Our Intent, Implementation and Impact
As a team, staff worked together to develop our curriculum intent, to reflect on how we implement it successfully and evaluate the impact of our approach on the children.
What we intend our curriculum to provide for the children in our care
- To enable child led play in a stimulating workshop style environment where children have access to indoor and outdoor play at all times. To be 'In the Moment'.
- To value each child for who they are and follow their individual child's interests.
- To give the children choice; allowing them time and space to play and explore with meaningful interactions from adults only when needed.
- To respond to each child's individual needs and abilities adapting as appropriate; e.g. tailoring our settling in process, differentiating our responses to them in their play to extend their thinking and learning.
- To engage children's interest, inspire them to play and enable deep levels of concentration.
- To know children as well as we can; to make them feel loved.
- To encourage the child to reach their full potential through secure attachment and connection.
- To encourage problem solving; socially and emotionally through support and understanding e.g. show empathy to children sorting conflict rather than blame.
- Supporting behaviour and emotional development by helping children to identify and understand the emotions they are experiencing.
- Understand and enable children's interests but also encourage new experiences; children may find a new love.
- Ensure all children have access to the same range of stimulating experiences: including activities and resources in the environment, visitors to the setting, trips, library visits, stories, songs, rhymes and discussions through circle time sessions.
- Provide a safe, secure environment to grow in and be listened to.
- Enable opportunities for children to talk and express themselves: encourage children to questions things rather than just listen, 'wondering why' with them.
- Encourage a growth mind set; celebrating mistakes to enable children to learn.
- Celebrate the journey/process rather than the destination/finished product; i.e. encourage the children to make and do independently rather than focus on them making something designed by adults.
- To ensure children have opportunities to strengthen the connection between their brain and bodies through opportunities to move in different ways and be physically challenged (e.g. climbing swinging, balancing, digging, pulling and pushing).
- To foster a love of stories, books and reading; sharing stories, creating our playgroup library, sponsored reading event.
- To work in partnership with parents and carers.
- To enable authentic, warm and respectful interactions and relationships between adults and children.
- To create a genuinely inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and where unhelpful stereotypes and racist assumptions are acknowledged and challenged: "How we want the world to be"
- To ensure that early child development is understood in a way that impacts our practise for the better: ensuring staff have access to appropriate training and support.
- To support children in being ready for the transition to school: to be self-aware, self-confident, helping them to find their voice: to know and express themselves, to have independence, to feel self-confident and physically capable.
How do we put our intentions into practice?
Through positive relationships and valuing each child as an individual:
- Frequent opportunities for parents to come into the setting: Welcome Meeting, settling in sessions, bring a family member to playgroup, parent story times, parent meetings to review progress and share learning journeys, evaluation forms: parent pitstops.
- An open door policy which is regularly reinforced through word and communication.
- Key person system enables adults to focus on key children and get to know them, their needs, their family.
- Settling in meetings and initial information gathered in "All about me" forms help us to know the children’s backgrounds and early life experiences so that we can better understand their emotional state, needs and capabilities.
- A warm atmosphere is created through our ethos and values embodied in how staff relate to one another, children and parents and carers. This helps to create an open, welcoming and non-judgemental atmosphere where parents and carers feel able to air concerns and seek support.
- We seek information from parents and carers about current issues, events and interests at home.
- We seek parent/carer opinion on the setting regularly through parent pitstops and we use this feedback to encourage and to improve areas in response to criticism.
- Helping the children to feel safe, providing a loving, calm environment and giving children time to express their needs and views.
- Having staff who are calm to help children regain a calm equilibrium.
- Celebration of nations days: Special events/festivals are celebrated with parents who share celebrations unique to their family and culture e.g. Spanish Festival of the 3 Kings, Swedish Summer festival, Hungarian Santa Day, Turkish Independence day, Hindi festival Vasant Panchami. This helps to make our celebrations relevant and meaningful to the families at playgroup. Celebrating the diversity in our playgroup community.
- Managers and staff are available to each other to support and discuss strategies and approaches to support children and families.
- Swift response when children are identified as needing additional support, e.g. Early Help, Speech and Language.
- The management team is supportive to all children, parents and the staffing team.
- Playgroup has a strong leadership team who listen and respond, recognising where and why things might not be working well and acting quickly, to continue to raise standards.
- The staff are able to reflect on practice and raise concerns or areas for improvement through regular supervisions and appraisal.
- The committee chair offers further opportunities for staff to feedback on their experiences at work so that needs can be addressed and support can be put into place.
- Regular training ensures that staff have opportunities to reflect on and develop their approach.
Through enabling environments with teaching and support from adults:
- We offer a wide range of resources across all areas of the EYFS curriculum which stimulate the senses and encourage new vocabulary (e.g. objects of different sizes, weights, texture etc).
- Children are able to freely access their workshop style environment.
- Free flow play: access to both rooms and outside areas throughout the day.
- Providing resources when children have a certain interest to enable their play and extend their learning.
- The environment both indoors and outdoors is clean and safe from hazards.
- Food hygiene is recognised and implemented to the highest standard, incorporating the dietary and allergy needs of the children.
- Letting children have choice and the knowledge that they can develop their play by helping themselves to other equipment.
- Loose parts to encourage imagination.
- Adults know children well and recognise when the child needs to be supported or challenged.
- Introducing the 'iceberg' approach to evaluating children's behaviour and possible causes.
- A sustained shared thinking approach to support children in their play, thinking and communication.
- Encourage children to try activities other children enjoy to broaden their experiences.
- Reassurance that things take time and practise; it's ok to struggle and not to achieve things straight away: allowing them to make mistakes and enabling them to decide how to proceed.
- Supporting children with turn taking activities, modelling good behaviour, teaching our golden rules, supporting children to solve problems/resolve conflicts themselves before stepping in.
- Circle time activities to extend children's expression and thinking, encouraging children to answer questions, listen, learn new words/language: using open ended questions to encourage thought, encouraging a love of stories and story-telling language through sharing stories and 'Helicopter Stories', 'People who inspire us'.
- Our 'Being Healthy' project enables us to focus on how we keep our minds and bodies healthy including healthy eating, dental health, physical health, caring for and valuing one another: visits from dentist, doctor, nurse.
- Our new library to encourage excitement about reading and choosing books to share.
What is the Impact of our approach?
- Children's learning journeys show individual progress in all areas of the curriculum.
- You will notice the way in which our children behave and respond to behaviours. They will be learning how to manage conflict effectively, whilst the adults give them the tools or help aid them to manage their emotions appropriately for their age.
- Children settle and appear confident and happy in the setting: they are confident to talk to visitors and adults and enjoy taking part in activities.
- Children with SEND make progress and are better able to cope with the transition to school.
- Children are able to be independent in their thought processes and are able to follow their own narrative during their play.
- Children are able to reflect on people who inspire us and the world around them. They show enjoyment and talk with animation about visits to the setting.
- Children have the foundations and are ready for many transitions throughout life, including but not limiting to school, playgroup, home etc.
- Case studies show impact of our intent and implementation.
- Relationships with parents are positive and enable collaborative work to best support the children.
- Trips, events and activities are well attended and valued.
- Parent pitstops and feedback show that parent's feel able to share positive feelings about playgroup and to raise areas where we could improve.
- Settling in meetings help to strengthen relations and improve speed of response to additional needs identified for children; e.g. Speech and Language referral, contacting health visitors for support with diet.
- Parent meetings are well attended in Nov, Mar and July.
- Welcome meetings are well attended and parents value the sharing of information and open lines of communication.
- Parents value a flexible approach to settling in.
- Parents, carers and grandparents offer to help with events and support us in our celebrations of nations days.
- Monitoring in November, March and July and supervision meetings with staff show detailed knowledge of each child and provide an overview of their progress and areas where they may require more input and support.
- Wider reputation of playgroup is noted and playgroup is oversubscribed.
- The staff are able to respond to children's needs and interests in the moment with support and understanding.
- The staff are confident to talk about their key children, what they know about their interests, the next steps in their development, their 'wow' moments and their struggles.
- Staff express themselves freely.
- The children are engaged and focused in their play.
- Children are confident to move and explore with freedom around the setting and across the rooms.
- Children access resources freely and are able to ask for things that they want or need.
- Children's confidence and skills are seen to improve as they play and explore.
- Children develop relationships with others through play in different areas which further enhances their play, exploration and communication.