Your child’s learning journey at Aclet Close Nursery School
What do we want for our children at Aclet Close Nursery School?
We aim for Aclet Close Nursery School to be a place of possibilities where children will be nurtured and where their individual interests and talents will be valued and developed.
As a result, we hope that children’s well-being will be high and that they will have a belief in themselves and their abilities. They will know that they are loved, that they are strong, capable and unique. They will have resilience and the perseverance to keep on trying when things are challenging.
We want children to have the confidence to try new things, to take risks and be physically active. We want children to be able to communicate their ideas, beliefs and feelings, choosing different ways to do this. Some children will choose to dance, others to build or draw or sing. They will have experienced and remembered a wide range of words through stories, rhymes and poems. They will have the skills to make friends and will show kindness to others. They will know how to look after themselves, their friends, their school and the environment.
They will know about important mathematical and scientific concepts. They will have an understanding and respect of the world around them and the world beyond. They will have a desire to learn and be ready for their next stage in education.
How do we observe children and monitor progress?
We have researched models of effective, meaningful and principled assessment of young children’s learning and have decided to use OPAL – this has been written by the BEYA group of Nursery School Head Teachers who have worked very closely with a range of other professionals.
By effective, we mean a method of assessment that ensures that all children are supported in reaching significant milestones.
By meaningful, we mean that the observations made inform our everyday practice and curriculum. By gaining an insight into children’s thinking, feeling and needs we can plan our environment and actions to provide future possibilities for learning.
By principled, we mean that the focus is on observing to understand children. We will not test children or seek unnecessary knowledge. Children are recognised as individuals, not as a percentage.
We will not spend unnecessary amounts of time writing observations or gathering evidence of children’s learning. We believe that if we are capturing the moment, we cannot be part of the moment. Instead we have structures in place that enable us to regularly discuss each child as a team and with their family.
Observation of Play and Learning (OP&L)
Your child’s learning will be closely monitored in collaboration with you to ensure they are supported to reach significant milestones for their age.
OP&L works on the basis of having very simple, six-monthly child developmental milestones, which we use to monitor children’s development. These milestones reflect what we believe a ‘typical’ child, should be able to achieve. We know that not all children will have ‘typical’ development. OP&L allows us to tell and celebrate each child’s story and focus on the support they need from us.
The observations and assessments that we make are called ‘spotlights’. We observe children’s innovation, their creativity, their ideas, their intents and feelings. The insight that we gain enables us to discuss, reflect and plan our environment to support and shape future learning.
OP&L follows a simple, three step cycle:
What to expect…
There will be opportunities throughout the year for us to come together to talk about your child and their learning. To begin with, our conversations will be by telephone (during lockdown we have found this to be a very effective way of keeping in touch and sharing information) and hopefully move to face to face conversations later in the academic year.
Settling in: Soon after your child has started nursery, we will offer you the opportunity to discuss how your child has settled in and discuss our ways of observing children. We will look at the child development milestones together.
Spotlight: Each child will have two ‘spotlight’ points in the year. We will share the spotlight and talk to you about your child’s learning and development.
We have bought into an online platform called Learning Journals which will be used for sharing photos and spotlight forms at set points in the year. There is also the option to contribute to your child’s profile, where you can add photos or descriptions of significant moments in your child’s development that you would like to share with us. We will also continue to share photos, information and your child’s achievements thorough our online learning platform, Class Dojo.