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2: Views of those who use your setting



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  • Parents are the main educators of their children and at Little Oaks we value and respect that ethos. Their wealth of knowledge on their child’s abilities, interests, skills and behaviour is vital to our understanding of how we can best serve the child’s learning, care and development. It is essential to us that we create a welcoming environment in which parents feel they can discuss any area of their child’s care and education with us, a mutual partnership based on trust, respect and equality is paramount to an effective free flow of information.
  • As a setting we regularly hold both formal and informal meetings, open days, special evenings (e.g. cheese and wine) in which we share children experiences and achievements. Each child has a ‘learning Journey’ diary in which their key person includes photographs, pictures done by the children and notes of special importance-these focus on the child’s voice and are full of conversations, dialogue, communications etc that the children have shared with the setting. Parents are given these at the end of each week and share these at home with the child, they then note any discussion resulting from this in the diary and staff read and act upon this the following week. Observations that are made are copied and stuck in diaries to demonstrate how we observe, assess and keep documentation on their child and each term an ‘individual plan’ is written for each child reflecting on their interests and next steps. We are committed to a reflective cycle of observation, assessment and planning, observation informs all aspects of assessment and the setting is careful to balance child led and adult led activities. As children near the end of their time and in perperation for school, adult led activities may increase in loine with development.
  • In the foyer we have a large laminated notice board in which we encourage the parents to share their thoughts, views and comments-this is regularly written on and is often a topic of conversation in setting. Questionnaires are also used, transitional records also provide an area for parents to comment on their child’s time within the setting and half termly newsletter also keeps parents up to date with what is happening. Parents are offered formal meetings in November, April and in July in which the child’s development overview is discussed and best fit judgement made.
  • We acknowledge that there are different views on childhood, child-rearing practices and the expectations of education. Differing views are explored using open and sensitive dialogue; we recognise and value parents views and comments.
  • Research has shown that strong attachments and/or emotional bonds are critical for children from birth. Each child is allocated a key person and this key person works hard to develop their relationship with parents and children. As the key person, practitioners are genuinely interested in the children, in their care and engage in meaningful communication which includes being sensitive to family circumstances.
  • The nursery has a management committee and this involves parent representatives in order to give voice to their views on policy and decision making within the setting. As a setting we believe we have established a focused and collaborative approach, creating a shared vision which enables everyone to understand the purpose and direction of our values and aims.
  • Children are regularly given the opportunity to share their feelings and ‘voice’ on all aspects that involve them and their time at the setting. They are actively encouraged to contribute to the setting and claim ownership of the space. They also have a large laminate display that informs the settings SEF, these views underpin the settings evaluation. Child led audits are conducted on each area (home corner, book corner etc) and acted on accordingly (e.g. children wanted the book corner to feel like a ‘den’ so torches and explorers back pack is provided OR we used glittery voile and curtains to make it feel like a ‘magical place’). It is our aim that children develop their independence, become active learners involved in their own development and feel valued and appreciated in order that they may develop a positive identity and have a strong sense of belonging in the setting.
  • Staff meet fortnightly and all aspects of the setting are discussed, staff are valued as individuals and experts in their field and are valued members of the team. Their views are canvassed through these meetings and also by use of the SEF display in which they can add comments or views regarding our evaluation of practice. Planning is reflective and this underpins the ethos of the setting, reflective planning ensures that all staff engage in evaluation and focus on next steps for the setting as a whole.
  • A well structured performance management process, which incorporates both supervision and a professional staff appraisal system is in place, this is also an opportunity to celebrate success and identify next steps. We understand that effective performance management plays a significant part in the retention and wellbeing of staff as well as the quality of provision.

Jan 2014