'Children are born ready, able & eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships & enabling environments' (EYFS, 2012)
At Footsteps our aims & objectives are to create & maintain a stimulating & caring environment for all the children who attend. Following the Early Years Foundation Stage to make sure all children receive a play based approach through both adult led and child initiated activities. We want to create a caring, fun, safe, educational & nurturing environment supporting any special educational needs. We embrace the four themes of the EYFS. This is how we make it come alive at Footsteps.
A Unique Child
- Making all visitors to the nursery feel welcome regardless of gender, race, religion, colour, creed, disability, special educational needs, language, family structure, ethnic or national origin, marital status, sexuality or political beliefs.
- We challenge any remarks or behaviour which is deemed discriminatory or oppressive. We have an equalities rep and an assistant who have attended appropriate training. They ensure we have resources and activities to reflect the diverse community we live in. Such as celebrating relevant festivals or borrowing resources to reflect the children in our care. Please refer to our Valuing Diversity & Promoting Equality policy.
- We ensure that children are safe and secure with daily risk assessments, regular fire drills, staff training and good maintenance of both the building & the equipment. Please refer to our H & S policy.
- We take the safeguarding of children very seriously. We ensure that all staff receive child protection training which is updated every 2 years. All staff are DBS and reference checked. We have a safeguarding officer and an assistant who have received the advanced training. We have a staff meeting around safeguarding at least once a year. We also have an intimate care policy, nappy changing risk assessment, whistle blowing & Prevent Duty policies. Please refer to our Safeguarding policy.
- We ensure that we monitor children’s development and well being by regularly observing children to feed into the curriculum plans or to go into the children’s on-line learning journals. Please see our Observation, Assessment & Planning (OAP) & Tapestry policies
- We work closely with the Brighton & Hove Inclusion Support Service and we can, after discussion with the parents, refer children to this service for extra support if needed. We have a special educational needs coordinator and an assistant who have attended appropriate training. Please refer to our SEND policy. We follow the SEND Code Of Practice 2014.
- We work closely with the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) to support any children with English as an additional language (EAL)
- Excellent staff recruitment & ongoing training for all staff, to ensure high child-staff ratios and low staff turnover. Through regular staff meetings, supervision & appraisal. Supporting staff to achieve higher qualifications. We have an Early Years Professional (EYP) who lead practice in the setting. Please refer to our Recruitment policy
- Strong upheld policies & procedures following the safeguarding & welfare requirements of the EYFS, these will be reviewed annually by parents, staff & where appropriate, children.
- Treating parents as partners by sending home regular newsletters and holding regular social events, formal parent days and helper slots. Please refer to our Parents as Partner’s policy.
- We have a class bear called Bobby who spends time with each of the older children in their home.
- We have a key person system in place. This person builds bonds with a child & their family through settling sessions and observing and planning for that child. Please refer to our Key Person policy.
- Supporting the future childcare industry by supporting students, volunteers & work experience students.
- The adults in the setting speak to each other with respect acting as good role models for the children
- We plan for the 3 Prime & 4 Specific areas of learning for both the indoor & outdoor learning environments. Practitioners use their observations & knowledge of the children to plan exciting and stimulating activities. All activities are differentiated to help those more & less able. Please refer to our Play & Learning policies.
- The key person spends time with the child and updates planning on a daily basis to support each child’s learning & development.
- All observations which are sent home via Tapestry include home learning ideas.
- We send home regular curriculum newsletters outlining upcoming projects, visits & visitors. They also provide parents with song words, activities & ideas to help parents support their child’s learning at home.
- We make good links with other local settings. We attend network meetings and we do a practitioner exchanges with other settings.
- We support children who attend other settings by making a visit each term and sharing the termly update forms.
- We follow Government frameworks ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ and ‘Every Child Matters’ and we are registered for both the Early Years Free Entitlement and the funded 2 year old scheme. We also take the 30hours entitlement.
Learning & development
- We provide well maintained, age appropriate toys & resources. These are sterilised on a rolling 4 week rota. We also borrow from the Early Childhood Project, local libraries, toy libraries and EMAS
- We use a secure on-line system called Tapestry for recording children's development. This can be shared with parents immediately and parents can be involved in the process. Please refer to the Tapestry policy.
- We monitor progress by individual children, class groups & venerable groups monthly to assess & plan for any gaps in provision or development.
- We take part in the Tesco & Sainsbury’s vouchers project to help acquire new resources.
- We have a number of books that can be borrowed by parents to support their children’s learning at home.
- Practitioners have attended training on promoting positive behaviour across the ages in the setting. Our behaviour management rep has attended extra training and can support practitioners and parents in this area. Please refer to our Behaviour Management policy.
- We have regular visitors to the nursery to enhance the children’s learning. These include the Fire Service, Traveller Education Service and St John’s Ambulance.
- We take the children on local outings to enhance their learning. We have visited the Booth Museum, Toy Museum, Pizza Express & Bear factory. We also take children every year on an educational outing out of the area.
- We have treasure baskets full of natural materials for the children to explore.
- We monitor both how children are doing developmentally but also how the group as a whole are getting on in the EYFS and plan for gaps.
- We also monitor venerable groups each half term and put support in place if needed.
- We take part in the book start rhyme challenge and give out the treasure boxes when a child turns 3.
- We worked with movement charity Jabadao to create indoor movement areas on each floor of the nursery.
- We have created story sacks for each age group in the nursery.
- We support and plan for the areas of learning both with adult led and child initiated activities both in the indoor and outdoor environments.
- We have home learning resources to support the children's learning & development.
- We monitor the use of EYPP money to support individual children's progress.