Teaching & Learning
‘Children at Oasis are learners for life’
At Oasis Childcare Centre we value all children as unique individuals. We endeavour to provide a safe, stimulating learning environment that promotes the concept of ‘lifelong learning’ and enables children to learn and develop to their full potential. We believe that learning should be rewarding and fun for everyone involved and our team are passionate about creating a happy environment that meets the individual needs of every child. We are committed to working within the EYFS framework and provide daily experiences that promote learning across each of the 7 areas of development and the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’.
As a team we always strive for excellence and are passionate about building foundations for future success.
The main aims of our setting, which have been agreed by staff and the committee, are as follows:
- To foster a love of learning for all; encourage adults and children to work together and develop a sense of wonder, excitement and enthusiasm through different learning experiences
- To promote children’s emotional well-being; including their self-esteem, independence, confidence, and sense of security
- To provide a quality learning environment; which is safe, stimulating, inclusive, happy and healthy, and meets the individual needs of all children.
- To enable children to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare them for life; including taking risks, cooperation, communicating with others, and achieving their goals
- To promote children’s social and emotional development; support children in developing their social skills (including empathy, respect, turn-taking) and building relationships with their peers
- To be involved with the wider community; work closely with parents, professionals, committee members, and members of the local community (including the school, youth groups and the local church).
- To ensure sustainability of the setting; to maintain a positive, professional profile and adapt to changes as necessary.
We believe that effective learning occurs when children are:
- Happy, healthy, confident, and feel safe and secure in their surroundings
- Enjoying their learning and feel stimulated and challenged
- Well supported by the adults around them, including parents and practitioners
- Aware of routines and what is expected from them
- Encouraged to be independent; solving problems for themselves and taking risks
- Encouraged to share their achievements and take pride in things they have done
- Able to achieve and recognise their potential.
The Learning Environment
At Oasis we are able to provide both indoor and outdoor learning environments and we work within a free-flow environment, which allows the children to move between the indoors and outdoors as they choose. On a daily basis we ensure that both the indoor and outdoor areas are well-managed and planned for to provide stimulating learning environments that promote children’s learning. To maximise the indoor and outdoor learning environments in the setting we will:
- Be welcoming to everyone who comes into the setting
- Ensure that the environment is well-organised and that there are individual activities that meet each of the 7 areas of learning (including areas for reading, role-play, quiet communication and active exploration)
- Ensure that the environment is safe and that resources are regularly checked and cleaned
- Ensure resources are well labelled and organised to encourage children to independently select activities and resources.
- Reflect children’s interests and enable them to ‘practice’ and ‘rehearse’ their learning at their own pace.
- Provide varied and interesting resources which are of good educational quality to inspire children and enable them to develop their learning
- Provide ICT resources to aid and support children’s learning and development
- Support children in understanding the daily routines to enable them to follow them with ease.
- Encourage everyone to take pride in the setting (including children, parents, staff, committee)
At Oasis Childcare Centre our displays reflect the children’s interests and we ensure that they are varied, stimulating and changed on a termly basis to make them meaningful. We complete learning intentions for each display, which are tailored to the EYFS, to ensure that they promote and facilitate children’s learning and development. At Oasis our displays should be reflective of 3 main aims:
- To celebrate and value children’s work
- To encourage children to take pride in their achievements
- To provide ongoing learning opportunities for all children
At Oasis Childcare Centre we create new, stimulating role-play areas within each of the learning rooms on a half-termly basis. These areas reflect the interests expressed by the children and aim to provide ongoing learning opportunities for all children. Each role-play area provides experiences that promote children’s learning and development across all 7 areas of the EYFS. We complete learning intentions for each role-play area, which are tailored to the EYFS, to ensure that the activities we provide facilitate children’s learning and development.
Pedagogy which underpins approaches at Oasis Childcare Centre
‘Being able to speak clearly and process speech sounds, to understand others, to express ideas and interact with others are fundamental building blocks for a child’s development.’ ICAN (2009)
At Oasis we strive to provide the best possible outcomes for all children and as a team we recognise the importance of promoting early language skills. Staff at Oasis attend training programs that focus on supporting children’s early language development, including ELDP (Early Language Development Program) and ‘Every Child a Talker’. We have strong working links with other professionals, including the speech and language therapists and the Early Years support team, to ensure that those children who require additional support with their speech and language development receive the best possible support from us.
The strategies we use to support children’s early language skills are as follows:
- Allowing children time to initiate conversations with an adult
- Giving children time to reflect and respond to what has been said
- Commenting on what children are doing rather than asking questions
- Visual supports are implemented in each of the learning rooms, including visual timetables, and every staff member uses the traffic light system to reinforce positive behaviour
- Providing space and time for quiet play as well as active exploration
- Ensuring that staff use language appropriate to the age/stage of the children – communication is kept simple where appropriate
- Gaining the child’s attention before speaking to them
- Extending children’s language and vocabulary where appropriate, for example, repeating what a child has said but adding a new word into the sentence.
- We are a ‘Makaton Friendly’ setting and all staff use Makaton signs daily to support communication
- We completed the Maths and English Champions Project to build staff confidence, develop their key skills and provide a wide range of resources to support the children’s mathematical and literacy development.
Laevers Emotional Well-Being and Involvement Approach
All our staff work to the Laeven Scales for children’s emotional well-being and involvement when completing individual children’s learning journey's. The Laeven Scales measure how children engage with different activities and enable key persons to adapt and plan further activities that meet the wellbeing and involvement of individual children. The Laevers approach highlights the importance of strong interactions between children and adults, and Professor Laevers believes that this is key to children achieving high levels of well-being and involvement. The approach also encourages practitioners to develop the learning environment around the well-being and involvement of children and gives 10 action points to help achieve this:
- Rearrange the classroom in appealing corners or areas.
- Check the content of the areas and make them more challenging.
- Introduce new and unconventional materials and activities.
- Identify children’s interests and offer activities that meet these.
- Support activities by stimulating inputs.
- Widen the possibilities for free initiative and support them with sound agreements.
- Improve the quality of the relations amongst children and between children and practitioners.
- Introduce activities that help children to explore the world of behaviour, feelings and values.
- Identify children with emotional problems and work out sustaining interventions.
- Identify children with developmental needs and work out interventions that engender involvement.
(Taken from http://www.earlylearninghq.org.uk/earlylearninghq-blog/the-leuven-well-being-and-involvement-scales/)
Characteristics of teaching and learning in practice
- National legislation and guidance are followed.
- Along with following the children’s needs and interests, we follow a 2 year planning cycle to provide children with improved learning outcomes. Each term is broken down into weekly topics and provides a wide range of ideas for different learning opportunities, covering each of the 7 areas of the EYFS. Key persons plan daily activities tailored to the individual needs and interests of each child, with a link to the weekly topics.
- All children are allocated a key person upon starting at Oasis. Key persons work with all children but are responsible for monitoring and recording the development and progress of their key children.
- All staff make ongoing observations of children’s progress on a daily basis which key persons then use to inform future planning and next steps for individual children.
- Within 4-6 weeks of a child starting at Oasis, a baseline assessment is completed to identify their stage of development and plan next steps to extend/support future learning and development.
- Termly Assessments are completed on every child twice a year (at the end of the Autumn term and the end of the summer term). These record the progress each individual child has made across the different areas of the EYFS (prime areas for children up to 36 months, prime and specific areas for children over 36 months) and identify next steps to support their learning and development in the following term.
- Key person's complete cohort tracking assessments on each of their individual key children four times a year (twice during the Autumn term, at the end of the spring term and at the end of the summer term).
- Children’s individual interests, preferences and learning styles are considered and planned for by key persons.
- Opportunities for learning ensure an appropriate balance of adult led and child led activities. Daily adult-led activities are highlighted on the planning sheets and include snack time, circle time, nurture groups, personalised planning and British values.
- Children are encouraged to be independent and solve problems for themselves.
- Children are encouraged to develop ‘life’ skills, including how to keep themselves safe and healthy
- Adults use praise appropriately to support children’s learning and they give constructive feedback to encourage children to actively engage in thinking about how they can achieve certain goals.
- We encourage the children to engage in real life experiences and use the outdoor space on a daily basis to enable them to explore and engage with the natural world. We have a six seat pushchair that the baby room use on a regular basis to make visits to the local area and we have regular access to the local community field and play park. We also provide trips for the pre-school children towards the end of the summer term, which include visits to the beach, fire station and local supermarket.
- We work closely with parents to promote home learning. We provide a selection of ‘home learning bags’ and ‘next step bags’ to extend children’s learning into the home environment and encourage parents to fill in regular ‘Wow! Sheets’ to enable children to share their achievements from home.
At Oasis Childcare Centre our staff are committed to working within an equal opportunities framework. We treat all children and families with equal concern, regardless of gender, racial origin, ability, cultural and linguistic background or religious beliefs. We feel that play should promote self-image and we value and respect the different backgrounds and experiences of children and families in our setting.
At Oasis we provide an environment in which all children are encouraged and supported to enable them to reach their full potential. We have four named SENCO’s (Special Education Needs Coordinators), Briony Sedgeman, Lorna Trudgeon, Kirra Rann and Jennifer Walis, who are designated to support children with additional needs. Our SENCO’s are responsible for working with both the child and their parents, and for liaising with relevant agencies to ensure all appropriate support is put in place to enable the child to reach their full potential.
Parents as Partners
We recognise that parents are children’s main educators and value the importance of working closely with parents. We strive to build open, honest and respectful relationships with all parents and endeavour to extend children’s learning between both the home and setting environments. We aim to promote partnerships with parents in the following ways:
- Offering home visits when children start at the Oasis
- Holding open days each a year for the Christmas Fayre
- Providing parent consultation evenings twice a year (end of autumn term and end of summer term) to share thier child's termly assessment and learning journey
- Monthly newsletters to keep parents informed and updated with events
- Sharing children’s monthly learning stories with parents and encouraging feedback
- Parent members on our committee
- Fundraising committee run by deputy manager and parents
- Providing resources/activities to support home learning – ‘home learning bags’ and ‘next step bags’
- Encouraging parents to fill in ‘Wow! Sheets’ to share their child’s achievements from home
- Duty parent/grandparent rota to provide opportunities for parents/grandparents to come and help for a morning
- Community Reading Project to provide opportunities for parents, extended family members and members of the local community to come into the setting and read stories with the children
- Community growing project with parents, extended family members and members of the local community to further develop our outdoor area
Committee and the Wider Community
Members of the committee support teaching and learning at Oasis Childcare Centre by:
- Supporting, monitoring and reviewing the setting’s policies
- Observing, monitoring and supporting practice
- Holding regular meetings on a monthly basis
- Regularly visiting the setting
- Allocating resources and funding effectively
- Ensuring health and safety regulations are met and maintained, and ensuring the premises are fit to support teaching and learning
- Monitoring staff development and performance management to ensure they promote good quality teaching
We also have strong links within the wider community including the local primary school, the local churches and Ludgvan Parish Council.