Observation, Assessment and Planning at Little Gems

Observation, Assessment and Planning at Little Gems

What is EYFS?

The EYFS is the statutory Early Years curriculum. This is mandatory for all schools, settings and childminders to follow from birth up to the end of reception. The EYFS sets out our legal obligations regarding things like adult: child ratios, suitable people, safeguarding and welfare, staff qualifications, and learning and development.

When it was introduced, the new framework specifically talked about the pressures of Early Years staff and wants to remove unnecessary paperwork requirements which resulted in time spent away from the children. It says the following: “Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.” – EYFS 2021

These are divided in to 7 areas of learning. The ‘Prime’ areas form the basis for all learning, and the ‘Specific’ areas build on those skills and broaden children’s understanding, experiences and knowledge. In pre-school, we always focus on the Prime areas in the first instance as they really do form the foundation for everything else.

The 7 areas are divided down in to ‘aspects’ (like subheadings):

Please be aware that these headings are those of the Early Learning Goals for the end of Reception. In nursery and pre-school, we focus on learning the early skills that set children up to achieve these. For example, we build our gross and fine motor skills, mark making, excitement for learning, conversation skills, interest in books and print, strong sense of self and so on, which eventually lead to mastery of reading, writing and all of the other fantastic things your child will learn as they grow and develop.

Learning and Development

All of the learning we do here, and most of the learning in reception is through quality, active play. “Teaching in the early years should not be taken to imply a “top down” or formal way of working. It is a broad term that 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”- Ofsted.

What do we do at Little Gems?

The team here work hard to ensure they know your children really well, we observe their play, development and interests, we assess what they know and what we want them to learn and then we plan activities and provision which will extend their development and teach them something new or help to bed in the skill they are already mastering. All of these things are done by using our understanding of child development and our knowledge of your child as an individual person.

We want to keep you up to date with your children’s learning and development, so this is what we offer:

  • We will send you photographs of your child’s first weeks with us at Little Gems.
  • We will upload any ‘wow’ moments of learning or development milestones.
  • We will occasionally send out photos of whole group activities e.g., local walks, Children in Need, Christmas Party etc.
  • We will take photographs of all the children throughout the term and send you a small selection at the end of each term.
  • We will have loose themes that link to the time of year and what is happening in the children’s lives around them. For example, at the beginning of the school year, our theme will be ‘All about me’ followed by ‘Autumn’ in October/early November. The themes will be used as a base for the children’s learning, we will observe them and see where it takes us next!
  • We tend to do less ‘set up’ adult focussed activities so that we are able to spend more time playing, interacting and communicating with the children. As a result, your child may bring home less adult-led artwork.
  • Twice a year we will send you an individual development summary for your child – this will be sent out in February and July. This will tell you what we have been learning, what we’ve been enjoying, talk about their wellbeing and whether their development is as expected or if there is anything we need to work on. We will this through the Famly app. Please don’t worry, if we ever have any concerns about your child’s development or progress, we will discuss this with you as needed during the school year.
  • If your child has additional needs, we will arrange one to one meetings at least once a term.
  • We will complete a 2 Year Progress Check for all 2 year olds joining us. This is a statutory progress check to be completed between 24 and 35 months.
  • When your child goes to school, we will continue to produce Transition Documents to support this move.
  • If you feel like you would like a one-to one chat with your child’s key person, you may do so at any time. Just let us know and we can arrange a convenient, mutual time. We understand that it can often feel quite rushed at the beginning and the end of a session.
  • We will send you photographs of your child’s first weeks with us at Little Gems
  • We will occasionally send out photos of whole group activities e.g., local walks, Children in Need, Christmas Party etc.
  • We will take photographs of all the children throughout the term and send you a small selection at the end of each term.
  • We will have loose themes that link to the time of year and what is happening in the children’s lives around them. For example, at the beginning of the school year, our theme will be ‘All about me’ followed by ‘Autumn’ in October/early November. The themes will be used as a base for the children’s learning, we will observe them and see where it takes us next!
  • We will upload any ‘wow’ moments of learning or development milestones.
  • We will send you photographs of your child’s first weeks with us at Little Gems.
  • We will upload any ‘wow’ moments of learning or development milestones.
  • We will occasionally send out photos of whole group activities e.g., local walks, Children in Need, Christmas Party etc.
  • We will take photographs of all the children throughout the term and send you a small selection at the end of each term.
  • We will have loose themes that link to the time of year and what is happening in the children’s lives around them. For example, at the beginning of the school year, our theme will be ‘All about me’ followed by ‘Autumn’ in October/early November. The themes will be used as a base for the children’s learning, we will observe them and see where it takes us next!
  • We tend to do less ‘set up’ adult focussed activities so that we are able to spend more time playing, interacting and communicating with the children. As a result, your child may bring home less adult-led artwork.
  • Twice a year we will send you an individual development summary for your child – this will be sent out in February and July. This will tell you what we have been learning, what we’ve been enjoying, talk about their wellbeing and whether their development is as expected or if there is anything we need to work on. We will this through the Famly app. Please don’t worry, if we ever have any concerns about your child’s development or progress, we will discuss this with you as needed during the school year.
  • If your child has additional needs, we will arrange one to one meetings at least once a term.
  • We will complete a 2 Year Progress Check for all 2 year olds joining us. This is a statutory progress check to be completed between 24 and 35 months.
  • When your child goes to school, we will continue to produce Transition Documents to support this move.
  • If you feel like you would like a one-to one chat with your child’s key person, you may do so at any time. Just let us know and we can arrange a convenient, mutual time. We understand that it can often feel quite rushed at the beginning and the end of a session.
Catherine Rich

“We are passionate about giving your child the very best opportunities to experience the world and learn as they go. We would love for you to Come and see how that works.”