Baby room (Cherries) 3 month – 2 years old
In the baby room we aim to follow your child’s individual daily routine to help him or her to settle in as quickly as possible to feel safe and secure in new surroundings. The children will partake in a multitude of play experiences based around their development needs and interests. Staff interact with the babies as they explore treasure boxes full of different textured materials, musical instruments, board books, small world toys, such as the farm and animals, bubble blowing, exploring the paint and much more. At the Orchard we recognise the babies must have careful, considered attention and so we provide a range of activities that allow them to experiment and explore through play and sensory experiences. Because babies continually learn through their senses we use a wide variety of exciting materials to teach them about texture, smell, shape and sound. Eg. Exploring ice and tea bag printing.
2-4 year olds – Mixed Aged Range (APPLES AND PEARS)
During the day, children have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of carefully planned activities, enabling them to achieve their individual potential. Choice and spontaneous play are encouraged.
The environment is laid over two rooms and is equipped with resources appropriate for their age. Activities such as home corner, construction, playdough, creative, sand and water are available at all times and the children can access these throughout the session. Adults are on hand to support learning as and when it happens. The children have access to the outside spaces, with canopies, so children can choose to play inside or outside.
The children have access to our ‘snack bar’. They are able to choose and cut up their own snack, at lunch time the children are encouraged to serve themselves and clear away their plate after lunch. The children come together in their age groups for circle time to have discussions, stories or singing. This enables them to have some time in small group situations doing an adult initiated activity that specifically focuses on the children’s individual learning needs. We base everything we do on the children’s interests, as we believe that if the children are interested in something they want to know more about it. We emphasise firsthand experiences and view play and talk as powerful mediums through which children learn and develop.
2-4 year olds – Mixed Aged Range (APPLES AND PEARS)
How we do our planning?
The cycle of observation, assessment, planning, observation is carried out on a moment-by-moment basis.
We have focus children each week (approximately 2-3 children per week per key person).
Planning in the moment means we do not plan ahead, rather we remain in the moment with the children as they explore and learn. We observe carefully and enhance the learning whenever we spot a ‘teachable moment’. Our observations, interactions and the outcomes are recorded on eyLog afterwards.
We work in this way because …
“Babies and young children are experiencing and learning in the here and now, not storing up their questions until tomorrow or next week. It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. By using this cycle on a moment-by-moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).”
We have focus children NOT focus activities.
The adult goes to the child. The child is NOT called to come to the adult. Observations are only to be completed if the child was interested in the activity and met a milestone.
We work this way because high-level involvement occurs in child-initiated activity.
Progress and Development
When children show high levels of involvement, that is when there is progress and development occurring – when the brain is at its most active. High level involvement occurs most often when children are able to pursue their own interests in an enabling environment supported by skilled staff. Planning in the moment helps to make this possible.
An Enabling Environment
We have an interactive environment indoors and outside. Nothing is set out on the tables. The children select what they want to do in each area.
The principal is that resources are accessible to the children and they are varied, open-ended and high quality.
This gives children the opportunity to select resources to support their chosen activity.
The Role of The Adult
The adults are there to facilitate learning. They do this through observations and interactions.
Our adults know the children very well and have a sound understanding of child development. This ensures that the adults enhance and extend the learning at the appropriate level.
Ofsted definition of teaching (2015)
Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges. It takes account of the equipment they provide and the attention to the physical environment as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations. Integral to teaching is how practitioners assess what children know, understand and can do as well as take account of their interests and dispositions to learning (characteristics of effective learning), and use this information to plan children’s next steps in learning and monitor their progress.’
Planning in the moment
We use the observation cycle on a moment by moment basis. The focus children are given extra attention, but all the children are busy and learning all the time.
Each key person will have a group of approx. 2 children of whom they will focus on each week. These are called our focus children. During the week the key person will incorporate the child’s next step into the learning taking place in that moment, rather than removing them to take part in an adult planned activity.
The skilled adult will join the child and assess what is needed and then give them the skill, knowledge, resource, vocabulary or advice that they need in order to carry on. Such moments are added to the child’s learning journey on eyLog.
An example of ‘Planning in the moment’:-
The child is playing in the construction area, making a bus. The skilled adult will approach and enhance the learning and incorporate the child’s next step (which for example is number recognition.) They would encourage the child to add numbers to the seats on the bus and make tickets so the child can match the numerals