Katie Beiser – 12th March 2018
Outcome 1: Understand the impact of early years’ curriculum models on the application of theoretical perspectives of children’s care, learning and development
1.1- Outline early year’s curriculum models supporting children’s care, learning and development
The early years curriculum has been heavily influenced over the years by key people, to make it what it is today.
In the UK there are different approaches used, widely known models include; The Montessori method, an approach founded by Maria Montessori (1870-1952) Children’s houses include specifically designed materials and resources to enable them to develop social and intellectual capabilities.
High scope which was developed in 1970 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The philosophy behind High scope is based on child development theory and approach, drawing their work from Jean Piaget (1896-1980), John Dewey (1859-1952) and Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) especially the strategy of scaffolding, which supports children’s development of where they are and helping them to build upon them. Since then it has evolved to include findings of ongoing cognitive developmental brain research.
Reggio Emilia approach founded by Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) in Italy, the approach to early education reflects a theoretical closeness to John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygostsky and Jerome Bruner. Learning through their own experiences, being able to explore and have some control in their learning are all philosophies’ Reggio Emilia are based on.
The Early year’s foundation stage curriculum first became a requirement in 2008 in all OFSED registered settings. The framework was replaced in 2012, the revised framework emerged from the Tickell review which published its findings in 2011 and made recommendation’s, which were accepted and updated in 2014. The statutory framework has recently been updated in 2017. It is made up of Statutory framework which is adhered to at all times and non-statutory guidance (Development matters).
The eyfs outlines the requirements for learning, development and safeguarding the children.
Children develop quickly in the early years, experiences and circumstances affecting families between birth and age 5 have a major impact on their future.
There are 7 areas of learning and development which is broken down into 3 prime areas;
Communication and Language
Personal, social and emotional development
And 4 specific areas;
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
3 characteristics of effective learning;
Playing and exploring
Creating and thinking critically
Activities are carefully planned to provide a balance of child initiated through their play and interests and adult led activities to enhance children’s learning and development.
Timely assessments are made with a ‘best fit’; judgements are made by regular observations through child interactions, their interests and learning styles. From this any concerns can be addressed through working with parents and relevant professionals.
A 2 year progress check is carried out between the ages of 2-3 years; this is a summary of the child’s development in the prime areas.
1.2- Evaluate the relationship between theoretical perspectives and early years’ curriculum models.
The relationship with all early year’s curriculum models and theories have strong links, and although theorists that have shaped the way Early years’ curriculum models have been put together, they also vary in the influences.
A highscope influences come from Jean Piaget (1896-1980) a swiss developmental pyscholigist, John Dewey (1859-1952) an American philosopher and psychologist and Lev Vygotsky A Russian psychologist (1896-1934).
Montessori was heavily influenced by Fiedrich Frobel(1782-1852) A german thinker and educator.
Jean Piaget(1896-1980), John Bowlby(1907-1990), Lev Vygotsky( 1896-1934), Jerome Bruner( 1915-2016), Urie Bronfenbrenner( 1917-2005) are all theorist’s that have developed particular theories that have influenced early years curriculum models. Their ideas have come together to influence and inform our current understandings of children and childhood.
Outcome 2: Be able to lead the implementation of the early year’s curriculum
2.1 Support the development of procedures and practices used to implement the early year’s curriculum
Putting the Early year’s curriculum into practice begins with putting policies, procedures in place, all staff read and adhere by these policies and procedures.
Each child is allocated a key worker, who will throughout their time in Preschool will observe, assess and plan for each child, through a balance of child’s interest’s, child initiated activities and adult led activities. Non statutory guidance the early year’s outcomes and development matters are used to support judgements of the children’s learning and development.
Quality and consistency is crucial so no children get missed of left behind.
Children’s learning and development opportunities are well planned for around their interests and needs.
Through these observations practitioners assess the child and plan appropriately for each child, differentiating the activities or how the environment is set up.
A visual daily routine is used for all children and again differentiated depending on each child’s individual needs.
Where there are concerns about a child’s development, interventions are put in place and the relevant professional’s contacted.
A balance of child initiated play and adult led activities are achieved by in the moment planning, planning from child observation / own interests and using next steps for children. That can be achieved by working alongside the child in the play, or an objective lead activity based on their next steps.
The continuous provision is set up so the areas stay the same and children can come in daily and know that they can access those areas independently, which helps them to become secure and relaxed therefore being able to learn and develop. These areas are enhanced by resources being added to the areas to support children’s interests and next steps.
Adult led activities are planned and linked to child observation’s, next steps, child’s interests, intervention’s such as language enrichment groups, letters and sounds phase 1.
Throughout the continuous provision, which offers free flow inside and outside children are able to and are encouraged to explore, be creative, and be independent and spontaneous. Observation, assessment’s and planning are the basis that informs staff to be able to plan appropriately for each child, enhancing and extending their playing and learning. Children are assessed termly and a learning journey is written, this has an overview of each area of learning and development, a best fit and next steps to be worked towards in the setting and at home.
2.2 Support practitioners to assess children’s capabilities and readiness to learn
Staff are supported by myself the preschool leader to enable them to be able to confidently observe and assess their key children. This is achieved by weekly staff meetings, Supervision and staff training opportunities. Staff work very closely with the children and assess the child’s capability as they working with them and can therefore extend and challenge their learning in an appropriate way.
Adult led activities are differentiated for each child.
2.3 Support practitioners to use assessments to plan the environment, activities and routines to meet children’s individual needs
Staff are supported through their written observations, assessments and through regular discussion. All observations are added on to our online learning journals and checked before they are submitted by myself the preschool leader.
Weekly staff meetings are held where we discuss in the moment planning, observations, children’s interests and next steps. The continuous provision is discussed and enhancement’s added for support child’s interests and next steps.
The environment is risk assessed daily and a log of any issues, things that have gone really well and changes are added to our daily reflective practice. Children’s observations, assessments and next steps are the basis for how our environment, activities and routines are planned. Any of which would be altered/enhanced to meet the needs of all the children in our setting.
2.4 Organise resources to enable all children to take part in activities according to their capabilities and readiness
The environment is carefully planned with all children’s development, capabilities and interests at the heart of everything. All resources are set up for the children to access independently inside and outside. The continuous provision stays the same so children know that they can come in daily and go to each area, they know what is on offer for them and that they independently play without needing an adult to help them . Enhancements are added to support children’s interests, next steps and areas of need.
2.5 Support practitioners to be able to adapt provision to meet individual children’s needs
The provision is assessed on a daily basis, for risks and how well all the areas are working for the children. Staff are able to move and adapt the environment depending on the need of the child as and when needed. More permanent changes would be discussed collectively.
2.6 Facilitate the provision of any identified additional support requirements
Where additional support is needed the child’s key person will put interventions in place, such as, speech and language sessions, language enrichment groups, physio, medical treatment,choice boards, now and next boards, task box. The child would be monitored closely and outside agencies’ involved where needed. Regular meetings would be carried out to discuss the progress and further targets put in place to support the child’s learning and development.
2.7 Explain how to achieve the balance of child initiated play and adult led activities
Throughout the day there is a mix of child initiated play and adult initiated/led activities. It is important for children to have time to explore and learn through their own play and experiences, with the adult close by to extend their learning. Practitioners use their knowledge and judgement to know when to join in, take the lead or step back.
Throughout the week we have adult led activities that are set up for children to join if they would like to such as playdough making. The activity would be set up and run by an adult and children can join in. Other adult initiated big group activities are for all children to join in such as: Music time which involves all children having a go and includes letters and sounds phase 1. Show and tell, where children can bring a toy, book or item of interest from home to talk about and show the other children.
The rest of the day is free flow, a snack bar that has an adult at the table and children come and self-serve from the snack bar, pouring their won drinks, helping themselves to fruit, spreading soft cheese on their cracker or using a spoon to eat cereal.
We actively promote independence so the children can gain self-confidence and in turn be able to show high levels of involvement and learn through their play.
2.9 Evaluate the procedures and practices used to implement the curriculum for children’s learning and development.
When children start our setting, they are allocated a key person to work with them, to settle them in to Preschool, an induction is carefully planned and involves parent’s, children are then able to settle in and feel secure and comfortable which enables them to become confident independent learners. Rules and boundaries are explained and are consistent. Children are able to free flow inside and outside most of the day every day, we limit times where we have to stop/interruptions to the day to give the children time to have time to explore and have high levels of involvement. The environment is set up to promote independence, with a mix of open ended resources and enhancements. A snack bar is open from 9.30 am daily and each child can come when they are ready to have a snack, it is set up for them to be as independent as possible, pouring their own drink, spreading cheese on a cracker, eating a whole piece of fruit, clearing away their cups/plates. An adult is always present to help and lots of many conversations are exchanged during this time between children and adult and child. Staff are available to play and interact with the children as well as observing, assessing and leading termly parent meetings to discuss their learning and development and plan appropriately for each individual child. Next steps are written and shared with parents, these are achievable next steps and would be achieved by adult led activities and through enhancements in the continuous provision.
If children have additional needs, interventions would be out in place and referrals made where needed. The environment would be tailored for their needs and targets maybe put in place, and reviewed half termly.
Weekly planning meetings ensure each child is discussed and enhancements are added to extend and link to their interests. In the moment planning and weekly plans are discussed to ensure children’s needs and interests are met.
A daily meet and greet happens every day so parents can share concerns or worries, if someone different is collecting their child, if they would like their child to have a school dinner.
Parents are regularly invited in to read stories to the children or organised activities to work with their child.
Outcome 3: Be able to promote provision that facilitates communication which supports children’s learning and development
3.1Analyse the role of responsive communication in promoting children’s care, learning and development
Children have differing levels of communication, it is important to use appropriate communication to ensure children can understand, be understood and makes their needs known to adults. From simple hand gestures, Makaton, Visual cues and modelling good language.
It is crucial that practitioners understand language development and use accurate clear speech with the children. Secure relationships are built up between the children and all adults particularly their key worker, who will communicate with each child in supportive and respectful way.
Visual cues, Makaton, singing, finer rhymes, modelling language and active listening are used to support children’s learning and development.
Creating spaces for children to develop speaking and listening, such as a cosy calm book corner where children can be heard by their peers and adults.
3.2 Support practitioners to develop respectful and supportive relationships with children
Staff have a key worker role where they build up secure relationships with their key children and all children in the setting, staff use appropriate communication are trained in Makaton and how to communicate in appropriate ways.
Where there is a communication and language concern Language enrichment groups are run, 1-1 interventions and good language modelled at all times.
3.3 Support workers to communicate with children in ways that promote learning and development in the early years.
Staff are supported to be able to communicate effectively with all children, adults may need to use single words, very basic sentences with some children. Language is always modelled and extended so children hear the right way to say something and words that they may not know yet.Makaton and visual cues to achieve this. This will help children to be able to learn and develop the best they can. In my setting we have been running Makaton training sessions so all staff in preschool and the Reception class can sign while talking to the children, particularly children that require extra support with communication and language.