United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:
Article 28 - Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity. • Article 29 - Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment
We acknowledge at Washwood Heath Nursery School from the earliest stages of development babies and children are capable confident learners. It is on this foundation, working holistically in partnerships with parents / carers that School will build. We believe that to ensure the service we offer is best quality we must develop fully as a team, with shared vision and continue to challenge ourselves and each other to enhance our own development.
At Washwood Heath we strive to:
We work hard to provide the right conditions for learning by:
Planning and Assessment.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 2017), the statutory framework that sets the standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth up to 5.
Four guiding principles shape our practice:
Our planning and assessment is based on the principle that children learn most when they are interested, motivated and engaged in the learning process. Through regular observations of children’s interests planning and assessment develops to support and enhance their learning. In this way we differentiate and ensure that individuals are appropriately challenged with a balance of adult-led activities and the scaffolding to support child-initiated activities. The efforts of our children will be valued and respected at all times. We will provide positive encouragement and feedback to pupils to encourage confidence and develop self esteem. https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf
Early Years Baccalaureate
As the nursery school child progresses through the year they follow an Early Years Baccalaureate programme of thought in conjunction with the EYFS. The Baccalaureate concentrates on the child and it’s growing environment. The
We believe this is a cycle of thinking which supports us as citizens in the wider world throughout our lives.
The Forest School concept in allowing young people freedom to learn in a natural environment was originated in Scandinavia, but has attracted increasing support and interest in the UK, as it has proved particularly effective with children in their early years. There are many schools and nurseries in Birmingham that are running Forest School programmes in their settings.
Forest School programmes take participants' holistic development into account, considering well-being, social connection, and environmental awareness just as important as academic achievement. Benefits associated with Forest School are improved mental and physical health (reducing stress and increasing physical fitness), support of emotional and social development, and the strengthening of participants' relationships to their local area and the greater natural world.
The particular activities that take place at a Forest School are unique to each programme's location and the participants' interests. However, there are a few common threads that help define what Forest is?
Forest School involves children working with a qualified Forest School Leader on a frequent and regular basis throughout the year in a local woodland setting. Children are encouraged and inspired to grow in confidence and self-esteem through mastering small achievable tasks like den building and collecting natural materials
As they grow in confidence the children are offered more challenging activities – but they are always supported to succeed!
A typical Forest School programme may involve the children using tools (bow saws and secateurs for example) and learning fire safety and awareness using campfires -all done under close supervision of experienced staff; we feel that this is an important part of a childs’ learning. A strict code of conduct is followed on the safe use and handling of tools, and Health and Safety is considered at all times. Photographs will be taken as evidence of achievement and may be used in future presentations to show the effectiveness of Forest School.
At Washwood Heath Nursery School, we have adapted the Forest School approach to suit our children’s needs. Children will have the opportunity to use the allotments, located on St. Margret’s Road, local parks, the school’s sensory garden and mud kitchen to meet different aspects of their holistic leaning and development. The activities are child centred, build upon children’s interest and facilitate by the qualified forests leaders and supporting staff.
Forest School happens in almost all weathers, and we often get muddy! We will provide the children with waterproof clothing and hope that you will be able to send your child to school in wellington boots and old clothes on the day, forest school sessions take place. Long trousers and a long sleeved top are advisable for the sessions.
You will be asked to sign a consent form which will include details about the sessions and start dates. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the school, please ask for Samia (Forest School Leaders) - who will be happy to discuss this further.
Claire, our artist in residence works with children, sharing ideas and working on ongoing projects together with the children as they try to figure out and explore many different ways to do things through art expression.
Practitioners encourage the children to communicate through creativity. It is the medium by which staff “listen” to the children.
We like to keep 5 things in mind:
Children use A Hundred Languages to express themselves – words, symbols, sounds, music, art, etc. It is through those languages we learn about our children and what is important to them.
Children learn through interacting with their peers (social constructivism).
The environment is the third teacher: The teacher, parent and classroom are all teachers.
Children are capable people who can drive their own learning.
Documentation acts as a reflective learning tool to guide teachers and students.
Documentation of children’s learning is vital to the learning cycle. It is a means of reflection, sharing and an opportunity to revisit. It is the learning journey of the children in our care.
We continue to develop our individual styles of documentation. We try to capture learning experiences daily and display them in the environment and in floor books, as they happen. This informs the parents, educators and children of the learning within the space.
We ask; what are their key interests? what are their questions? and what questions are we asking ourselves?