children as role-models, play partners, listeners and planners.
- Staff understand that every child develops individually and therefore different levels of communication and interaction are necessary.
- Staff will show a warm and loving attitude towards children in the environment and ensure their non-verbal communication (body language) is open and caring.
- In their interactions, adults aim not to think for children, but instead, using sensitive questions and comments, and modelling thinking out loud, help children to think for themselves.
- Staff will help children to develop resilience by encouraging them to persevere and by providing an environment in which children feel secure in facing challenge
- When children push boundaries adults respond in a calm and consistent way
- Feedback to children is action specific, concise and positive
Working with parents
‘Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive
impact on children’s development and learning.’ EYFS Card 2.2
Research has demonstrated the tremendous impact that the quality of the home learning environment has on a child’s development. We believe that parents and carers are a child’s first and most enduring educator and that when parents and practitioners work in partnership it is to the great benefit of the children (see Pen Green Loop fig.1).
- In order to capitalise on children’s preschool and home experience we work closely with parents and carers to share information which can then be built upon in school. Ongoing dialogue between staff and parents begins with home visits before starting nursery and continues with regular formal and informal information sharing.
- We will provide support, information and workshops for parents that enrich and underpin the learning in the school
- We will ensure that there are regular joining in sessions for parents and younger siblings, both in the nursery and on trips
Providing an enabling environment:
‘A rich and varied environment supports children’s learning and development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor environments.’ EYFS card 3.3
An enabling environment includes the emotional environment, indoor environment and outdoor environment. Staff ensure:
- Children are able to access other classes and the outside area at as they choose and adults in those areas will support, extend and develop children’s learning with warmth, respect and empathy
- Resources are developmentally appropriate and can be used in a range of ways.
- The environment is safe and well organised into discrete areas of learning where continuous provision is well planned for.
- Resources are high quality and safe
- Resources are available for children to select themselves to support independent learning and reflect the local community and world around us
- Tidy up time is included in the session as a teaching and learning time for all children
Ensuring the high profile of outdoor learning:
‘Being outdoors has a positive impact on children’s sense of wellbeing and helps all aspects of children’s development.’ EYFS card 3.3
- Continuous provision and focus activities are planned for daily, building on observations of child initiated learning and/or asking children for their ideas.
- Children are taught how to use tools safely and appropriately
- Children are taught how to risk assess when using the climbing equipment
- Staff ensure that all areas of learning (*See EYFS link above) are included in the outdoor area
- By providing appropriate all weather clothing for children and adults the children will have access to the outdoor area whatever the weather, sunshine, rain or snow
- Staff work to develop relationships with all children playing in their area in order to best help those children move on
Planning and providing personalised learning
‘Babies and young children are individuals first, each with a unique profile of abilities.’
EYFS card 3.1
Personalised learning requires class teams to carefully plan activities and experiences so that all children can access a broad and balanced curriculum while following their individual interests and learning styles.
Personalised learning does not mean that all children require an individual educational program but that teaching and learning is informed by a thorough understanding of the needs, interests, experiences and diversity of all of our children.
Staff members will:
- Take account of children’s learning styles and the observable patterns of behaviour that children demonstrate when they are playing and exploring (schemas) and work hard to meet those needs in an appropriate way
- Prioritise finding suitable spaces for children to explore their play ideas (for example throwing or transporting).
- Develop and maintain a thorough knowledge of their key children and their families and use this information to plan activities and experiences that will raise the level of achievement for all
- Take special care to meet the needs of all children whatever they may be
- Work hard to include all children who wish to participate in an activity, providing appropriate support where necessary
- Implement the school’s equality policy and value, respect and celebrate the diversity of the school and its communities
All Nursery staff know that the adult’s role is to:
Notice – See what the child is really doing
Recognise – Understand the significance
Respond – Make careful decisions about what to do to support and extend thinking and learning
See policies on: Inclusion, Behaviour Management. Curriculum policies to follow.
Appendices: Tina Bruce – 12 Features of Play, Pengreen loop, The Characteristics of Effective Learning