About the preschool

Building frontage

Here at Footprints Pre-school we aim to provide high quality care and education for children below statutory school age (from 2 years to 4 years 10 months) . We believe it is important to work in partnership with parents to help children to learn and develop, add to the life and well-being of the local community and offer children and their parents a service that promotes equality and values diversity.

Children’s development and learning

We aim to ensure that each child:

  • is in a safe and stimulating environment;
  • is given generous care and attention, because of our ratio of qualified staff to children, as well as volunteer parent helpers;
  • has the chance to join in with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together;
  • is helped to take forward her/his learning and development by being helped to build on what she/he already knows and can do;
  • has a personal key person who makes sure each child makes satisfying progress;
  • is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop; and
  • is in a setting in which parents help to shape the service it offers.

Our approach to learning and development and assessment

Learning through play

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. Our setting uses the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance to plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities, children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. In all activities, information from ‘Development Matters’ the Early Years Foundation Stage has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it.

Characteristics of effective learning

We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Development Matters the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as:

  • playing and exploring – engagement;
  • active learning – motivation; and
  • creating and thinking critically – thinking.

We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

Assessment

We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they, as parents, are supporting development.

We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.